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OSWEGO – The new SUNY Oswego Blackfriars student production “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Fool” envisions that the gang of “peanuts” has grown up – and just like growing up in real life, it’s not always nice.
The show will run as a free virtual production from March 18-21.
After CB (the names in the play are protected by copyright) lost his beloved dog, he wonders about the afterlife and what awaits people after death in the play written by Bert V. Royal.
“‘Dog Sees God’ is a show about exploring your own identity,” said Giovanni Ayala-Martinez, the show’s director. “It’s a production that challenges the audience to look inside themselves and ask, ‘Who am I? ‘
“We see CB go through all of these changes after his dog dies, where he questions life itself and questions the afterlife,” continued Ayala-Martinez. “Then he starts wondering who he is and what he’s keeping around, and then he starts exploring his sexuality, and all mishaps come after that.”
Blackfriars Student Production (formerly known as Student Honors Production) consists of a cast and crew of almost exclusively SUNY Oswego students. This can create a unique experience for the audience while also providing extremely valuable experiences for the students involved in the production.
“Ever since I was a newbie at SUNY Oswego, I’ve wanted to do the production for student honors,” noted Ayala-Martinez, senior dual major in theater and creative writing. “I always wanted to be a director and I actually directed it [and wrote] a show from my senior year at school. “
In order to participate in the productions, students must go through an interview process to get a role on the show. For his submission, Ayala-Martinez highlighted how he would work with the cast and crew to bring the show to life.
“I think my directing style is very collaborative,” he said. “I like to run a show where I ask my actors’ opinions, what they think they are doing and what they are contributing, what their characters are contributing to the production. I like to think that we build the show together instead of telling them what to do. “
The show is intended for a mature audience only and contains many intense themes. According to the show’s website, the production deals with “open discussion of LGBTQIA + identity, eating disorders, depression, mental health, extreme examples of verbal homophobia and suicide”.
“I want the audience to take away a bit of self-reflection,” said Ayala-Martinez. “Our world is so structured and strict … but it’s not always like that.”
Ayala-Martinez believes that the current state of the world makes production more and more relevant.
“I think now is the best time to look inside and think … how can we move forward so that we can show more acceptance and care and just share a little more love with each other after this pandemic,” he said.
The cast consists of Nick Sweet as CB, Anastasia West as CB’s sister, Evan Piccolo as Matt, Jared Mills as Van, Abby Hines as Van’s sister; Philip Jones as Beethoven, Bayana Burnell as Tricia and Shy Sims as Marcy.
The show will have drapes at 7:30 p.m. on March 18 and 19, with performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on March 20. Production ends the next day with a final show on March 21st at 7.30pm. “Dog Sees Gott” can be viewed free of charge, but tickets must be purchased in advance at the SUNY Oswego box office via tickets.oswego.edu.
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