A new production on the campus of Grays Harbor College will bring back the characters from the popular comic strip Peanuts — but not like most audiences have seen them before.
On Thursday, the Grays Harbor College Bishop Center for the Performing Arts will debut “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead,” by Bert V. Royal, as its first fall drama since 2019.
The show, directed by Julayne Fleury and Alex Eddy, reimagines Peanuts characters as degenerate teenagers, opening with the funeral for Charlie Brown’s beloved and vexing dog Snoopy. The plot then follows Charles Shultz’s classic band of characters as they grapple with the existential crises of their high school years.
Fleury said the show is a drama and satire, and even after many rehearsals, doesn’t fail to make her laugh.
“The writing is fresh and the actors bring it to life in an exciting way every night,” Fleury said.
The writing does, however, occasionally delve into mature subject matter, including teenage drinking, explicit language and bullying, so Fleury doesn’t recommend bringing children to see the show.
Fleury has a personal connection to the show in two ways: her past experience as an actor in the same show seven years ago, with her current co-director, Eddy, as director, and from her childhood experience attending fall dramas at the Bishop Center.
“I remember my grandma, Betty Pinckney, taking me to the theater to see the Fall Dramas and the Spring Musicals, directed by Brad Duffy and a few directed (or written by) Lynne Lerych, when I was young,” Fleury said.
The fall drama with rotating shows each year, has been a staple at the Bishop Center for over 20 years, giving budding actors the chance to display their talents in a professional-like setting.
“Alex and I feel like we’ve won the jackpot with this casting,” Fleury said. “This cast is incredibly talented and hard working. They take notes really well, and I give a lot of notes. It’s apparent in their performances that they love this material and feel passionately about putting it on stage. They have all been absolutely dedicated to this show since day one.
“I’m still incredibly proud of what we accomplished seven years ago,” Eddy added. “That was truly a once-in-a-lifetime production. But Julayne and I have always talked about how cool it would be to have some real time to dive in and put together a full production. Getting to finally revisit these characters and this story has been a treat.”
If you want to go:
The show will debut Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m., and run Nov. 4 and 5 at the same time. It will conclude with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Nov. 6.
Tickets $15 or $10 for students, and are available at ghc.edu/bishop or at the door. Fleury said intimate seating is available on the Bishop Center stage in a thrust, with only 75 seats available.