The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time


Addison Wallace

Christopher Boone (Jaxon Smith) imagining himself flying.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon is a book about Christopher Boone, a fifteen year old boy with high-functioning autism. He views the world differently from most, noting little details and acquiring knowledge far beyond his years. The book follows Christopher as he investigates his neighbor’s dog’s death, unveils shocking truths about his life, and finds a new bravery within himself.

Cottonwood High School’s latest melodrama was adapted from Haddon’s book. The cast and crew worked together for five weeks to put on one of the best melodramas I have seen produced at Cottonwood. It was very technical, requiring few props, and mainly based around the story-line and the main character. They skillfully chose music and a set that fit the mood of the play and created the image they wanted. Using fewer props than in a normal play, they directed the audience’s attention to Christopher’s reactions to the things around him and focused on how he perceives the world.

Colt Roundup interviewed Lily Hilden, who played Christopher’s mother, about her experience in the play. Hilden said, “The crew had to work extremely hard with the lighting and sound, because they were such important factors.” She also said that they had to spend a lot of time working on trust and movement because it involved lifting multiple members of the cast. When asked what the hardest part for her was she replied, “being able to switch between emotions. During the show, there weren’t any breaks between scenes, and everything blended together, so the transitions between were difficult to make.”

This melodrama was different from previous plays because it required stage lights, so it was set in the auditorium instead of the theater. Jaxon Smith, who played Christopher Boone, realistically portrayed a teenager with autism. The time and effort invested in producing The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-time was evident. Even though it was one of the smaller productions at Cottonwood, it was clear the cast and crew put their hearts into making it the best performance they could.