If you go
› What: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”
› Where: Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave.
› When: 7:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday, May 18-20; 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, May 24-26; 2:30 p.m. Saturdays, May 19 and 26
› Admission: $20 general admission, $17 for students and senior adults
› For more information: 423-987-5141
Continuing its season of family-themed shows, Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga tackles the story of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," based on the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon.
The book and play tell the story of Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old boy living in Swindon, Wiltshire, who embarks on an adventure to solve the murder of a neighbor's dog. Christopher, a mathematician with a love for red cars, has Asperger syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism.
Living alone with his father, Christopher's goal of taking A-level math classes is put on the back burner when he stumbles onto this escalating mystery. Determined to bring clarity to the death of a friend, Christopher begins to write out his journey as a mystery novel, much to the chagrin of several people around him. One of his biggest supporters is his teacher, Siobhan, who turns his story into a play.
"What I find fascinating about this play is its many levels of storytelling," says director Garry Lee Posey.
"It operates at a pace that is, at times, maddening. It employs a structure that is both disconcerting and satisfying, and begs the artists to find a new approach to creating. I imagine this to be an objectification of the inner workings of the mind of those on the spectrum, and with that, the brilliance of this play becomes touchingly apparent."
In his third appearance on the ETC stage, Normand Caissie is cast in the challenging role of Christopher.
"Bringing Christopher to life onstage was, and in some ways still is, a terrifying and intimidating challenge. However, the responsibility of portraying this imaginative, and slightly inquisitive boy with this incredible gift for thinking, is deeply desirable for me," says Caissie.
"To tell this story of family, love and difference has been a beautiful and challenging process that has only come together due to hand-in-hand teamwork and passion our entire ensemble of actors and creators have," he says.
Eight performances will be presented over two weekends in Barking Legs Theatre.
For more information: ensembletheatreofchattanooga.com.