The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a fun, fast moving mystery that has derivatives from the mythological “hero’s journey.” On top of that it confronts the difficult, sometimes catastrophic issues that families face when dealing with children that are neurodivergent. This play has dozens of locations that require almost instant transitions as we move from place to place. With that in mind we felt compelled to create a non-realistic environment that was both fluid and metaphorical. Christopher, the main character, navigates the world differently than most children. His world is confusing, full of overstimulation, and often frightening. So, where to begin?
In reading the novel, we were drawn to a passage where Christopher tells us that, while in jail, the confinement and geometry of the cell provides a sense of comfort and relief for him. So we decided to create a world that is overly geometric, surrounding Christopher with verticals, horizontals, and scalene triangles. This could allow the world to be comforting and startling within the same breath. In this world, furniture and other theatrical items move seamlessly to create numerous locations. Unexpected theatrical tricks create unexpected emotional surprises, and hopefully, allow us to create a world that is as dynamic as the mystery before us.
CHRISTOPHER PICKART (Scenic Designer) Chris was a freelance designer located in New York City for many years and a professor at Washington University in St. Louis before coming to the UT in 2005. He has designed numerous OffBroadway shows including the critically acclaimed End of the World Party at the 47th Street Theatre, and Always…Patsy Cline at the Variety Arts Theatre. Other Off-Broadway shows include the long running Perfect Crime, The Bench, Between Daylight and Booneville, Washington Heights, Savage in Limbo, and Independence by Lee Blessing. Chris has designed the NY premieres of Hidden in this Picture and What is this Thing, by Emmy Award winning writer/director Aaron Sorkin. He has also designed the world premiere of Heaven and the Homeboy, directed by Tony Award winning director /choreographer George Faison. Regionally, Chris has designed over 150 shows at theatres across the country. Recent designs include productions at the Tony Award winning Utah Shakespearean Festival, the Tony Award winning Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis, Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Cleveland, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Virginia Stage Company, Olney Theatre Centre in DC, Coast Playhouse in Los Angeles; among many others. In 1997-1999 Chris was the recipient of the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group’s Young Designers’ Fellowship. Chris has been nominated in the Outstanding Scenic Design category twice for the Barrymore Awards in Philadelphia and twice for the Kevin Kline Awards in St. Louis.