Bert V. Royal's comedy / drama "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenaged Blockhead" opens tonight at Youngstown State University.
It will be staged by University Theater's student-run group, Blackbox Productions.
Royal's script is an unauthorized parody of the comic strip "Peanuts" and imagines how thinly disguised versions of Charles M. Schultz's characters cope in their teenaged years.
When CB's dog dies from rabies, CB begins to question the existence of an afterlife. His best friend is too burned out to provide any coherent speculation, his sister has gone goth, his ex-girlfriend has recently been institutionalized and his other friends are too inebriated to give him any sort of solace. But a chance meeting with an artistic kid, the target of this group's bullying, offers CB a peace of mind and sets in motion a friendship that will push teen angst to the very limits. Drug use, suicide, eating disorders, teen violence, rebellion and sexual identity collide and careen toward an ending that's both haunting and hopeful.
As that description indicates, "Dog Sees God" contains adult concepts that might not be suitable for children.
Junior David Palmer directs a cast that includes Emily Shipley (Struthers) as CB's sister; John Cruz (Mineral Ridge) as Matt; Kelly Sullivan (Youngs-town) as Tricia; Patrick Hobby (Poland) as CB; Matt Malloy (Beaver, Pa.) as Van; Natalie Martzial (Boardman) as Van's sister; Cory Davis (Pittsburgh) as Beethoven; and Ashley Whited (Struthers) as Marcy.
"Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenaged Blockhead" will be staged at 7:30 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in Bliss Hall's Spotlight Arena Theater. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students, senior citizens and Penguin Club members. All seating is general admission. For reservations or more information, call 330-941-3105.