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Chinook High School explores compassion in the Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time

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We’ll take a cup of kindness, yet.

Chinook High School presents The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-, Dec. 12-15. Photo by Richard Amery
 Chinook High School hopes to promote compassion and understanding with their production of “ the Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-time, which runs  Dec. 12-17.

The Simon Stephens penned drama, based on  Mark Haddon’s novel is a five time Tony Award winning, seven time Olivier Award winning play. Chinook High School drama teacher Duane Piper is directing the production.

“ So we feel pretty lucky to be able to do it,” said assistant director, Grade 12 student Kaitlin Carter.
“It is about Christopher Boone, A 15-year-old with autism who is really good at math. We get to see the world through his eyes,” Carter continued, adding the 25 member cast and crew tell the story though  a lot of tech, sound, storytelling as well as the acting itself.

“The Story opens with Christopher finding a dead dog on the road and is blamed for it because he is first on the scene, but he decides to try and solve the mystery and find out who did it,” she described, noting as the story progresses, he discovers a devastating secret about his family.

“ It’s a really exciting project for us to work on,” she said adding Chinook students are working with more tech and fewer cast than in most of their previous performances.
“It’s definitely a drama, though there are some funny moments,” she said, adding  the story contains some important lessons about compassion, caring  and empathy for other people.

“There are two actors who play Christopher. One of them is on the spectrum for autism, though Christopher is a lot further along the spectrum, she added, noting the cast hand crew have learned a lot of lessons about compassion from working with an actor with autism.


Joe Eppert and Damian Currie rehearse for Chinook High School’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Dec. 12-15. Photo by Richard Amery
“We wantedRegan Landin rehearses for Chinook High School’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Dec. 12-15. Photo by Richard Amery to portray the character in a respectful way,” she said. The cast and crew have been rehearsing this production since the beginning of October.
Damian Currie, a 17-year-old Grade 11 student, noted he brings out Christopher’s innocence.

“ There are two of us playing Christopher and they are both slightly different. He’s a nice kid. I’ve been trying to bring out his innocence,” Currie said, noting he has been acting since he was 7.

“ Christopher Boone is a 15-year old with autism.  He”s really nice and he loves his pet rat, Toby,” Currie continued.
“ I’ve been to bring out his really innocent way of seeing the world,” he said.

“I’m a lot different than he is. He’s really good at math and I’m terrible at it,” he said.
“The is play is a really great way to get into the mind of someone  with autism and see the world through their perspective,” he said.

The play is still running on Broadway and London’s west end, it was just opened up for other productions last year, and to director Duane Piper’s knowledge, this is the southern Alberta premiere though The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton did it last spring.
 Parental guidance is recommended as the play includes mature themes and language.  The show begins at 7 p.m. each night.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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