From the streets of Manhattan as a New York Times Best-Seller, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" and its theatrical adaptation are coming to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. The show follows Christopher, a young boy who uniquely sees the world, and begins to unravel the mysteries that are increasingly stacking up in his life.
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” at its core, “is a story about understanding others and overcoming fears” says director and newly appointed artistic director of the Nashville Repertory Theatre Micah-Shane Brewer.
“The job of the play is to try to create a space for the audience to see the world through Christopher’s eyes. Along the way, we learn truths about empathy, survival, love, and kindness,” Brewer said. Starting with the bizarre death of a neighbor’s dog and resulting in an audience who can better understand this hyper-analytical approach to life, “While the play doesn’t specify in what way Christopher is neurodivergent, he exhibits many of the characteristics of an individual on the autism spectrums,” says director of audience development Amos Glass. While the book and subsequent play have tackled the social issues that arise in differently abled person’s lives, the story has been criticized for downplaying the severity of the specific problems.
“I did no research for Curious Incident,” said author Mark Haddon on his blog in 2009. “Imagination always trumps research. I thought that if I could make Christopher real to me then he'd be real to readers.”
While the specifics of the character have become a ground for contention, his undeniable charisma has been drawing readers in since the early 2000s. No matter the specifics in diagnosis, “the character of Christopher sees the world in a different and special way, unlike anyone else around him. As a society, we’re often very quick to label things, people, and situations. We often spend our time feeling perplexed at why other people are behaving in a certain way. We can empathize with people more when we learn to see the way they process the world,” said Brewer. With the technical excellence of Mellissa K. Durmon, Darren Levin, Gregg Perry, Katie Cunningham, Eric D. Pasto-Crosby, and Stage Managed by Wilhelm Peters, this production is sure to transcend beyond the bounds of a script and be fully realized into something of elegance and soul. From March 24 - April 2, Nashville Repertory Theatre's “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" will be showing, continuing to build on their season of unwavering courage.
This article was written by Zach Watkins