Company Carolina's "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead"
Thursday at 7:30 p.m., dress rehearsal
Company Carolina’s production of “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” offered a delightful array of satirical performances counterbalanced by minimalistic, yet engaging, technical elements.
The play was written as an “unauthorized parody” of Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” comics, and it presents a droll and darkly humorous look into the lives of the classic cartoon characters as modern day teenagers.
Staged in Historic Playmakers Theatre, the performance brimmed with energy while managing to remain reflective and reverent of the play’s heavier themes. A constant highlight were the soliloquies delivered by Connor Sturgis, who played the pay’s lead character, CB.
In the soliloquies, he addressed an old pen pal, using them as a sounding board to pose questions about life and identity. Sturgis not only managed to effusively convey the confusion of a young man searching for answers, but also a dexterous in how he tackled CB’s constant reevaluation of what questions he should be asking.
Also noteworthy was the powerfully dynamic performance of Mollie Page, who played both the role of CB’s best friend, Van, as well as Van’s unnamed sister, who is locked in a mental institution. The versatility of her performances and abundance of energy they brought to each scene added a lively, often comedic jolt to the ongoing narrative.
In terms of technical choice and development, most elements were kept to a seemingly intentional minimum. The director of the show, Dakota Proctor, focused the attention specifically on the characters, which translated well, given the layered dialogue and witty back-and-forths. Other than occasional music for dramatic tone or spotlights and filters to highlight certain scenes, the characters and their dialogue were the play’s central spectacle.
Where the production seemed to have issues was mainly in its pacing. Certain segments felt speedy and less developed than others, which robbed some of the play’s witty exchanges proper time to land. Some of the otherwise clever conversations felt swallowed up by the over-eager satirization.
Despite relatively minor issues, the production was a charming and well-crafted adaptation. It managed to intertwine vivid, human dilemmas about personality with moments of satire and levity, creating an exciting and thought provoking atmosphere.
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