Christopher Boone has an extraordinary brain. The 15-year-old is a mathematical genius but where he excels with numbers and equations, he stumbles over formulas of social interactions.
Set in London, England, the upcoming play at Village Theatre sees Christopher attempt to solve the mystery of a neighbor’s dead dog, of which he is wrongfully accused. Equipped with his extraordinary brain, but hampered by a strong distrust of strangers and a personal struggle to interpret everyday life, the journey will turn his life upside down while giving the audience an intimate look at the world through his eyes.
Brought to life by actor Michael Krenning, local audiences can embark upon Christopher’s adventure in “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” at Village Theatre.
Newly inducted artistic director Jerry Dixon also is the director for the production. Dixon pitched the five-time Tony award winning show to the board when they were scheduling the 2018-2019 season.
“I was just dazzled by the production,” Dixon said.
To Dixon, it’s a rich story about a family in crisis. While many plays have the main character experience the biggest change, this play has the supporting characters undergo the biggest changes.
“(Christopher) is unspoiled. While he’s surrounded by flawed characters, he himself remains pure. It’s the others who learn to change,” he said.
Dixon explained the play is about “otherness.”
“It tells the audience that we need to make other people’s lives better,” Dixon said.
Krenning, who plays Christopher, said his character displays “compassionate empathy” despite the fact he struggles with understanding and exhibiting acceptable social cues.
“It’s a truly unique show,” he said. “There really aren’t many shows out there quite like this, and it’s exciting to be a part of it.”
Krenning spent months preparing for the role before auditioning.
“This is the most challenging show I’ve been in so far,” he said. “Aside from being on stage the entire duration of the show and having the most dialogue, I wanted to dive into the character and understand how he thinks. I wanted to be able to show his compassionate empathy.”
Throughout working on the production, both Dixon and Krenning said they’ve experienced high levels of support from the rest of the cast and crew.
“It’s been awesome in the actual sense of the word,” Krenning said. “It’s been amazing to have such a supportive cast and crew.”
“One of the things I love seeing is the company becoming a company,” Dixon said. “Seeing the actors take care of one another and the crew coming together…everyone becoming one big cohesive family. I’m just really grateful to be here with all these amazing people.”
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” will be at Village Theatre from March 14-April 21. Tickets are available online at https://bit.ly/2TOmuI4.
As artistic director, Dixon said he’s been helping shape this season as a “season to say something.”
“We’ve really wanted audiences to be ‘unbuttoned’ by some of these shows. We’re known for doing ‘classics’ but we wanted to challenge them and invite them to see a show that goes a little beyond that,” he said.
However, the upcoming 2019-2020 season at Village Theatre will “be a season of joy.” Coinciding with the company’s 40th anniversary, Dixon said audiences should expect “fun, bubbly, buoyant musicals.”
“It’s a time for celebration, and we want our audiences to leave ‘walking on air,’ so to speak. It’ll be a time to escape from reality and just have fun,” he said.