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Cast enjoys challenge of this year’s fall show

This year’s fall show will showcase the depth of our students’ acting abilities. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time debuts Friday, Sept. 20, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ray Day Little Theatre. Additional show times are Sept. 21, 28 and 29 at 7:00 p.m., as well as one matinee on Sunday, Sept. 22, at 2:00 p.m.

The Tony Award-winning play, based on the novel by Mark Haddon and adapted by Simon Stephens, seeks to reveal the complexities of the human spirit. Using a non-traditional dramatic structure, it explores the inner world and perspective of the main character, Christopher. The people in Christopher’s world are not perfect, and they must reckon with their failings and all too human frailties to come together and support him. Due to its mature subject matter, this production is recommended for audiences 14 and older. 

Director Mrs. Lynne Miller said she chose the play because the last few years were comedies, and this drama appealed to her because it won Best Play in 2015 and would be “challenging for our students.”

The ensemble play requires the entire cast to remain on stage for the length of the show – but also uses imaginative techniques to portray the world inside Christopher’s mind. Although not specifically stated, his thought pattern and actions imply that he is on the autism spectrum. To make his world believable and authentic, the cast will have to draw on a “depth of emotion” as their characters interact with him, Mrs. Miller said.

“It’s about understanding that we’re all different and adapting to that,” she said. “It’s also about a family that makes some pretty heavy mistakes and in the end can reconcile” bringing the play to end “on an upbeat note.”

Senior Luke Rodski plays Christopher and  said his character is unlike any other he’s ever played before – or anyone he knows. So he did a lot of research and watched other versions of the show in order to portray his character in a way that is authentic and sensitive to his disability.

“I really like that for a lead character, he’s not an ‘average Joe,’” Luke said. “He’s got his own unique character traits. But it definitely isn’t easy.”

Senior Stephen Wilson plays Ed, Christopher’s father. For Stephen, who’s used to playing the comic relief, being a lead character in a dramatic play is “an interesting challenge,” he said. His goal is to “put myself in Ed’s shoes and try to experience how hard it is to be a father to someone like Christopher.”

Senior Claire Reyes plays Judy, Christopher’s mother. She said she has had to push herself to understand her character and her frame of mind because she doesn’t know anyone like Christopher – and her character isn’t in his life much.

“I’m much different than her personality,” Claire said. “It’s difficult putting myself into all that turmoil she’s going through.”

But the experience is still fun, Claire said, and she likes how the cast has all come together.

Senior Regan Elias is Siobhan, Christopher’s teacher. Her character isn’t in many scenes, but she is also the narrator, allowing her to voice Christopher’s emotions — meaning she must be ready to switch between two different characters.

“I just put myself in a mode where I can know Siobhan’s emotions and also Christopher’s emotions,” Regan said.

She said it is an intense experience being on stage with the full cast but she looks forward to audiences seeing it.

“It’s much more serious, but there are upbeat moments and moments of suspense,” Regan said.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance via the Providence website or by calling 812-945-2538 x 314 or at the box office prior to the show. Limited seating is available.

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