Learning more about difference, through theater
Sopris Theatre Company’s 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' hits CMC’s Spring Valley campus Nov. 24-Dec. 3
Nov. 21, 2023 – Sopris Theatre Company, located at Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley campus, presents “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” The show is a CMC student-and-community-theater production of the Tony Award-winning 2015 play, adapted by Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon’s acclaimed 2003 book.
Performances will take place at the company’s New Space Theatre (3000 County Road 114 in Glenwood Springs) at 7 p.m. on Nov. 24 and 25 and Dec. 1 and 2, as well as 2 p.m. shows Nov. 26 and Dec. 3.
The play, which tells the story of 15-year-old Christopher unraveling the mystery of the untimely demise of his neighbors’ dog, has long been noted for its accurate and positive depiction of a character living on the neurodiverse/autistic spectrum.
Brad Moore, Sopris Theatre Company’s operations manager, directed and designed the show and says he chose the Stephens/Haddon play as it offers a perspective rarely seen in theater, though certainly reflecting a more active community conversation in recent years.
“This season, we’ve worked on trying to open up to topics that don’t just place people in monolithic groupings,” Moore says. “It’s clear to us that this show, and all of our cast and crew, is about offering their impressions – we’re not experts on the subject, but we are storytellers.”
Moore worked with playwright Stephens a year and a half ago during the Aspen Fringe Festival and says that his genius is presenting Christopher’s story not as a focus on disability, but simply an illustration of difference.
“We appreciate just sharing the experience and seeing what the audience takes from it, without being preachy,” Moore adds.
Moore notes that the local actor playing Christopher, CMC student JD Edmonds, is himself on the autistic spectrum, and serves as an inspiring and entertaining force as he helps lead the show.
“He’s become a leader and is able to carry the show – he’s also so gracious and funny, as well,” Moore says. “He says that he loves doing this piece, as he’s able to speak on behalf of people who are dealing with similar situations to him.”
Sopris Theatre Company will also be staging “The Curious Incident” at Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House in January 2024.
Sopris Theatre Company is sponsored by U.S. Bank and through a City of Aspen Arts and Culture grant.