A stage of geometric shapes faces Christopher, who discovers that Mrs. Shears' dog has been murdered. The world of Christopher's linear mind is revealed as he faces the part of the world that truly scares him in order to be his true self. Christopher finds the truth on how Mrs. Shears' dog is murdered.
Louie Gallagher, as the Christopher, is the heart of the show. Gallagher employs not over exaggerated, but distinct movements. This constant fidgeting gives Gallagher the true physicality of a child like Christopher. He also embodies this character through his stamina and real thought process of how to solve a problem.
Ed, played by Kobe Takeda, gives a dynamic performance. Takeda illustrates how his character shows care through frustration like when he fights for his son to take this exam, despite the teacher's recommendation. Takdea's frustration counters Leah Schiffer, as Judy, who's physicality and tenderness makes Christopher at ease. Schiffer can also feel tension with Phoenix Cooley, as Roger, who's strong persona makes Christopher uncomfortable.
A standout performance is given by Hannah Thiel, as the nurturing Siobhan. With her fabulous Scottish accent, she is captivating while being sweet and maternal towards Christopher all at the same time. Thiel is an amazing mother figure throughout the entire show.
Emma Meza, lighting design, sets the tone of the show with anxiety and sensory overload. The LED lights installed on the set acts as it's own character in the show. Not only with color but also pattern and speed of the lights affect the tone of the scene. Whenever Christopher touches hands with a loved-one, the LED's calm down along with Christopher. Overall, the Lighting embodies Christopher's emotions.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Los Alamitos will make you want to reach for the stars.
by Blake Berggren of El Dorado
Los Alamitos High School urges audience members to step outside of their world view and into the inquistive mind of a loveable young man with their production of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time."
When 15-year-old Christopher Boone stumbles upon a murdered dog in the dead of night, what ensues is an investigation to find the culprit, which leads him to family secrets that crumble and restore the relationships he clings to.
Louie Gallagher embodies Christopher with a thoughtful stage presence, down to his constant fidgeting, indicative of his ever-calculating mind. He is always attentive, delivering Christopher's sometimes humorously blunt lines without missing a beat. Everything he says is a genuine reaction, never jumping on his co-stars' lines, which enables each actor to have their moment.
Hannah Thiel portrays Siobhan, Christopher's loving mentor, with grace. Her calm cadence of voice sets the tempo for the show and exemplifies the maternal instinct Christopher depends on.
Her thoughtful timing is matched by the ensemble, who move without hesitation and with a crucial fluidity, as Christopher's relentlessly quick mind necessitates equally fast-paced scene work. They supplement the set beautifully, as they portray imagery that is not otherwise possible, such as lifting Christopher up like he is floating in space.
The technical aspects directly convey the mood, primarily in the projections that serve as the backdrop. The color and timing of the lighting visualize Christopher's mind with minimal effort, like red, flashing lights to indicate sensory overload. One projection that particularly conveys the thematic element of family dynamics is that each time Christopher's dad Ed (Kobe Takeda) reaches out to him, white light slowly comes down in time with a calm sound effect. This repeated connection eases tense moments visually and highlights how they find solace in each other without prolonged physical touch, which Christopher is uncomfortable with. The costume crew also adhered to his tactile sensitivities, as he wears simple fabrics in loose garments, and they took care in using bold, symbolic colors, such as how Siobhan's bright red skirt in act one highlights her importance for Christopher's growth.
Each detail of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" builds a vivid interpretation of the world through the attentive eyes of an under-represented lens.
by Haley Brogden of El Dorado
A Curious Incident happen at Los Alamitos in the night-time
A curious incident happens in Swindon, England with a dog named Wellington, he is killed. A boy named Christopher finds the murderer through his resourceful work in math. This is the storyline of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Christopher, an autist kid, is very smart. He uses his unique brain in finding clues that leads to the killer of the dog. In searching for clues to the case, he finds out his mother is alive in London even though he was told she was dead.
Louie Gallagher plays the part of autistic Christopher wonderfully. He shows off his world of wonderful through his linear perspective of thinking. Throughout the play his fidgeting shows his stress of everyday life. His solid accent is consistent through the two acts. Siobhan is Christopher's teacher play by Hannah Thiel. Through her sumptuous and light-hearted attitude, light is brought into this play. Throughout the two acts she has a solid accent.
Kobe Takeda plays Ed,the father of Christopher. Throughout the first act he is angry and furious at Christopher because he was asking questions about the murder of Wellington. Through his anger at Christopher, he shows his disappointment and bitterness toward his son. Judy is Christopher's mysterious mother who he finds in London in the second act. Judy shows her character growth throughout the second act she is overjoyed to see Christopher. She gets protective with Christopher this shows her character's strain from her husband.
The ensemble is magnificent they were very consistent as a group. They were very effective with their pacing and flow as group. The ensemble were in time with each other and they never hesitate as an ensemble.
The exceptional lighting throughout the play shows the emotions of the characters like red representing anger and fury. Christopher doesn't like to be touched except by his mom the lighting represent the coolness and calming effect his mother gives. The significant costumes represents the relationship between Siobhan and Christopher because both of them were wearing red and red is one of Christopher's favorite colors. In the second act Siobhan wore grey represent she her own person then being less present with Christopher.
Los Alamitos production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nigt-Time shows the magnificent mind of Christopher and perspective of linear thought is brilliant.
by Kira Ayala of El Dorado
Los Alamitos High School's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" is genius!
Los Alamitos terrifically tells the story of Christopher, an intelligent 15 year old with autism. Christopher's neighbor's dog has been murdered, and he decides to find out who did it. During his investigation, he not only finds out who killed the dog, but unfolds some family secrets.
The set design, created by Will Schnieder and made a reality by Sam Neal, meshes perfectly with the light design, created by Emma Meza. The set consists of two large, linear black walls. Neon lights are strung neatly along the walls to create a geometric pattern across the entirety of the stage. This mimics how Christopher, portrayed by Louie Gallagher, thinks very linearly. The light cues, executed by Genique Clark, flow seamlessly into one another to follow Christopher's journey. Lights are used to symbolize anything from the ocean to static of a radio. All of this adds up to a clean, but still visually interesting, production.
The ensemble as a whole does a beautiful job of building the world from Christopher's perspective. They move and act as a unit, giving the production fluidity despite how hectic the story may seem. Particularly in the scene when Christopher rides the tube in London, the ensemble works to create a realistic representation of who and what Christopher sees. Nikki Ocampo plays two people that Christopher meets on his journey through London, Lady in the Street and Punk Girl. Each person she plays is distinct from the other and adds life to the stage. When portraying Lady in the Street, she displays haste and slight frustration. As Punk girl, when Christopher jumps onto the train tracks, she expresses true terror and shows a clear arch of emotion. Phoenix Cooley, who performs as Roger, does a wonderful job of intertwining comedic relief into an otherwise unredeemable character. He switches effortlessly between showing that Roger can be a funny guy and also a dangerous and unstable one. The cast as a whole embraces the lighthearted moments, despite it being an emotionally heavy and demanding show.
"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" at Los Alamitos High School is a touching and realistic story told by a deliberate technical team and a unified ensemble.
by Natalie D'Allura of El Dorado
Cracking the Case of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" at Los Alamitos
A neighborhood dog is found brutally murdered with a pitchfork, and a boy is at the scene of the incident, pitifully rolled up into a ball on the floor with his hands desperately covering his head. An uncompromising logician with an aversion to touch, metaphors, and the colours brown & yellow, Christopher Boone resolves to discover the culprit in spite of all the obstacles standing in his way. From his father to his fear of strangers to his visceral episodes of uncontrollable emotions, it seems that the odds are undoubtedly stacked against him in his endeavors. Thus begins the mysterious story of perseverance that is Los Alamitos High School's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time."
As Christopher Boone, Louie Gallagher wears an ever-intense expression that never quite seems to relax, his irritation and fervent contemplation on his face for all to see whenever he bolts suddenly across the stage. With an unapologetically curt, blunt, and often loud manner of speaking, Louie calls attention to the unique workings of Christopher' mind without leaning into the common caricatures associated with people who are developmentally different. Louie's portrayal of a wide range of emotions imbues Christopher with a certain fundamental humanity despite the logic-centric nature of Christopher's mind, from his visceral outburst when reading his mother's letters to his irrepressible excitement in explaining his test's math problem to the audience.
Contrasting Christopher's linear, logical thinking process, Leah Schiffer, playing Christopher's mother Judy, is a person driven largely by emotion, with her appearance to him, through her letters in the first act, being repentant and apologetic as she tearfully begged for his forgiveness. Her desire to make physical contact with her son and have him stay in London conflicts both with Christopher's hatred of touching people and his desire to take his A-Level Maths test, Judy's anguish and heartache at this unbridgeable rift between her and her son is reflected through her tears, the desperation in her voice, and the cautious manner in which she interacts with Christopher.
Throughout the production, the light grid (Emma Meza) located on the wall behind the stage makes use of a variety of different colours and patterns to brilliantly convey Christopher's perception of a situation. For example, Christopher's sheer discomfort in arriving at his mother's home and encountering Roger (Phoenix Cooley) is demonstrated by the light grid's shift to a yellow colour, particularly worthy of attention both because the light grid had never been the colour yellow prior to that moment and because yellow is Christopher's most hated colour. The striking shade of red used to represent Christopher's emotions reaching a fever pitch and the use of purple during Christopher's musings about outer space are additional notable examples.
At Los Alamitos, this suspenseful and heart-wrenching tale serves as a reminder of the importance of determination and accepting the differences of others, the innate humanity in every person, and the incomprehensibly complex nature of higher-level math.
by Abraham Nguyen of Fountain Valley
Be prepared to be fully immersed with Los Alamitos's production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time as you follow Christopher, a fifteen year old boy with autism, through his heartwarming and nightmarish adventure to find out who killed Wellington, his neighbor's dog, and in the process, discovers more about his father than he ever expected.
The honest and logical Christopher, portrayed by Louie Gallagher, walks left right left to each door in his neighborhood and meets many sweet and brash people. Louie Gallagher does an impeccable job of not creating a caricature throughout the duration of the play. Siobhan, who is one of Christopher's school teachers played by Hannah Thiel, adds to the immersion by giving a better idea of what is happening inside of Christopher's head. Thiel's caring scottish accent as well as soft tone of voice showed how much she wanted to protect and nurture Christopher.
In the second act, Costumes show how each of the characters have changed. Christopher goes from wearing a red hoodie, which is his favorite color, to wearing a blue hoodie, and Siobhan switching to gray colors. However Mrs. Gascoyne, played by Kira Petersen, steps in to add comical relief each time she appears onstage. Her quick but impactful lines were said in such a way that broke the tension onstage in a much needed way.
Throughout the show, LED striplights were used to display visually what was happening inside of Christopher's head. For example, during moments of panic, the strip lights would flash vibrant reds in patterns that evoked panic, but in times of thought they would flow up and down across the grid with blues and whites. The stage hands only helped to make the experience better as each of the transitions were efficient and without error. In terms of marketing, Chalk drawings around the school as well as multiple trailers were created to promote the show.
by Alex Wittick of Fountain Valley
Bravery comes in many forms in Los Alamitos' "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"
Honest and heartwarming, Los Alamitos High School's production of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" explores how obstacles aren't the same height for everyone.
The play begins with a death. Pixel tape forms an LED grid on the set's black backdrop. A spotlight illuminates the hunched figure of Christopher Boone (Louie Gallagher), who looks down at a grisly scene: his neighbor's dog, Wellington, dead. A pitchfork through his body. The shocking reveal is a testament to the props team (headed by Christina Morris) who created the nearly life-like dog from scratch.
The story follows Christopher (Gallagher), a fifteen-year-old, autistic boy living in Swindon, England with his father, Ed (Kobe Takeda). Christopher takes it upon himself to jump out of his comfort zone and solve the murder of Wellington, despite his father's warnings not to.
The show also has an unconventional take on props and ensemble. In several scenes, ensemble members are used to portray objects, like the items Christopher finds in Ed's room, or a couch for Christopher to lean on; they lift him up as if he were in space and carry his mother in a flashback, like an ocean wave. Most interesting is when Christopher goes door to door asking about the murder of Wellington. Each stands next to an acrylic-lit box, and a spotlight illuminates each as Christopher rings their doorbell.
Because the main character is on the autistic spectrum, Gallagher and the costume department (headed by Hanna Thiel) wanted to give an accurate representation of Christopher, rather than give an unrealistic caricature. So, Christopher and the other characters sport clothes with respect to his tactile sensitivity, and Gallagher shows several habits to portray his character. At almost any given point, he's messing with his hoodie strings, playing with his railroad set, or rocking on his feet. When other characters move to touch him, he either tries to retaliate or jump away in a startled fright. Still, he shows Christopher to be incredibly confident, especially in the after-bows scene where he raced across the stage to explain his favorite math problem. With outstretched arms, he proudly shouts the solution.
A nearly cinematic production with its effects, Los Alamitos' "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" is equipped with strong actors and skillful technological elements.
by Amy-Grace Ratanapratum of Fountain Valley
"The Curious Incidentï¿½" at Los Alamitos High School is Sensory Satisfying
Inspired by the murder of his neighbor's dog, Christopher, an autitstic 15 year old boy, journeys through a plot of self discovery whilst unraveling a long kept family secret. Through a simplistic yet captivating set, and a most effective ensemble, Los Alamitos thoughtfully brings "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" to life.
Louie Gallagher develops an honest and genuine character through his expression of Christopher. Although he is onstage for the entirety of the show, he never loses the intensity on his face or the focus in his eyes. Quick movements throughout his chaotic train station expedition and heartbreaking whimpers uttered from emotionally intense moments with his parents, captured the physicality and the psyche of an autistic child convincingly.
The leading man is only as strong as his ensemble. The ensemble is not only various characters in the play, but are key elements to the set. When Christopher comes home from school, the ensemble assumes their positions: floor mat, coat hanger, and bed. The ensemble adapts to Christopher's specific recollections of events through quickly and cohesively reacting when a goal is made in a fï¿½tbol game, all of the them jutting forward as one unit.
The set, though simple, Will Schneider created a beautiful manifestation of the linear mind of Christopher. Lining the stage in twelve foot flats, the set was divided into squares by LED lights. White boxes also lined the stage to be used as furniture for scenes throughout. There were also square compartments in the middle of both sides of the set where Christopher could grab a new set of train toys, or perhaps food from a fridge.
Marketing and Publicity utilized an impressive amount of creativity and platforms to spread the word about their show. With social media, posters, trailers, and even chalk outlines of dead dogs, Louie Gallagher effectively advertises to the community. A poster titled "Lost Dog" would catch the attention of many students, and with further investigation would learn that it was only an advertisement for their show.
Mathematics and family are just a part of life, but to experience this through the lense of a child who is sensory sensitive changes the perception of the atoms around you. Los Alamitos' seamless and schematic fluidity of this show, valuably expressed the importance of a little determination and perspective.
by Crystal Martin of Fountain Valley
Los Alamitos kills in "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"
As the audience fills their seats, neon lights flood the stage of Los Alamitos High School, matching the brightness of the production to come.
"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" follows the story of Christopher (Louie Gallagher), an autistic fifteen-year-old boy who becomes a detective following the mysterious death of his neighbor's dog. When he gets too deep into the investigation, it challenges everything he thought he knew.
Louie Gallagher as Christopher is at home on the stage; he moves through time and space seamlessly in his subjective reality. Gallagher takes on a difficult role with grace and heart-wrenching truth, whether clutching his knees and screaming in an episode, or sauntering through the neighborhood with resolve.
As Siobhan, Hannah Thiel is utterly captivating. Her gentle voice, soft and subtle Scottish brogue, and constant smile make her portrayal of the teacher convincing and heartwarming.
Together, Thiel and Gallagher have irrefutable onstage chemistry. They seem to understand each other completely, in both comedic and dramatic scenes. A standout moment between the actors is towards the end, when Siobhan asks Christopher if he still wants to take his A-levels. "It will just be what you want and that will be fine," instructs Thiel, and both actors seem to let their guards down completely, stripping the scene down to a raw human connection.
The cast and creative teams work impressively well together. When Christopher goes door-to-door in his investigation, stage manager Genique Clark does not miss a beat, despite juggling sound, two light-boards, and watching the actors.
Hannah Thiel's costumes reflect not only the character's respective personalities and growth, but their dynamics with one another. Siobhan wears a red skirt, Christopher's favorite color, to symbolize their connection. Christopher and his father (Kobe Takeda) start the show on the same page, with relatively similar color schemes, but as they grow apart and Christopher becomes a foil of his father, Christopher becomes brighter and Ed becomes duller.
Blending elements of tech and performance with style and sophistication, Los Alamitos Drama's production of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" warms the heart and lifts the spirit.
by Delaney Schultz of Fountain Valley
Los Alamitos put on a breathtaking performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Telling the story of a fifteen year old named Christopher who is on the spectrum of autism is caught in the middle of what is one of the biggest mysteries in his neighborhood, who killed Wellington. During the course of the play the audience is thrown with many twists and turns throughout the performance.
The audience was brought into the mind of Christopher, showing the audience how he views the world. Louie Gallagher did a realistic performance of the fifteen year old Christopher, the research that went to enhance the characteristics bringing the portrayal of the character to the next level. Louie made choices that really captured who this character is. Something that stood out was the way he went into his panicked mind, how he was able to keep the energy going no matter the scene went.
The effects of the colored lights lined along the wooden fixture of the set brought another level to the play. although it was minimalistic the lights brought how Christopher was going through mentally. Each time him and his mother or him and his father held out their hand to touch Christopher and ask if it was okay, the lights changed in an instance showing the tension and the relief of the small gesture. With the lights being linear it took a step further showing Christopher likes linear things, also bringing us to his mind set.
Leah Schiffer portrayed Judy who built the climax of the play. Leah did a fantastic job as she took the stage as a mother who has a son like Christopher. Even though Judymay not have known much about how to help him in his times of need, she made sure she was there trying. Leah did this in a way that was so real that it made things climb into climax wanting to pay attention to what she was going to do and handle it. She had a great chemistry with Louie which was enjoyable to see in the mother son relationship.
by Skylar Sterbling of Fountain Valley
Los Alamitos' The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is tactical and linear, yet heartfelt.
The story of Christopher, a fifthteen year old autistic boy, and his adventures of finding who killed his neighbor's dog brings heartache and pain but also brings heartfelt and lighthearted moments.
Christopher (Louie Gallagher) shows his world through storytelling. The overwhelming feeling he gets is shown through his incredible physicality. His interactions with Siobahn (Hannah Thiel) show the true connection and safety he feels with her. Siobahn's contrast between talking with Christopher and reading what christopher had written is distinguished and beautiful. Judy's (Leah Schiffer) emotional investment in Christopher shows her motherly instincts and shows that she really loves him. Christopher uses the letters Judy wrote to him to help him get through a fight between him and his dad. Ed (Kobe Takeda), Christopher's father) plays a significant role in Christopher's adventure and story. His connection with Christopher grows throughout the story and we see that through his interactions and body language when around Christopher.
The lights (Emma Meza) show Christopher's overwhelming anxiety and sensory overload through strobing LED strips that are on the set. They use more natural and muted colors in the more intimate moments to show Christopher's comfort levels with his surroundings. The set (Will Schneider) is very linear and geometric to show Christopher's perspective on life. The use of muted colors used by costumes for the Ensemble (Hannah Thiel), is an insightful idea as it shows the colors that Christopher associates with comfort. Publicity (Louie Gallagher) used chalk outlines of the dead dogs body to spark interest and curiosity around campus. The use of missing dog flyers was a new and exciting idea to publicize the show around the campus and the city.
Los Alamitos' The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time bring us into the incredible world of Christopher and his adventures.
by Emily McCardell of Fullerton Union
Los Alamitos High School's stunning production of "The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time"was meticulously executed, and beautifully portrayed.
The show takes the audience on a journey throughout Christopher's mind. As we learn in the beginning of the show, Christopher has a severe case of autism and sees the world differently than others. The audience gets to take a look inside his unique and developing mind and what happens to it after he witnesses his neighbor's dog Wellington get murdered.
Louie Gallagher's performance of Christopher is incredibly moving. He will intrigue you with his captivating character choices every second of the show. Gallagher studied the special need students, and their actions and characteristics, to make sure that he did not portray the character improperly on stage. An excellent performance is also executed by Hannah Thiel, who plays the role of Siobhan. Her softness and tenderness she gives the character makes the audience feel welcomed into the world along with the actors. Her charming expressions fit in perfectly to the tone of the show.
The roles of Ed and Judy are excellently displayed. Kobe Takeda as Ed, takes his emotions to the next level. When he raises his voice and gets angry at Christopher, you can feel the tension and rage in the room. Judy on the other hand, played by Leah Schiffer, makes impeccable character choices. She plays an undeniably incredible role, and I enjoyed watching every second of her performance.
There are almost no words for how wonderful the ensemble for this show is. Every cue, entrance, and exit are spot on and sharp. I applaud the stage manager for helping with those transitions. The certain scenes that include the ensemble are absolutely brilliant, and near to perfect. Also, The accents used in this show were very tasteful and not overbearing, which, as a whole, fit in beautifully!
The tech elements of this show add so much to the plot. Two of the technical elements I noticed are the use of lights, and costumes. The lights are synced to Christopher's emotions, so when they change, the lights change color along with him. The various neon aspects in the show add to the theme, and help to clarify the plot even more. The costumes are another crucial element to this captivating show. The costumes the ensemble wears are made up of majority blacks, whites, and neutrals, so that the colors wouldn't be to abrasive and take away from Christopher's thoughts. The choices made by the costume designers are very smart, and overall thoroughly enhance to the show in various ways.
With a unique and intense story, a splendid cast, and incredible technical elements, "The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time" at Los Alamitos High School, delivers a groundbreaking show, that is simply flawless.
by Chloe Laursen of Orange Lutheran
Los Alamitos High School's production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was a truly great one. It was about a boy named Christopher who finds his neighbor's dog dead. The dog, named Wellington, had been stabbed by a garden fork and had obviously been murdered. Christopher takes it into his own hands and decides to solve this mystery, however, along the way he discovers that there is more than just one mystery that needs to be solved.
From the lighting design, to the set design, to the incredible acting, this was a great show. Los Alamitos High School had a solid marketing plan to spread the word of their production. They used social media, posters, and even the outline with tale of a dead dog around their campus. They also had a well thought out costume design as well, such as having Siobhan wear a red skirt to show her connection to Christopher. There was versatile hair and makeup presented in order to allow the ensemble to play many different roles. A truly smart idea that this school demonstrated was their cabinet doors that were used to transfer props to actors. This method really flowed with the show and was not awkwardly placed. The fake Wellington prop was also stunning, the director stated that a student had made it from scratch which is unbelievable.
The acting throughout the show was a sincere representation of what it would be like to actually live through this story. Louie Gallagher did an incredible job at executing his role of Christopher. He obviously had done extensive research on specifically how to portray this character without being too overly dramatic. A small thing that he did that showcased his broad research was he always made sure to fidget in some way.
Leah Schiffer who played the role of Judy had great interactions with Christopher and it really showed her connection and growth. Kobe Takeda who played the role of Ed did a great job at portraying his character as loud and angry, while still showing that he is caring and patient with Christopher. Hannah Thiel who played Siobhan was neat narrative aspect that added a lot to the entire show. There was also a very versatile ensemble that each and every person was important to. For instance, during the train scene, they all worked together to make an extraordinary and different representation of riding a train.
On stage the lights and set design both worked together very nicely. Together they were able to add a certain dynamic to the entire production. They both worked together in perfect harmony in order to continuously change the mood and emotions of both the characters and the audience. It was also very effortless but important that they assigned certain light "motions" to certain repeated actions.
by Kayleigh Gilbert of Orange Lutheran
Los Alamitos's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" is Brilliant
Los Alamitos students take on the challenge of portraying the inner workings of a boy with mental disabilities in "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time", a stage adaptation of the novel by Mark Haddon.
A boy named Christopher finds his neighbor's dog, Wellington, dead with a garden fork in his torso. The play follows the journey of his investigation to find out who killed the dog, along with other mysteries about his life that unravel from there. Suffering from a mental disability in the current day, the play also shows Christopher's difficulty in socializing with and understanding others.
Louie Gallagher commands the stage wonderfully as Christopher. He very honestly and faithfully portrays a person suffering from a disability. Something about him is always fidgeting, whether it be his head, mouth, hands, or feet, Gallagher shows that his character is always thinking about something in the way his body moves. On stage for the larger part of the two-hour show, speaking in bold paragraphs, Gallagher never stutters, and wonderfully carries the role.
The entire ensemble takes on the challenge of speaking in British accents throughout the show. With the various accents, every line spoken is understandable and grows the world of Swindon and London, England. They buzz around the stage quickly to show the linear nature of Christopher's mind.
The stage is covered in geometric boxes lined in LED lights and is very minimalistic, and the lighting, props, and set design come together wonderfully to portray Christopher's mind. Genique Clark manages the stage, and it seems as though a cue is never missed. The lighting, by Emma Meza, supplements the story with great emotion. It turns red when Christopher is upset, blue when he is imagining things about space, green as he thinks, and white in his real-life interactions.
"Curious Incident" is real, uncomfortableï¿½in the best way, and comical as it portrays the inner workings of Christopher. The students do a stunning job of portraying this in all aspects to bring together a wonderful piece of theatre.
by Meg Rocha of Orange Lutheran
Los Alamitos' Poignant Production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
When a brilliant and curious teenager with high functioning autism finds his neighbor's dog dead by garden-fork, he naturally sets out on a mission to solve the murder. As the truth unravels, Christopher gets much more than he had bargained for.
Louie Gallagher (Christopher) produces and maintains a uniquely complex character through sharp delivery and acute timing. Gallagher's commitment is seen clearly by mannerisms so natural they seem subconscious to the actor. He executes Christopher's linear and straightforward thinking effortlessly which in turn highlights Christopher's steadfastness to always do what is morally right. Furthermore, Gallagher conveys Christopher's objectivity towards his surroundings so naturally that the entire production is seen through Christopher's eyes.
Serving as Christopher's guiding light throughout the journey, Siobhan (Hannah Thiel) stays poised and reassuring in Christopher's greatest times of need. Thiel maintains an immaculate Irish accent that only adds to her natural stage presence. Thiel's maternal cadence and volume became an anchor to the sometimes hectic circumstances on stage. Thiel's portrayal of Siobhan emitted a warm, natural energy that softened the edges of Christopher's chaotic thought process.
Since the entire production is told from Christopher's point of view, the lighting done by Emma Meza must display every exaggerated opinion that Christopher has. For instance, when an altercation between Christopher and his father Ed (Kobe Takeda) arises, red light encapsulates the two with a brighter red closest to them, then saturated red on the far ends of the stage. This frames the heated clash between stubborn son and furious father. On the contrary, when Ed and Christopher bond with only the grazing of each other's fingertips, golden light floods the stage which creates a sense of mysticality that lingers in the air long after the sequence has passed.
The projections (Alexi Amescua) give insight of what is zooming through Christopher's mind which visually heightens his feelings and contributes to the overwhelming world around him. The train station provides a plethora of stimulation for the already sensitive Christopher- flashing signs and public announcements. All whizzing by the screen with an intention only to fluster. These projections further immerse you in Christopher's world.
With a talented cast accompanied by a visionary crew, Los Alamitos High School's production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time proves that you can do anything.
by Max Guerrero of Tesoro