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October 14, 2010
Colorado State University theatre presents 'Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead' by Bert V. Royal, now through Oct 17, in the Studio Theatre at the University Center of the Arts, 1400 Remington St. The award-winning original play 'Snipes,' by Colorado State University student Sean Cummings ('11), will be presented as a prologue to the CSU theatre production.
Tickets are $9 for CSU students, and $18 for the public. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts Ticket Office in the UCA Griffin Lobby, by phone at (970) 491-2787, or online at www.CSUArtsTickets.com.
The Peanuts world, created by Charles M. Schulz, hasn’t changed much since it first appeared in 1950. This makes the premise of Bert V. Royal’s unauthorized parody simply irresistible: what would happen to Charlie Brown and his friends if they grew up?
A popular bumper sticker reads: I wish I were the person that my dog thinks I am? If a dog sees God in his master, how does the infamous teenage blockhead, whose dog has died of rabies, face the challenge of seeking a new identity, of becoming an autonomous, thinking, feeling adult, rather than a cartoon cutout.
Ten years after the sweetly humanistic world where Peanuts’ lovable kids questioned the existence of the Great Pumpkin, CB’s best friend is too stoned to provide a coherent speculation on the meaning of life and death. His sister has gone goth, his ex-girlfriend has recently been incarcerated for setting the little redheaded girl’s hair on fire, and his other friends are too inebriated to give him any sort of solace. His pals have become part of the real world, caught up in the “drome,” or brat race of high school.
Disclaimer: Dog Sees God has not been authorized or approved in any manner by the Charles M. Schulz Estate or United Features Syndicate, which have no responsibility for its content.
“Parody is the first-born son of Satire, and its hilarious effect relies on familiarity with the source,” said director Laura Jones. “In this case Schulz’ iconic slice of American cuteness, Peanuts, the stock and trade of Hallmark cards and Broadway musicals, provides the perfect foil for both comedy and commentary.”
In Dog Sees God, irony, sarcasm and ridicule are used to denounce and debunk the full gamut of teenage angst issues. Drug use, eating disorders, teen violence, rebellion and sexual identity all collide in this keen, sharp, at times caustic, and always articulate spoof. “I think University students, and Fort Collins community audiences alike, can relate and will respond to this thought-provoking material,” added Jones.
A comic portrayal of teens with insufficient coping skills, resulting in the potential for spectacular self-destruction, Sean Cummings award-winning play Snipes is an appropriate thematic pairing to the CSU theatre production of Dog Sees God.
When 17 year-old Alex decides to do something about his inadequacies at being a person, he steals a large sum of money from his dad, and spends the night at a playground waiting for his ‘super lame’ friend Evan. Evan finally shows up, bringing pop-tarts, cigarettes, and a black duffel bag whose contents might just change the course of their lives.
Snipes was originally performed at the 2010 Regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in Reno, Nev., advancing as a semifinalist in the national KCACTF Short Play Award competition.
For Cummings the process of producing Snipes at CSU has been incredible. “It's been really great working with director Laura Jones, who is a mad genius,” said Cummings. “Her ideas have added to the play, and it will startle whoever comes to see it.” Cummings is honored to have his peers and friends collaborate on his vision. “It’s a huge honor to see them saying things I put on paper…pretty surreal, come to mention it.”
Sean Cummings is an actor, writer, singer, and amateur librarian. He has worked with theatre and film groups across the Front Range including Openstage Theatre, Bas Bleu Theatre, and Exploding Goldfish Films. At the 2009 National KCACTF, Cummings won an apprenticeship with The Orchard Project in association with eXchange theatre in Hunter, N.Y., where he assisted in the development of Annie Baker's multiple OBIE award-winning play The Aliens. In 2010 his play Snipes was a national semifinalist for the KCACTF Short Play Award, earning him a scholarship to the annual Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive in Washington, DC.
Warning: Because of strong language and adult themes, both plays are inappropriate for youth under the age of 17.
For a full performance and event calendar, more information, and to sign up for a free event e-newsletter, visit www.CSUSchooloftheArts.com.
Contact: Jennifer Clary
Phone: (970) 491-3603