Had its world premiere at the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival.
CB Michael Gladis
CB’s Sister Karen DiConcetto
Van Tate Ellington and Daniel Franzese
Matt Jay Sullivan
Beethoven Benjamin Schrader
Tricia Bridget Barkan
Marcy Stelianie Tekmitchov
Van’s Sister Melissa Picarello
Director: Susan W. Lovell
Publication: Royal, Bert V. Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. Dramatists Play Service, 2006. Drama Library PS3618. O8928 D64 2006.
Setting: A neighborhood
And speaking of her fashion sense, why is she always wearing that shirt that says WWJD? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Who wants jelly doughnuts?
Plot: The Peanuts kids have been reimagined and are all grown up in this unauthorized parody—and, boy, do they have problems. CB’s dog has just died and he begins questioning the existence of an afterlife; his sister doesn’t know who she is; Beethoven is being bullied; Van is a pothead; Marcy and Tricia are sex-starved mean girls; Van’s Sister is an institutionalized pyromaniac; and Matt has anger management problems. Although the play doesn’t quite manage to seamlessly integrate all of its concerns, themes, and genres, it is an entertaining “What would happen if” look at its source material that draws upon the lives and problems of contemporary teens.
Representative Monologues: Monologues contain the first few lines and the last few lines; please consult the published text for the monologue in its entirety.
p.7–8: CB writes a letter to his pen pal about the death of his dog. Depending on the requirements, the monologue can begin at the beginning of the play, or where it does here.
My dog died. I don’t know if you remember, but I had a beagle. He was a good dog. My best friend. I’d had him as far back as I could remember, but one day last month, I went out to feed him and he didn’t come bounding out of his red doghouse like usual. [Lines cut] My parents called a center and they came and took him away. Later that day, they put him to sleep. They gave me his corpse in a cardboard box. When my dog died, that was when the rain cloud came back and everything went to hell…
p.24–25: CB’s sister performs from her one-woman show, Cocooning into Platypus; really bad.
Metamorphosis. Transformation. Evolution. Change. Evolution. Change. Changing evolution. I am a teenage caterpillar. I know of these things. For soon, I’ll spin a cocoon. [Lines cut] If I stay in my cocoon longer, I’ll change from a butterfly to a swallow and then from a swallow to a duck and then from a duck to a platypus. It’s all just a matter of time. And time I have. I will wait to become a platypus. I will be an extraordinary creature.
p.35: Van’s Sister explains to CB why she set the red-headed girl’s hair on fire in class.
[I am.] I was pregnant. (Beat.) Don’t worry. It wasn’t yours. I had just gotten an abortion the day before and the next day in Biology, we were ironically learning about reproduction. I’m listening to Miss Rainey talking about fallopian tubes, the uterus, eggs and I’m feeling sick to my stomach already. [Lines cut.] No matter how hard I try. Bitches like that make me sick. They’ve made me sick. I’m officially sick, psychotic, unrepentant and unremorseful. I’ve been branded a sociopath and I have no choice but to believe it.
Representative Scenes: There are a number of short, two-person scenes in this play and a number of scenes with substantial two-person interactions.
p. 8–9: CB and CB’s Sister at CB’s dog’s funeral. Starts with
Mom will kill you if she sees you smoking.
and ends with
He was your fucking dog. You fucking say it.
p. 10–12: CB and Van sit on a brick wall and discuss the afterlife. Starts with
You wanna hit this?
and ends with
p.22–24: CB visits Beethoven in the music room during lunch and Beethoven confronts CB about the way he and his other friends have bullied Beethoven over the years. At the end of the scene, CB kisses Beethoven. Starts with
Maybe if you didn’t act so—
and ends with
p.34–36: CB visits Van’s Sister in the institution and asks why she set fire to the little red-headed girl’s hair. Starts with
Hey, why’d you do it?
and ends with
Hey, Blockhead! You forgot your scarf!
Select Bibliography of Reviews and Criticism: (Note: article title links are to the online versions, mostly UW-only restricted unless designated as open access.)
Blanchard, J. (2006, Jul 20). Pointed peanuts parody ; blistering satire ‘dog sees god’ inventive in short work at studio. Washington Times, pp. B05.
Calhoun, A. (2004, Sep 15). Good grief, C.B., you blockhead, is it really bye-bye to the beagle? New York Times, pp. E3.
Clear, M. (2010, Aug 12). Grownup Peanuts. St.Petersburg Times,pp.B2.
Dunham, M. (2009, Sep 05). ‘Peanuts’ gang encounters tumultuous teendom in play: Satisfying: “dog sees god” explores world of teenage angst. McClatchy — Tribune Business News.
Henerson, E. (2008, Jun 13). ‘Peanut’ Gang up to new tricks in ‘Dog Sees God’. Daily News, pp.L8.
Moore, J. (2007, May 04). ‘Dog sees god’ a comic coming-of-age. Denver Post,pp.F6.
Munro, D. (2013, August 25). Theater Review: ‘Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead’. Fresno Bee, The: Blogs (CA).
Ouzounian, R. (2009, Mar 26). Gawd, this quirky show is as lovable as snoopy. Toronto Star, pp.E8.
Staton, J. (2013, August 22). Review — ‘Dog’ puts comic strip cast in perspective as teens. StarNews (Wilmington, NC).
Thielman, S. (2005, Dec 16). Review, the ‘peanuts’ gang as adults: Good grief. Newsday, pp. B17.
Toscano, M. (2009, Dec 03). ‘Dog sees god’ serves up roasted ‘peanuts’. The Washington Post, pp. AAVE.21.
Voorheis, M. (2013, Aug 15). A darker charlie brown tale opens at browncoat. McClatchy — Tribune Business News
Zinoman, J. (2005, Dec 16). Aargh! the ‘peanuts’ gang hits a rocky adolescence. New York Times, pp. E2.