Long Beach Playhouse Presents Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead

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Long Beach Playhouse is proud to present Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead written by Bert V. Royal. This piece that is particularly timely as it deals with tough issues that high school students often face such as of homosexuality and bullying.

When timeless and beloved childhood characters actually grow up, it turns out that life is not a comic strip after all. CB is mourning the death of his lifelong canine companion when a chance connection to a bullied childhood friend sends him on a humorous and moving journey to understand the bigger questions of love, life, and death.

Directing Dog Sees God is Sean F. Gray. This marks Gray’s directorial debut at Long Beach Playhouse. Below is a Q&A with Mr. Gray.

Was there anything about this play that particularly attracted you to directing it?
I was attracted to its message about loss and how we deal with not only the loss of loved ones but with a loss of identity. This show also has great characters based on icons of American culture, and yet still manages to make them feel real and human with a vibrant energy and a biting humor. The play is fast-paced, heartfelt, emotionally charged, and a bit raunchy, just like the teenage years it is trying to capture.

Do you think the play has some positive messages that relates to today’s issues?
I like that the play appeals to everyone, that it explores how we deal with loss: the loss of a loved one, the loss of one’s sense of self, the loss of childhood. It also deals with the loss of feeling safe that comes from constant bullying. The play explores the effects of bullying on teens, especially gay teens who are most at risk to its effects. The play shows us that a part of the problem lies in society’s need to place value on teen’s social status, valuing fitting in and being popular as opposed with allowing one to be one’s self.

Was there anything about the play that was difficult to pull off or anything that surprised you?
I think what surprised me most was how deep these characters and this story they are telling really are. On the page, many of these characters seem shallow and stereotypical, until you realize that they have chosen to be this way to maintain their popular social status in order to survive. Every character is either hiding from who they really are or searching for it, and it makes for great drama. What at first just seems like a funny parody of the Peanuts characters as teenagers, reveals itself to be so much more.

Opening Night Champagne Reception with the entire cast on Saturday, May 21, 2011. Dog Sees God will continue on Thursday nights (8 p.m.), Friday nights (8 p.m.), Saturday nights (8 p.m.) and Sunday matinees, (2 p.m.) through Saturday, June 18.

Pay what you can Thursday on May 19
Half-price preview night, Friday, May 20. Tickets are $12
Adults are $24.00, seniors $21.00, and Student $14.00.
Tickets are available at www.lbplayhouse.org, or by calling 562-494-1014, option 1.

Long Beach Playhouse is located at 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, CA, 90804, right across from the Long Beach Recreation golf course. The Playhouse is community-supported theatre that cuts across age, gender, ethnic, and cultural boundaries. Performances for the Studio Theatre are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. The box office is open Wednesday—Saturday from 3:00–8:00 pm & Sundays from 1:00—2:00 pm on scheduled matinees only. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.lbplayhouse.org or call 562-494-1014.

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