Relatable stories and experiences afford us the gifts of self-reflection and empathy, taking these messages home to share with our families, friends, and community. Perhaps there is no better channel for accessing this desire for fellowship than through the successes, tribulations, and tales of characters on the stage who look like us, resonate personally with us, and learn from their mistakes. Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead is a powerful reimagining of our daily lives transformed through one heart-wrenching, singular event and our fortitude in the face of adversity as our world shifts on its axis. The Theatre Program is proud to present this timely and realistic play’s ideas through dedicated, brilliant young actors, directors, and technicians, working tirelessly to give us a profound production about the contemporary struggles of navigating high school and growing up. As the excitement for this drama builds, remember to bring you and yours for performances on Nov. 9, 15, 16, and 17 at 7:30 p.m., plus Nov. 11 and 18 at 2:30 p.m. in Red Mountain Building 240 on Dandini Campus.
Bringing Out the Real Animal
The theatre department is lush with life, outstanding talent, and shows eager to take you on introspective adventures that will leave your heart and mind full after witnessing the sheer commitment on display. Dog Sees God is no exception, offering a chance to reflect on our similarities and differences, everything that makes you perfect how you are. There is beauty in imperfection, and the narrative before you seeks to support that uplifting notion. Tackling themes of depression, sexual identity, and mental illness are some of the deep subject matter addressed, but the hope is that you will leave feeling fulfilled, have a moment of clarity, and be pleased you attended in the end. So, what is this dark comedy about, anyway?
Our protagonist, CB, loves his beagle. Sadly, his dog goes into a rabid rampage, meeting a destructive end within the opening moments. This shattering event leaves CB despondent, a literal raincloud following him around, adding an extra layer of gloom he feels with every teardrop hitting him above and below the surface. He begins to ponder the afterlife and our existence, writing to a childhood pen pal expressing his doubts and fears, but this person has never returned his correspondence. He contemplates his regular interactions with his apprehensive sister Lucy, contentious friend Matt, vixens Marcy and Tricia, and inebriated thinker Van, all the while considering why his social circle is rife with unfavorable people. But when he unexpectedly connects with an artistic kid named Beethoven, the target of his group’s homophobic bullying, he discovers a relationship and a means to redefine his cookie-cutter personality. It may cost him more than he bargained for, though.
Johan Espinosa, a student actor at TMCC, will play the role of Matt, his second appearance in a theatrical setting and one he is thrilled to be involved with alongside other gifted individuals in our community.
“What I enjoy most is creating and becoming the mind of a different person. Everyone has their little gimmicks and quirks about themselves. It is fascinating. Every word, every glance, every blink should have meaning on stage. How that fits in with your character and portrays what you want the goal or message to be, because, in reality, we are all motivated by goals,” said Espinosa.
This hard-hitting adaptation is possible thanks to the tireless efforts of TMCC Visual and Performing Arts Faculty Shea King and Jared Sorenson, with invaluable help from Theatre Instructor Jessica Johnson. Espinosa sings their praises for the love and care they have shown him and his fellow performers, with nothing but the utmost respect for their teaching and mentorship, encouraging them to achieve their dreams and goals as actors and college students. Dog Sees God deserves an audience, giving us a moment to escape and find meaning in truths other than our own. What will your takeaway be when you finally walk through those doors on your way home?
“It touches on subjects in everyday life that we might not see, but once you visualize it on stage, it becomes more apparent. When we’re in these environments, schools, jobs, and all that, it’s so easy to overlook each other’s problems. But those problems are what makes you unlike anyone else. That’s what makes us human, in a way,” said Espinosa.
For more information, please visit the Performing Arts Season Schedule website.