48° San Marcos
The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Student-directed show to challenge America’s societal system

MY+BARKING+DOG+-+1
MY BARKING DOG – 1

For two years, Jane Johnson, performance and production senior, aspired to direct “My Barking Dog,” a play that challenges the system America lives in and whether the younger generation should stick by the current societal and political constructs or start all over. Now, the show is coming to life on a Texas State stage.
“I know a lot of people in our generation are dissatisfied with racist institutions, racist policies, the shadow of capitalism and the shadow of colonialism hangs over us every single day,” Johnson said. “It’s like that quote that Timothée Chalamet says very jokingly in an interview where he said, ‘societal collapse is in the air.’ That’s what the show feels like, where we’re asking ourselves, ‘Should it? Should society collapse? Would that be for the better?’”
“My Barking Dog” takes place in a studio apartment, where two individuals’ lives are changed as a coyote is found on the back of their apartment stoops. The show follows a simple summary but entails concepts like isolation, capitalism and liberation.
As a transgender woman, Johnson longed for an opportunity to express her identity and how it is affected by how society treats the transgender community. Over time, Johnson developed skills to relay those expressions and direct a large-scale show that prompted revolutionary ideas.
Johnson has also decided to keep the show’s full summary and list of concepts that it addresses a mystery to give the audience an insightful shock.
“I read the play two years ago and it’s all I’ve ever thought about since, the ideas that it propagated inside me and that’s what I want to give to people where they see this and they’re initially shocked by its ideas, but it stays with them and carries with them,” Johnson said.
Johnson did not hold auditions for “My Barking Dog” as the show requires an articulate set of skills. Instead, she chose actors by observing students in previous performances and acting classes.
Although she struggled initially to find the right ones, Johnson is ecstatic to relay the talent within the cast through a societally challenging performance.
“The show deals with a lot of shocking and bold subjects, and it requires an actor who is willing to thoroughly explore these ideas in rehearsal and discuss them and be comfortable enough just to think about these ideas but also portray them and commit to them and believe them,” Johnson said.
Johnson is driven to make “My Barking Dog” a show to remember by emphasizing purpose and determination for a change.
“I want the audience to see the boldness in the show and the ability for change,” Johnson said. “The appetite for dissatisfaction. The whole show is about dissatisfied people finding a purpose and the radical means that they take to achieve them. I do think that we should throw down the system, just to be clear.”
Johnson will present “My Barking Dog” at 7:30 p.m. from April 21-23 at the Theatre Center in room 106.
To keep up with “My Barking Dog” visit its Instagram @my.barking.dog.

Donate to The University Star

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The University Star