Dog Sees God Response Paper Dog sees God is a play that revolutionizes one of the most traditional comic strips into the modernization of the teenage world. It has completely changed my opinion of all the characters from Peanuts in an irreversible manner. Charlie Brown will never again just be that boy with the yellow shirt, Linus will know much more than how to drag around a blanket, and Pig Pen is anything but the filthy kid he once was. Watching these characters as their teenage selves allowed me to empathize with them in a way that would not be possible just by reading the comic strip.
For the characters in Dog Sees God, life’s a harsh place. CB’s dog contracted rabies and killed a little yellow bird (that was always hanging out with CB’s dog). CB’s dog is taken to a center where he is put down. Nobody attends his funeral to support CB except for his Goth-for-the-week sister. The play goes on to deal with CB asking his childhood friends where dogs go when they die. Upon being ignored by all his friends, CB turns to Beethoven, the gay pianist who has been shunned by the rest of the school. CB kisses Beethoven, and the story becomes one of self identity and sexuality.
Once this is brought up to Matt, CB’s homophobic and germaphobic best friend, he goes out of his way to make Beethoven’s life a living hell. Beethoven is tormented and commits suicide, leaving CB to wonder whether anyone is listening. It turns out that at that same moment, he receives a letter from his pen pal, the one person who has been objectively listening the entire time. As an inspiring actress, there are many moments of the play that allowed me to relate to some of the characters as they were brought forth in real life. All the characters were portrayed in a way that drew me back to high school and brought back some of the memories.
They were portrayed as the stereotypical personas that exist in each and every high school. This leads into the first scene that made a memorable impact for me. In the scene Spork, we meet Tricia York and Marcy. These are the two stereotypical popular girls that have nothing better to do but to talk behind people’s backs and gossip about who’s doing who and why. I found the acting in this scene memorable because of how Tricia’s character was portrayed. I found her to be the character I would most like to portray in this play due to the fact that she is outspoken.
Tricia has no problem with talking behind other people’s back and criticizing their lives. She is a character you love to hate, yet hate to love. Even though this was one of the most comedic scenes of the play, it also showed how alcohol is abused among teens. The girls who were acting out these parts were able to really demonstrate how underage drinking can affect youth and why it should not be abused. The fact that these girls are drinking lead to them to be careless about CB’s dog dying and reacting in a way that is harassing toward CB’s emotions. The next scene that really impacted me was Fire is Bad.
In this scene, CB goes to visit Van’s Sister at a mental institution. She has been institutionalized for setting the Little Red-Haired Girl’s hair on fire, and won’t be let go until she says those three simple words; “fire is bad. ” She also doesn’t regret what she’s done because she feels the Little-Red Headed Girl deserved it. CB goes to her, not just to visit her, but to seek her advice about kissing another guy. Even though Van’s Sister is considered by the rest to be crazy, she shows to be the most normal character in the group and the one that reacts most calm to CB’s confession.
All other characters were repulsed by what CB had done. They did not care about his emotions or what he was going through. They reacted like crazy people living in a normal world. Van’s Sister, on the other hand, cared about what he had to say and proved to be a normal person despite being in a crazy world. In my opinion, she was also the most insightful of all the characters. She was able to console CB and comfort him regardless of what he may be. Most important, she sympathized with the fact that his dog died; something that none of his other friends were able to do.
The acting had a perfect combination of craziness and sincerity, and that made it memorable. The most impactful scene of all, however, was Viper’s Nest. This was the scene where CB first goes to the music room to find Beethoven and ask him if he believed in an afterlife. Beethoven immediately snaps at CB, and rightfully so. CB had harassed (both physically and emotionally) Beethoven all these years and is now coming to him for advice without even an apology. CB realizes he was wrong in how he treated Beethoven. By the end of the scene, CB kisses Beethoven, leaving both characters and the rest of the audience extremely confused.
The acting in this scene impacted me most for several reasons. First, it takes a lot of courage for one actor to kiss another actor of the same sex. In this case, it didn’t seem awkward for either of the actors involved. They both seemed to be completely immersed in their character. The next thing was that you could see the change in attitude between both characters. You see CB change from a bully, who physically hurt Beethoven, to someone who empathizes with Beethoven in feeling different. He goes as far as to defend Beethoven in front of everyone. You also see Beethoven let his guard down and finally open up to someone else.
I personally find this last scene to be the most difficult to act out due to the fact that there is so much emotion and passion between both characters. There’s a huge change in attitude and character development that has to come off right in order for the play to be good. This scene is what made the play for me. It was what brought this cartoon to life and actually made it about real human beings. I also found this scene difficult for the same reason that I found Sporks easy. Just like Tricia, Beethoven was outspoken. The difference, though, lies in that Tricia only talked about people behind their back.
Beethoven, on the other hand, was confronting CB face to face and you could feel the tension between both characters. Having to portray that with another actor seems something difficult, but it’s a challenge I would like to one day pursue. Overall, this play taught me that you can go above and beyond as an actress. It taught me not to be scared of taking challenges or being someone else. It is perfectly alright to take on a challenging role, even though it may be one that society is not comfortable with yet. In the end, that’s the same thing the play is about. It’s OK to be somebody else.