I have a few minutes this morning to tell you about an AMAZING play we saw on Sunday afternoon in SF: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. My husband and I may be the last people to catch this amazing production, but if you’re a straggler, try to find it near you and get tickets. It’s THAT good.
It started as a novel by Mark Haddon, which I read years ago. Walking into the play, I didn’t remember many details except that it was a glimpse into the world of autism through the eyes of one young man, Christopher. I remember being blown away by the story. But the play . . . it left me reeling. Please note: there will be no spoilers here.
I should say up front that I don’t have autism, but there are people in my life who do and who I seriously love; I also have students I adore who have autism.* Keeping in mind that every person’s experience of having autism is different, hence the spectrum, I recognized bits and pieces of the people I know and love. I wonder what each would say if they had seen it?
The set design alone is brilliant — a simple gray grid that lights up with neon flashes, provides the canvas for a glimpse into Christopher’s mind and is deconstructed to produce doorways and cubbies, tables and stools. It’s the script and the acting though — the physicality and exceptional portrayal of the main character with all his challenges and areas of giftedness — that will leave you speechless.
In Christopher’s quest for truth, we are presented with some truths about life. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime left me swimming in awe and wonder. It’s no wonder I can’t get it out of my mind.
*As someone who is neurotypical, I struggle with what is the appropriate and correct reference: autistic people or people who have autism. It seems that it depends on the person’s preference. If you have autism and feel strongly one way or another, please let me know. I’d like to get it right one of these days.