Published March 11, 2019 | By Adrienne Proctor
Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre, CityRep, is presenting the regional professional premiere of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, an intriguing tale with a special main character. Curious Incident focuses on Christopher, a 15-year-old, exceptional young man with a mystery to solve. Christopher must find a way to navigate the unknown outside world and the detective work at hand, a dilemma that is harder for him than most.
Christopher has a special mind and therefore sees and experiences the world differently. He’s never ventured past his own street and faces retribution from his strict father. But he defies the odds and embarks on a life-changing journey to find out what happened to his neighbor’s dead dog. Armed with his extraordinary math skills and his record-keeping notebook, he sets off to crack the case.
Based on the acclaimed novel of the same title by Mark Haddon, Curious Incident first premiered on stage in London in 2012. It later premiered on Broadway in 2014 and won accolades throughout the theatre community, including Tony and Drama Desk awards for Outstanding Play in 2015. It has been called “a testament to the singular power of theatre” (Vogue) and “profoundly moving… dazzling” (Independent-London).
Curious Incident stars Cameron Law as Christopher, alongside Luke Eddy as his father Ed and Maria Hurdle as his mother Judy. Lisa Fairchild is Christopher’s teacher Siobhan. These four actors are making their CityRep debuts. Completing the cast is Allie Alexander, Mary Buss, Ruth Charnay, Matt Cheek, David Fletcher-Hall, Renee Krapff, Jacob Livesay, Dawson MacLeod, Denise Moses, and Kaylila Pasha.
Curious Incident is directed by CityRep Affiliated Artist W. Jerome Stevenson. Stevenson serves as Artistic Director of The Pollard Theatre in Guthrie. Hui Cha Poos choreographs the production and Steve Emerson serves as stage manager and sound designer. Scenic design is by Ben Hall with costume design by Lloyd Cracknell. Lighting design is by Adam Chamberlin.
Speaking by phone about the play, Stevenson says “The story is quite simple. It’s a coming of age story, one in which the main character unlocks family secrets, finds the key to understanding his parents and discovers the world isn’t black and white.” He continues, “it’s not about a disability, but about Christopher’s abilities that exceed beyond normal capabilities. Normalizing the character changes what makes him extraordinary. Those qualities that we consider normal, I question whether considering them that way really makes them better. Christopher certainly has quirks, behavioral problems, and discomfort with social cues. But no one is representative of all normal behavior. I’d rather be exceptional than just typical.”
Stevenson also adds that directing the production has been freeing, saying “The way Christopher sees the world is different, and because of that, it allows us freedom as artists to tell the story through his eyes and create a world the way Christopher sees it.”
CityRep is partnering with local organizations Autism Oklahoma and Oklahoma Autism Network in their objective to provide information and resources that assist parents and teachers of children with autism. CityRep also seeks to raise Autism awareness within the community at large. Presenting a play with a special needs character is an important step for representation and inclusion in the theatre.
Now in its seventeenth season, CityRep operates under the leadership of Artistic Director Donald Jordan. CityRep’s mission is to serve Oklahoma’s diverse artistic, educational and civic needs by providing dynamic professional theatre. They entertain, enlighten and inspire!