Franklin Countys First News

‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ goes from Broadway to Farmington on Oct. 18-21

Jonas Maines, senior, at left, and Ian Grima, sophomore, rehearse Wednesday evening in the Alumni Theater.

FARMINGTON - The death of a neighborhood dog and its discovery by an extraordinary young man begins The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, the latest offering from Theatre UMF.

Based off a best-selling book by Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident was adapted for stage by Simon Stephens, debuting in London in 2012 and Broadway in 2014. A couple of years ago, Jayne Decker, the University of Maine at Farmington director of theatre, saw the play on Broadway and was blown away.

"I've been stalking it ever since," she joked in her office beneath the Alumni Theater. Having recently gained the rights to produce the play at UMF, Decker is directing one of the first productions of The Curious Incident in the state.

The play opens Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and runs through Saturday, Oct. 20. A matinee showing will be held Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. All performances are at the UMF Alumni Theater.

The story revolves around Christopher, a young man with a gift for mathematics and memorization who has trouble fitting in with the people around him. Suspected in the death of a neighbor's dog, Christopher begins investigating the incident and in the process discovers some truth about himself.

Christopher is played by Jonas Maines, a senior and Portland native that has appeared in five Decker productions. Most recently, Haines appeared in Hamlet as the titular role.

"I like to do roles that challenge me," Maines said, speaking to Christopher's complex character. "I wanted to give it a shot."

While the play does not make it clear what Christopher's specific condition is, Maines said that he looked at studies and real life examples of people on the autism spectrum living with associated conditions. It was important to portray the character realistically, Maines said: "I didn't want to get him wrong."

"The play is about growing up," Maines said. "It's about family struggles and issues that go beyond just Christopher. It's about courage and being brave." He noted that there were students on campus and people in the community that have experienced some of what Christopher does throughout the play.

It is a particularly challenging play for the cast, Decker said, with several actors required to play different parts. UMF's production will lean on a cast of 10 - five veterans like Maines and five new faces - to pull it off. Further complicating the actors' efforts is the British setting, necessitating the use of accents.

The Curious Incident is an extremely technically complicated production, Decker said, with a large number of light and sound cues. "It's a visually beautiful play," she said.

An award-winning playwright, Decker has directed numerous productions at UMF Alumni Theater. Her production, Coyote on a Fence, was awarded a Moss Hart Memorial Award by the New England Theatre Conference—New England’s oldest and largest regional theatre association. Her other directorial work includes Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan, George Brant’s Elephant’s Graveyard, the musicals Fiddler on the Roof and Oliver! and productions of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

This Theatre UMF production is sponsored by the UMF Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry.

Tickets for the performance are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for students with I.D. Tickets are available at the time of the performance and can be reserved by calling the Theatre UMF box office at 207-778-7465.

Siobhan - Sophie Hendrix (Gorham)
Christopher - Jonas Maines (Portland)
Ed - Ian Grima (Rockland)
Judy - Hailey Craig (Trenton)
Ensemble (playing multiple roles) - Chloe Hoecker (Boothbay Harbor), Eli Mowry (Kennebunk), Sophia Cardullo (Saco), Josh Grant (Livermore), Simoane Lowell (Clinton) and Brock Bubar (Etna)

Director - Jayne Decker
Scenic and Lighting Designer - Stan Spilecki
Sound Design - Michael Diffin
Original Animation - Tonner Hann
Dialect Coach - Dan "Tree" Robbins
Stage Manager - Hope Lash (Waldoboro)
Assistant Stage Manager - Billie-Rose Newby (Machiasport)
Major Props Design - Jessica Leibowitz (Pittsfield)
Assistant to the Director - Steffon Gales (Roxbury, Mass.)
Costumes created by Declan Attaway-Murphy (Portland), Ben Hayes (Berwick) and Samantha Wood (Franklin, N.H.)

Actors run through a rehearsal for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

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1 Responses »

  1. Am excited to know this is coming our way soon!

    Congratulations to UMF for bringing this about!