“…be prepared to have all your emotional and sensory buttons pushed,
including a few you may have not known existed.”
– The New York Times
The University of SC Theatre Program will present The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the critically-acclaimed stage adaptation of the bestselling novel, April 5-13 at Longstreet Theatre.
Winner of five Tony® Awards (including “Best Play”), Simon Stephen’s stage adaptation of Mark Haddon’s beloved novel has been hailed as “a phenomenal combination of storytelling and spectacle” (The Times). The play takes audiences along on the life-changing journey of fifteen-year-old Christopher, a math savant on the autism spectrum who becomes consumed with finding the killer of his neighbor’s dog. He soon finds that fingers are pointing at him as the suspect, setting him off on a daunting odyssey that turns his entire world upside down.
Although it is commonly acknowledged that Christopher is autistic, that description is never specified in either the novel or the play. For director Robert Richmond, however, the question of whether or not Christopher is autistic misses the point.
“It’s a show about awareness,” he says. “It’s a show and a story that asks us to find the things we have in common rather than the things that divide us.”
Richmond and his artistic team have envisioned a design and in-the-round staging that
will enable the audience to experience the story from Christopher’s unique point of
It’s about creating this ‘photonegative’ idea that Christopher doesn’t have special needs – the rest of the world does.
“We want the audience to be able to get inside Christopher’s head,” he explains. “It’s about creating this ‘photonegative’ idea that Christopher doesn’t have special needs – the rest of the world does.”
The immersive experience will begin before the show, as the audience will be ushered into the theatre from below via Longstreet’s hydraulic stage. They will then be welcomed into a planetarium-inspired environment created by scenic designer Jim Hunter, a nod to the central character’s infatuation with all things outer space. Richmond says the entirety of the theatre, including its overhead lighting grid and domed ceiling, will be incorporated into the production’s 360-degree design.
Richmond says the on-stage storytelling will be equally distinctive, incorporating stylized movement by choreographer Terrance Henderson.
“I think the physical nature of this production is unusual to our main stage,” Richmond says. “It’s a full-bodied performance. Every cast member is doing something, creating something, so that you not only see the whirlwind challenges of Christopher’s journey, but experience it with him, too.”
Appearing in the production are graduate and undergraduate theatre students Tim Giles (as Christopher), Lochlan Angle, Kimberly Braun, Kinzie Correll, Amber Coulter, Jennifer Moody-Sanchez, Gabe Reitemeier, John Romanski, and M. Can Yasar, as well as guest actor (and UofSC theatre alum) Hunter Boyle. In addition to Jim Hunter and Terrance Henderson, the show’s artistic team includes graduate students Molly Morgan (costume designer), Allison Newcombe (projections designer), and Tyler Omundsen (lighting designer), and instructor Danielle Wilson (sound designer).
“The big question this play is asking us is whether Christopher is capable of pursuing the goals he would like to pursue, or if he is in some way overreaching his capabilities,” says Richmond. “But Christopher doesn’t fear what he’s capable of and shows that he is braver than perhaps every single ‘normal’ adult in the story.”
For more information about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time or the theatre program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.