This production plays at the Harold J. Miossi CPAC Experimental Theater from December 1 to December 11, with shows Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Cuesta College’s nationally recognized theatre arts department presents the Tony Award-winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Harold J. Miossi Cultural and Performing Arts Center Experimental Theater beginning December 1.
Hailed as “one of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway” by The New York Times, the adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel runs only two weeks, through December 11.
Director bree valle says the play’s lead role of Christopher needs to be portrayed by an actor who understands the character’s challenges as a neurodivergent individual who navigates the “normal” world from a fascinating perspective. According to valle, she herself is neurodivergent and on the autism spectrum.
Fifteen-year-old Christopher (Dylan Hahn) has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret daily life. He sets out to identify the true culprit when he is accused of a crime, leading to an earth-shattering discovery and a life-changing journey.
“Dylan has spoken openly about his own challenges, not so unlike Christopher’s,” says valle. “We live in an extraordinary time in the history of performance, a moment in which ‘authenticity’ has become immensely important to our industry. I feel it’s our duty as theatre artists to honor and promote representational honesty. This show does that.”
valle says she is thrilled to bring this vital work to the stage because of its rich and experimental nature. “It requires a very special group of actors because it challenges them physically and emotionally,” she says. “The production also demands a bit of technical wizardry. It’s full of projections—with multiple projectors running simultaneously and those images and patterns woven into and overlapping the dazzling-fast lighting cues. It’s kind of a thrill-ride, and we have a wonderful team of designers.”
This production marks a “stepping away” from valle’s duties as the artistic director of Cuesta’s theatre arts department for some 20 years. “I feel the time is right to bring in guest artists and leaders who can share their fresh perspectives on our craft,” she says. “This is, after all, about our students, and their exposure to a multitude of mentors and teachers is healthy and enriching. We have always run a vigorous program at Cuesta College, and I expect that to continue far into the future.”