Theatre honor society shows satirical Peanuts play

Theatre honor society shows satirical Peanuts play
Photo courtesy of Bailey Fletcher

By Caroline Smith | Staff Reporter 

Charlie Brown, Pig Pen, Sally and Linus are practically household names. This week, Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honor Society seeks to show a new side of these beloved characters with their upcoming production of “Dog Sees God.”

“Dog Sees God” is a play about the Peanuts' lives in high school. Things have taken a rather dark turn for Charlie Brown's group of friends: Snoopy’s dead, Pig Pen is a hypochondriac, Peppermint Patty is an alcoholic and Lucy is in an asylum. The list goes on. The story follows their struggles and seeks to convey a deeper message through the drama and humor of the show.

“It’s a show that we can all relate to because growing up sucks,” said Bailey Fletcher, director of the show and a UA senior studying business management. “And I feel like no matter who it is, you can see a part of yourself in each of the characters. It’s just kind of an embodiment of how much growing up sucks, but how you have to find the strength to deal with it, and move on, and overcome all these struggles that you have to go through.”

Due to the fact that the play is not legally affiliated with the television show, the characters in the play do not share the same names as those in the comic strip and television programs. For example, Charlie Brown is called CB, and Schroeder is named Beethoven. However, the characters still share resemblances to their original characters that are meant to resonate with the audience.

“I like that it is these characters that we all grew up with as kids, and how you think they’re great,” said Broughton Dulin, who plays CB in the show. “You hold them to this pedestal, and they too will have problems. Their lives can go to hell, and everything can go wrong in their lives, too.”

The show often utilizes vulgar material such as foul language, drug use and sexual innuendos. Though the play clearly has darker undertones, the students involved also ensure that the material has a certain light-heartedness to it, as well.

“It’s a dark comedy,” Fletcher said. “So, at some points it’s hilarious – you will fall out of your seat laughing. But, I’m pretty sure by the end of the show you’ll also be in tears, too.”

Christian Hatcher, a freshman double majoring in criminal justice and musical theater, weighed in on what the show means to him. He plays the character of Matt, the play’s take on Pig-Pen.

“When you look at the show, there are a bunch of things that I think the writers are trying to say in terms of how we live our normal lives and how we are so addicted to normality or following the same routine,” Hatcher said. “When something comes into that routine that disaligns all of our relationships and what we thought we’ve known, how do we react?”

Marissa Hayes, a junior theater major, plays CB’s Sister, otherwise known as Sally, in the play. She believes students should see the production for the message it conveys.

“I think the overall theme is acceptance, and that it’s okay to be yourself, and your friends should allow you to do that and not attack you for it,” Hayes said. “It’s okay to be different.”

“Dog Sees God” will run Dec. 6-8 in Allen Bales Theatre. All the shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and will last for 90 minutes without intermission. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for regular admission. They can be purchased at the door. All proceeds will be donated to Alpha Psi Omega’s philanthropy, West Alabama Aids Outreach. Both cash and Venmo are accepted.

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