Darien High’s Theatre 308 presents “a curious incident” in fall show, opening Thursday
Theatre 308’s fall production is “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”
Directed by Andrew Rejan, and starring Jackson Wood as Christopher Boone, Perrin Trask as Siobhan, and Elizabeth Kelley as Judy Boone, Theatre 308 will be bringing Mark Haddon’s novel and Simon Stephens play to Darien.
Rejan provided an overview on the production, saying, “The play, like the novel it is based on, begins with a mystery. Christopher, who is 15 years old and loves math, decides he is going to get to the bottom of who killed the neighbor’s dog. But the play is ultimately about another mystery, the mystery of Christopher’s unique mind.”
He continued, “By showing Christopher’s extraordinary perspective and ability as well as the challenges he faces, the play celebrates neurodiversity and empathy in the face of difference.”
Rejan also spoke about how the play has given the cast and crew the ability to work on skills outside of typical theater production. “I love the way the play invites the audience into the world of Christopher’s mind.”
“It has been an amazing opportunity for the students to compose original music, create original animations, and collaboratively devise movement sequences that all reflect Christopher’s thought process and inner world,” Rejan said.
“Developing this character with dignity and complexity is not just the responsibility of the one actor in the role of Christopher. Everyone creatively involved in the production onstage and off is contributing to the exploration of the character. The whole ensemble is working together to bring the audience into Christopher’s mind space,” he said.
Jackson Wood, who plays the main character, spoke about his role as Christopher Boone. “For me the most rewarding part of playing this beautiful character is going on the journey with the audience as if the audience is a part of Christopher’s mind. The role although physically and emotionally exhausting, as I never leave the stage or the action, is an invigorating experience.”
Wood continued, “The show is not about isolating Christopher as ‘different’ but rather forces the audience to see a point of view one might initially think they have anything in common with. The show is also quite balletic for me, and for Christopher he is constantly trying to put things into the correct place. Due to this, the role requires an incredible amount of focus and specificity.”
Perrin Trask, who plays Siobhan, Christopher’s teacher, also spoke about her role. Trask said Siobhan reads excerpts from Christopher’s book in order to translate his thinking to the audience.
“I have loved to learn about Siobhan's patience. She hangs on Christopher's every word because she loves to learn about his exquisite mind. Her willingness to take the time to understand Christopher is telling of her open-mindedness and reluctance towards negativity,” said Trask.
She also shared that her character has taught her some life lessons. “By embodying her calm demeanor I have been able to carry this trait into my own life; Siobhan has made me a better actor and person.”
Elizabeth Kelley plays Judy Boone, the protagonists mother. Her character was absent from Christopher’s life for two years, but comes back into his life throughout the show.
Kelley further explained her role, “She is grappling with being reintroduced into Christopher’s life and trying to navigate his way of being that is so different from her own. She’s torn between loving him but also not being able to understand him.”
Kelley shared her thoughts on the play and its significance, “My favorite part of being involved with the show is that the show that gives the cast and audience a chance to explore the perspective of a character whose unique mindset has not really been widely explored in the media. Christopher’s mind is a very fascinating place to inhabit, and I’m excited to share that experience with the audience.”
Theatre 308’s production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” will be at the Darien High School auditorium from Thursday, Nov. 21 to Saturday, Nov. 23. Tickets can be purchased at: https://search.seatyourself.biz/webstore/accounts/theatre308/buy-tix?d=0&event=.