NEWBURYPORT — Snoopy is dead.
For the first time in Newburyport High School’s history, its Theatre Department is moving on to the Dramafest State Finals and a deceased Joe Cool is what has gotten them there.
It’s part of the world of Bert V. Royal’s “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead,” a re-imaging of Charles Schulz’s beloved Peanuts characters and what they might be like if they were teenagers growing up in today’s world.
“Teenagers feel in that kind of in-between zone,” drama teacher and show director Lisa Zaleski said. “Sometimes they’re trying to be adult, sometimes they still want to be a kid and they get caught in between. And some of the choices these characters make as teenagers, they put them in some pretty ugly situations.”
The 40-minute show does indeed deal with some very adult themes such as drugs, alcohol and even suicide and is intended for mature audiences only.
“It does have a lot of adult content,” Zaleski said. “But ultimately, it is about kids being themselves. And being accepted for who they are.”
Cast members are Aisha Chodat, Hunter Gouldthorpe, Christian Doyle, Kyle McIntire, Michaela Good, Kristen Emerson, Kate Finn and Jordan Dunn-Pilz who plays CB, aka, Charlie Brown.
“At this point in his life, he’s questioning a lot of things,” Dunn-Pilz said of his character. “He’s lacking confidence and there’s a lack of hope after his dog dies. Everything kind of goes south. Where he’s hopeful as a kid, now he’s kind of lacking that hope and this story is kind of about him trying to regain that in the end.”
Dunn-Pilz said playing a teenage Charlie Brown isn’t much different than living as a teenager himself.