Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

On February 7th I saw the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens, based on the book by Mark Haddon. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 2015. The play tells the story of Christopher, an exceptional young boy with autism who is accused of killing a neighbor’s dog. Like Sherlock Holmes, he seeks to find out the real killer of the dog.

It is a beautifully staged and acted play, full of the best KC talent. Jamie Saunders had a difficult job, because he had to convey stimming behaviors and self-inflicted injury while keeping Christopher from becoming a caricature of what someone with autism actually is. As someone with a family member with similar stimming behaviors when they become overwhelmed, in my opinion, I feel that he did an excellent job.

What I learned from this play: Use your set. Remember that it’s a play, which is different than any other medium. It’s live. With real people. It’s something different from a movie and a book. The beauty of the play was how the actors moved to create the scenery within the beauty of the simple creation. The lighting was beautiful. It was hard to tell what must have been direction from the playwright and what was direction from Marissa Wolf, but it conveyed imagination. I do not have to simply make all my plays about people talking at a table if the story is compelling enough.


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