The autistic mind of a 15-year old boy named Christopher is explored in the play “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” which premiered in London in 2012 and is presented by the Santa Fe Playhouse from July 19 through August 5.
Written by Simon Stephens and based on a novel of the same name by Mark Haddon, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is about how Christopher, a mathematical genius who fancies himself to be an amateur detective, solves the mystery of the death of his neighbor’s dog, which was killed with a garden fork.
He relentlessly searches for the dog’s murderer, even after his father objects.
“We bring Christopher’s imagination to life in the play,” explains director Patrick MacDonald.
“This production has 109 different projections in it that are meant to evoke emotional reactions. We’re creating sensory overload as a way of communicating the autistic mind.”
Christopher, who is played by 19-year old Santa Fe actor Gabriel Multedo, is the focus of the play. Multedo hasn’t worked with Santa Fe Playhouse before, MacDonald says.
“He’s a raw talent,” MacDonald adds. “He showed up at our auditions, and we just knew he was right for the role.”
A total of 10 actors are in the production, with several of them assuming multiple roles.
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a hero’s journey,” says the Playhouse’s artistic director Vaughn Irving in a press release. “It is about overcoming adversity, shaking off the traumas of the past and embracing the challenges of the future. Finding your way through the trials and tribulations of life is a universal experience, and that’s why it makes for great art. The play will take you into a familiar world, but make you see it all in a new way, and hopefully help you see your own way through.”