Hickory – The Hickory Community Theatre’s current production, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time takes an immersive approach to communicating the internal state of its hero, Christopher, an autistic teenager who is often perplexed by the day-to-day demands of human interaction. Christopher is frequently overwhelmed by sensory stimuli such as loud noises, large crowds or even the touch of another human being. The immersive nature of the play starts right off the bat, blasting the audience with loud noises and bright lights. These effects have a downside though because they may prevent autistic audiences from enjoying a play that resonates with their life experiences. So HCT has scheduled two performances that are sensory friendly. The first is this weekend, on Sunday, April 7 at 2:30pm.

Sensory Friendly Performances are designed specifically for people who may benefit from a more relaxed environment. They are ideal for those on the autism spectrum, with sensory and communication difficulties, or with a learning disability. At these special performances, there will be a relaxed attitude to sound and audience movement in the auditorium, with interactions welcomed. A quiet room will also be available as a relaxing quiet space for those who want to leave and re-enter the auditorium during the show. During the show, there will be trained members of staff who will welcome and help audience members.

The show itself will also make small changes to lighting and sound effects for this performance. This includes the removal of strobe lighting and flashing lights, as well as reducing loud noises. Everyone is welcome to these special performances and after the show, there will be a Q&A session with representatives from the Autistic Education Foundation.

Performances of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time are April 4-14, 2019, Thursdays (Apr 4 & 11) at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays (Apr 5, 6, 12 & 13) at 8:00pm, and Sundays (Apr 7 & 14) at 2:30pm. Tickets for Fridays through Sundays are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors (60 and over), and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets for Thursday night performances are $14 for adults and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Call the box office at 828-328-2283 or visit hickorytheatre.org to purchase tickets or get more information.

This production is rated R because it contains strong, adult language.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The Theatre’s 2018-2019 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is produced by Cargo Transporters and Hickory Allergy, Asthma & Sinus.

This production is supported by grants from the Corning Incorporated Foundation and from the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, with funding from the State of North Carolina from the National Endowment for the Arts.

PHOTO: Elisabeth Bokhoven is Judy, Christopher Honsaker is Ed and Jordan Correll plays Christopher Boone in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Hickory Community Theatre. Performances continue this weekend, Thursday April 4 and run through Sunday April 14.
Photo by Ken Burns.