BHSU opens up spring theater season with continuation of Charlie Brown story

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, February 12, 2015/Categories: 2015








            Black Hills State University opens its spring theater season with "Dog Sees God-Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead." The cast includes front row, Cody Pepitone back row, from left, Matt Adair, Kassi Blue, Anne Orban, Kris Monroe, Francesca Romano and Kirk Hauck not pictured, Emily Morse. The show is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, Friday, Feb. 20 and Saturday, Feb. 21 in Pangburn Theatre on the BHSU campus.



Charlie Brown is all grown up.

The Black Hills State University theater department will perform "Dog Sees God-Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead," as its opening performance for the spring theater season. The show is a continuation of the popular Peanuts cartoons featuring Charlie Brown.

"Dog Sees God-Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead" will be performed Thursday, Feb. 19, Friday, Feb. 20 and Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Pangburn Theatre on the BHSU campus. Tickets are $10 for general admission $8 for senior citizens and children 17 and younger $5 for BHSU faculty and staff and free for BHSU students with a Buzz Card. The show includes strong adult themes and adult language.

Written by Bert V. Royal, the play depicts life after the Peanuts characters have grown up. The once childish, cartoon characters are now dealing with heavy topics including drug use, suicide, eating disorders and teen violence.

"No longer are we dealing with the little cartoon kids that we grew up with in Christmas specials and the Sunday paper. We are dealing with young adults who are trying to find their place in a ridiculous world," said Matt Adair, theater major from Sheridan, Wyo.

"The message in the show is very topical and covers things you see in the news," said Bert Juhrend, associate professor of theater at BHSU. "This shows what struggles teenagers are going through."

The play is written and performed in short scripts and scenes to depict a comic strip. The cast of "Dog Sees God-Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead" includes:

&middot Charlie Brown: Matt Adair, music major from Sheridan, Wyo.

&middot Charlie Brown&rsquos Sister: Kassi Blue, speech major from Rapid City

&middot Van: Cody Pepitone

&middot Matt: Kris Monroe, theatre major from Spearfish

&middot Beethoven: Kirk Hauck, music and psychology major from Spearfish

&middot Tricia: Francesca Romano, sociology major from Upton, Wyo.

&middot Marcy: Anne Orban, mass communication major from Spearfish

&middot Van&rsquos Sister: Emily Morse, BHSU alumna, Rapid City

"We have a good cast," Juhrend said. "The students wanted that experience of playing these characters they are so familiar with and seeing them transition as they grow up."

Morse and Adair reprised their roles of Van&rsquos Sister (Sally) and CB (Charlie Brown). Both performed in "You&rsquore a Good Man, Charlie Brown," in February 2014. The transition has been challenging, yet fun, Adair said.

"I had to take that optimism Charlie Brown had and see what happens as it pays off less and less," Adair said. "He is still a character searching for the approval of his friends and now is struggling with the idea that it may not be as important as the approval from himself."

Adair gives credit to his cast mates, who he said have grasped the difficult messages portrayed in the show and brought them to life on the stage.

Anne Orban, who is a newcomer to the BHSU stage, plays Marcy, a mean, preppy character who is best friends with Tricia, who is best known as Peppermint Patty in the Peanuts cartoons.  

Playing the role of a classic mean girl was a challenge, Orban added.

"But, I just have fun with it," she said. "That&rsquos what teenagers want, is to have fun. I just try to embrace what being a teenager was like for me."

"Dog Sees God-Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead" kicks off the spring theater season. Other performances this semester include:

&middot "Sudden Impact," March 27, 7:30 p.m., Pangburn Theatre

&middot "Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them," April 9-11, 7:30 p.m., Woodburn Theatre

&middot One Act Play Festival, April 27-30, May 1-2, Pangburn Theatre

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