Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre is always striving to produce a mix of classic and contemporary theatre performances every season. When production rights for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” were recently released, Artistic Director Adam Pankow seized the opportunity to bring the award-winning story to the Stage at Island Park beginning Friday, Feb. 1.
“Including this new work as part of our season has challenged our organization to flex our creative muscles in different ways – especially the utilization of technical resources,” Pankow says. “’Curious Incident’ will be a feast for the eyes, ears and mind.”
Based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Mark Haddon, the play adaptation of “The Curious Incident” follows 15 year-old Christopher Boone, who knows all of the countries in the world and every prime number up to 7,057. He’s smart as a whip when it comes to mathematics, but struggles to understand the everyday nuances of the world around him. To avoid uncomfortable situations and distrustful strangers, Christopher stays within the safe confines of his home.
That is, until one day he finds the neighbor’s dog Wellington speared to death with a garden fork. Determined to find the culprit behind the heinous act, Christopher sets out on a frightening journey that will challenge his every fear as he deduces his way through unfamiliar paths, unexpected obstacles and surprising revelations.
“I love the problem-solving required of (Christopher), despite the literal and figurative roadblocks he is up against,” says Pankow, who directs the show with a cast of 10. “The fact that he pushes himself outside of what is familiar, easy or comfortable to seek truth is a strong take-away. That message is an important reminder for all who are witness to this story of self-voyage and discovery… Individuals are capable of much more than we sometimes realize. This is certainly the case for Christopher in this show.”
FMCT brought in Concordia College’s Director of Campus Lights, Bryan Duncan, to create imaginative lights and projections for the fast-paced, Sherlock Holmes type of story. Duncan is known for designing the Concordia Christmas concerts and theatre productions.
The theatre is also bringing in atypical props to tell the story, like a real dog (NOT the same one that Christopher discovers) and rat.
“Many elements are working together to elevate the material and add layers to storytelling,” Pankow says. “The production has a potential to be a benchmark show for our theatre that people will remember for years to come.”
Performances of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3 at the Stage at Island Park. The production is recommended for audiences 13 and older. Audio description is available Saturday, Feb. 2. Assistive listening devices are available to patrons at the FMCT Box Office for all performances.
To purchase tickets, visit fmct.org or call 701-235-6778.
All photos are by Robby Njos.