Posted on | January 14, 2010 | 7 Comments
ITHACA, NY–Somewhere, the late great Charles Schulz is rolling over in his grave.
Schulz, the creator of the much-loved Peanuts comic strip (and a devout Christian), probably never envisioned a day when his characters would be appropriated for a “satirical story” about teenaged homosexuals.
But that’s exactly what happens in the new play, “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead,” which the Ithaca Journal describes as “a satirical story that … features characters from the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip gang in their volatile teenage years”
It all begins with CB, Charlie Brown, who contemplates the death of his loyal dog, Snoopy, who ate his bird pal, Woodstock. The angst CB feels sets him off on a journey of not only searching for the answers to where his beagle has gone now that he’s dead, but who he, himself, is now that he can’t escape the overwhelming grief he feels pervading his soul.
As CB struggles with his identity, some members of the gang display their colorful insecurities and harsh beliefs when he explores his first homosexual relationship with Beethoven (think Schroeder from the comic strip), who still hides behind his piano and the music he plays during his lunch hour.
Eliza VanCort, director of the Actor’s Workshop, told the Ithaca Times that she found the play during a visit to New York City:
“I wanted material that I connected with personally and I wanted to produce thought-provoking art,” she said. “This play explores issues that I care deeply about. What happens to the bullied child when he or she grows up? Why do we sometimes single out the ‘other’? What makes people choose between running with the pack or breaking away? When I read this play, I simply loved it. It shines a light on all the messiness of life but offers hope that things can change for the better.”
According to Wikipedia, the producers of play identify it as an unauthorized parody, claiming that this protects it from a lawsuit by Schulz’s estate.