SELMA – “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” is being performed at the Selma Arts Center from Feb. 15-25. California State University, Fresno, professor Ruth Griffin is the director.
‘Curious Incident’ was previously presented at SAC in 2017 as a staged reading in collaboration with Open Book Productions. SAC Coordinator Nicolette Andersen said she’s excited that “we get to tell this story in a fuller, livelier capacity and with such an incredible group of artists. It’s a very thought-provoking play and one that is sure to stay with you even days after experiencing it.”
The play is based on British author Mark Haddon’s novel and was adapted by Simon Stephens. It centers on 15-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone who has extraordinary mind when it comes to mathematics, but is ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. Christopher’s condition is not stated, but the book’s blurb refers to Asperger syndrome, high-functioning autism, or savant syndrome. Haddon had written in his blog in 2009 that ‘Curious Incident’ “is not a book about Asperger’s... if anything, it’s a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way.”
The main character has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road. He detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. When Boone discovers that his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, has been speared with a garden fork and killed, he’s determined to solve the mystery of who murdered the pet. His detective work is forbidden by his father, but takes him on a thrilling journey that upturns his world.
This is the SAC’s season opener and features some of the area’s best-known actors including Chris Mangels and Terry Lewis who share the role of Ed, Christopher’s father. Lewis will play the role for the first weekend of performances and Mangels closes the run in the second weekend.
Also featured in the production are Jared Serpa, Diane Fidalgo Julie Lucido, Juan Luis Guzman, Camille Gaston, Laramie Woolsey, Bryan Beckstrand, Michael C. Flores, Nwachukwu Oputa, Ben Applegate and Jessica Meredith.
“Curious Incident” won five Tony’s in 2013 including Best Play and is considered an explosive mix of energy, technology and movement. Of the latter, Griffin writes, “After seeing the play for the first time, it was the movement used in the storytelling that thrilled me. I have always been interested in the cross-section of dance and theatre and what I call ‘imaginal realism’ in theatre, where the body and its interaction with other bodies in the space is subtext.”
Griffin adds that many of the technological elements will be presented through the use of digital projections created by Central Valley native, Dominic Grijalva.
Tickets are $19 adult, $17 student/senior, $15 children and may be purchased by going online to selmaartscenter.com, calling 891-2238 or at the Selma Arts Center box office at 1935 High St., Selma.