The local amateur acting troupe is presenting a dark comedy that presents an interesting question: What if the characters from the “Peanuts” comic strip had grown up?
“Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead,” directed by Dana Pyette, opens Friday night in the Little Theatre at the west end of Cowan Hall on the Montana State University-Northern campus.
Montana Actors’ Theatre is providing an intimate setting for the show, using the theater-in-the-round format with seating right on stage around the action.
The unauthorized parody, written by Bert V. Royal, had its first reading in 2004 and its world premiere at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2005.
It tells the stories of several teenagers, parodying the characters of “Peanuts” as they grow and change — starting with the funeral of the main character’s dog, which had to be put down after contracting rabies and killing a small yellow bird and nearly biting its owner.
The author used the characters to look at teens dealing with issues like drug and alcohol use, sexual relations including homosexuality and homophobia, death and religion.
The play is recommended for mature audiences due to mature language and situations.
In the MAT production, Chad Zuelke plays the lead character, CB, and MaryBeth Blankenship plays CB’s sister. Dolan Tuss plays Van, and Mindy Smith-Langel plays Van’s sister. Donald Mayer plays Matt, while Jordan Lamphier plays Beethoven. Rounding out the cast, Haley Lippy plays Marcy and Mary Kaercher plays Tricia.
The play runs Friday and Saturday this week and Thursday through Saturday March 21-23 and March 28-30. The production starts at 8 each night, with the doors and the backstage lounge opening at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and Northern students gain free admission with a valid student identification card.