The Drama department at John Burroughs High School presents three performances of the Tony Award-winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 22, 23 and 24, in the school auditorium.
Based on the novel by Mark Haddon amd adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time follows the story of 15-year-old Christopher, who discovers his neighbor’s dead dog and takes it upon himself to clear his name from suspicion and follow the clues to determine who murdered Wellington the dog. Christopher, while exceptional at mathematics, has trouble reading social cues and interacting with others in everyday life, manifesting what many describe as Asberger’s or autism spectrum behavior.
According to Haddon, as he wrote on his blog in 2010, the book is “a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way.”
“Directing Curious Incident, I have reflected on how lucky I am to work with such talented and dedicated students!” commented Drama teacher Guy Myers. “As this show tries to help the audience see things through Christopher’s eyes, the students and I have taken great care to be respectful of his story and the unique way he sees the world.”
“This play is inventive and innovative and unlike anything we have ever produced here at JBHS,” he added. “Hopefully everyone comes out to support our wonderful program and experience this special performance by our drama students! With live music and quirky staging and choreography, this is going to be a memorable night of theatre.”
“Being a part of The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time is like nothing else I have ever done,” said senior Jordyn Holt. “Visually, the show is captivating and unique, and our lighting, sound and tech crew all do a fabulous job at executing Mr. Myers vision for this compelling show.”
“I have loved playing Siobhan, Christopher’s teacher, as her guidance and influence on him has allowed me to tap into a mature and understanding side of myself. Being able to help Christopher process information, but also to merely observe how his mind uniquely functions is really valuable, as it not only provides me with a deeper understanding of students with autism, but if students with familial troubles as well.”
“Christopher is resilient, intelligent, brave, and loyal, and it has been an honor to play such a prominent part in his mind,” Holt also said. “It’s also been such a thrill to perform alongside some of my best friends in our last dramatic show of high school; I cannot thank Mr. Myers or this wonderful cohort more.”
“Preparing to play Ed has been quite a whirlwind. Ed is complex. He loves his son, but doesn’t have a full comprehension of how to show that love, so it manifests in anger, which has been difficult to portray,” commented senior Wyatt Wheeler. “It has been draining to get into the mindset night after night of a man who has had everything stripped from him, but it has provided me a lot of empathy.”
“I’ve been spending a lot more time thinking about what other people are dealing with, and that’s what I want to convey with this show – everybody is a human, and everyone has struggles. This show paints the image of flawed people, from Ed’s missteps as a dad to Judy’s attempts to understand her son.”
“Christopher has Asperger’s, and the show does a fantastic job of showing him as a kid who happens to have Asperger’s rather than a kid with Asperger’s,” added Wheeler. “I feel that people will leave this show more empathetic towards others, and being a part of that is something special.”
“Working as both an actor and student producer on Curious Incident has allowed me to really see the love and effort that has gone into this production,” said senior Ariana Kretz. “Because of my work both onstage and off, I can say with certainty that each individual who has helped to create this show has put deliberate thought and care into their role, whether that be as an ensemble member, costume designer, props manager or leading part.”
“The opportunity to tell such a unique story about a largely underrepresented demographic of our society (those with autism) has been a huge learning experience and is incredibly meaningful to everyone involved. It’s been a pleasure to work as a student producer on this show, and I’m so grateful that I get to end my senior year in Drama with Curious Incident!”
“Playing Christopher in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was a challenge,” commented senior Eli Staub. “Portraying a character with Asperger’s not only requires the actor to do enough research so that the portrayal is respectful and accurate, but also figure out how to see the world through a slightly different lens.”
“What made the role fun was being able to look at the world a little differently — with more curiosity and analysis — and then letting that inform my acting choices. I aspired to work from the inside out as opposed to the outside in, so that I wasn’t copying other portrayals but instead finding a unique and special voice.”
“Christopher is a brave and passionate boy with a very unique voice and boundless curiosity for the universe,” Staub also said. “I loved playing this character and am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be him.”
“This production promises to be something extra special, not only because of the incredible Tony-award winning script based on the terrific novel by Mark Haddon, but also because our students, parents and community have worked so hard to get it right,” Myers added.
“With heartfelt performances from our students, fantastic tech direction from Jon King, beautiful lighting design by alum Billy Yakes, elaborate staging and movement, a fantastic three piece band led by alum Andrew Orbison, a brilliant new motion orb lighting system that the drama and choir departments co-purchased together, and some new set pieces built by John Benne and his students, you won’t want to miss this!”
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time opens Friday, November 22 at 7:00 p.m., with additional performances Saturday, November 23, at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 24, at 2:00 p.m.
Student tickets are $10, seniors $15 and adults $20. Tickets may be purchased in advance via the jbhsdrama.com website or at the box office ahead of each show.
The John Burroughs High School auditorium is located at 1920 W. Clark Avenue in Burbank.