Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dog Sees God

Last night I went to dinner and a play with some of my new Air Force friends. The play, Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, was performed at the Stray Cat Theatre in downtown Phoenix. Always quick to judge a book by its cover, I assumed from the title that we were going to be subjected to some sort of Charlie Brown Revue. But I wanted to get out of the apartment and socialize with these young people, so I set my trepidations aside and joined the group for a night out.

Dog Sees God was far from anything that I expected. It was a fictionalized account of Charlie Brown’s life in high school following the death of Snoopy. Instead of being a light-hearted romp suitable for the Sunday funnies, this play was a dark tour of teen angst laced with sex, drugs, rage, and death. It was line after line of shocking language, interspersed with a rolling montage of shocking scenes. Beneath all of that in-your-face theatre, however, was a haunting look at the cruelty of high school. The play examined the viciousness of the bully, the hopelessness of the victim, and the blindness of those just going to school to be seen at the right lunchroom table or invited to the coolest parties.

The high school that Charlie Brown and his friends attended was a mean place, not the type of school where any of us would want to send our children. Yet, this imaginary place with its fictional students had the gritty feel of authenticity. I came away from the experience with a clearer perspective on why teens kill themselves, or why they bring guns to school and shoot down their classmates.

If you get the chance to see this play, do it. Just don’t expect to leave the theatre laughing.

1 comment:

Adam McCray said...

Interesting review of the play, Rock. I agree with your opinions about the status of today's high schools and take comfort in knowing that I am far removed from that environment. An additional theme I pulled from the play concerned the value of living one's authentic identity and the dangers of inauthenticity. Great to have you out with us and I look forward to similar "outings" (so to speak--see the play) in the future.

Capt McCray