Remember Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty and the whole crew from the venerable comic strip, Peanuts? This very unauthorized satire, a regional hit in 2011, imagines them 10 years after their famous childhood exploits, in the throes of puberty at a contemporary high school. It isn't pretty. With the onset of teen angst, all those early, uncorrected personality traits have blossomed into substance abuse, varying sexual indiscretions, pyromania and performance art.
But after starting out as a cross between John Hughes and John Waters, Burt Royal's script finds a heart among what could have been one-joke characters. This production has another twist: Actual high-schoolers play these high-school roles, as the region's oldest independent company for secondary school students enters its 12th season. —Byron Woods