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Tony Award-winning play of bestselling novel is The Armory's first sensory-friendly perforrmance

The Tony award-winning play based on the 2003 bestselling novel, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," will open at Portland Center Stage at The Armory this March. The production follows Christopher, an exceptionally intelligent (and exceptionally honest) 15-year-old boy on the autism spectrum who is under suspicion of killing his neighbor's dog. Determined to find the true culprit, Christopher's detective work takes him on a deeply personal quest that upturns his world.COURTESY PHOTO: CORY WEAVER/KANSAS CITY REPERTORY THEATRE - Jamie Sanders and Bree Elrod in 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' opening February at The Armory.

PCS Artistic Director Marissa Wolf, who previously directed "Curious Incident" at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, will direct.

"'Curious Incident' is powerful, funny and deeply life-affirming," Wolf said. "I love the way the play invites us into Christopher's world, and audiences get to experience a hero's quest through the lens of this brilliant teenage boy, for whom autism is both a challenge and a super power."

Several artists from the KCRep production will join The Armory's production, including Jamie Sanders, who reprises his starring role as Christopher.

While at KCRep, Sanders talked about how having Tourette's Syndrome informs his portrayal of Christopher. "I have a different set of circumstances than Christopher. I have Tourette's, and it causes me to be sensitive to the world around me, particularly to touch and sound," Sanders said. "Like Christopher, I perceive rules in the world that I have to follow but that no one else sees, and for me that's an everyday reality."

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" is based on Mark Haddon's bestselling novel of the same name. It was adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens and received its world premiere at the Royal National Theatre in 2012, before moving to the West End. The play opened on Broadway in 2014, and went on to tour internationally.

Various community events will be held surround the show, including discussions with cast, crew and community guests, a pre-show musical performance by PHAME Academy, and a gallery show featuring work by artists with autism.

There will also be a special sensory-friendly performance of "Curious Incident" March 31, at 7:30 p.m. This family-friendly performance is designed to be enjoyed by all, and will include some changes for those who are on the autism spectrum or have other sensory issues. The production and theater environment will be altered, including modifications to sound and lighting. Patrons are invited to make sounds, enter and exit as needed during the performance. A quiet space will be available for people who want a break.

Walter Coppage, Bree Elrod, Nicole Marie Green and Jamie Sanders all return to "Curious Incident" following KCRep's production. They are joined by Portland actors Ayanna Berkshire, Delphon "DJ" Curtis Jr., Karl Hanover, Treasure Lunan, Leif Nordby and Ithica Tell.

Marissa Wolf leads the creative team which includes choreographer Erika Chong Schuch, scenic designer Arnulfo Maldonado, costume designer Alison Heryer, lighting designer Robert Aguilar, associate choreographer and dance captain Natalie Greene, stage manager Mark Tynan, production assistant Danny Rosales, neurodiversity consultant Christine McNair and dialect coach Scott Stackhouse.

The play runs Feb. 29 through April 5 at The Armory, 128 NW 11th Ave., Portland. Tickets range in price from $25 to $92 and can be purchased online at pcs.org or by calling 503-445-3700 or in person at the box office (128 NW 11th Ave. Portland).

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. and Thursday matinees at 11 a.m. The play is recommended for ages 13 and up, as it contains adult situations and explicit language.

— For The Review, Tidings


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