The ensemble cast of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time took the audience on a real journey through the metaphysical with the support of cutting edge visuals and evocative sounds. With subtle sets and sparsely propped scenes, the fall play encouraged viewers to engage with the story and absorb the performance while gaining insight into the realities and variability of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The story, essentially a multi-layered mystery, was told largely through the eyes of Christopher, an Autistic teenager portrayed by Stephen Peschel '22, who soared in his largest role to date. The part of Siobhan—Christopher’s counselor, confidant, and schoolteacher—was acted by Merilee Weil '21. Max Weigel '20 and Annabel Weil '20 showed the often difficult realities of living with and loving an Autistic child in their roles as Christopher’s separated parents.
Large-scale projections, designed and generated by professional lighting designer Peter Leibold in conjunction with Millbrook's Math Department, served as scenery, emphasizing plot points while sustaining the intensity of the play. The ensemble cast employed minimal props, and there were no scenery changes, which led to a well-paced plot and kept the audience focused.
Peschel’s interpretation of Christopher was well-researched, nuanced, and respectful. Though some of Christopher’s behaviors and reactions are extreme, Peschel portrayed him with candor, respect, and a measure of sympathy appropriate to the story. The audience, comprised of students, faculty, and friends, was held in thrall by the play and the performance.
At intermission, theatergoers viewed an exhibit by adult artists in the Expressive Arts program at the Anderson Center for Autism in Staatsburg. Students also held a bake sale with proceeds to benefit the work of the Anderson Center.