As the aunt of a teenager with Asperger syndrome, I was astonished how closely “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, a beautiful Broadway play, depicted life through the perspective of a young boy named Christopher afflicted with Asperger syndrome, an autistic disorder.
The play was made all the more poignant to me with Taylor Trensch (in photo above) playing the part of Christopher. Taylor is my significant other of six year’s son, and shares the lead role of the play with Alex Sharp (winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best Actor). His portrayal of this syndrome was deeply moving for me as I recognized in it the effect of the syndrome on my nephew, my brother, sister-in-law, and their family.Those who suffer from this disorder experience great discrepancy between their intellectual and social abilities. It is rare to find artwork that truly imitates the realities of life, and further even rarer to find artwork centered on such a particularly unique and specific perspective.
The purpose of art is to express. In the case of “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, the objective is to allow viewers to experience the story line of the play through Christopher’s perspective. Marianne Elliot’s leadership and direction of the play allow all who experience this performance to fully immerse themselves in Christopher’s world-view and understand his actions, thoughts, and words in a way that would be impossible to replicate in reality. For that, she deservedly received the 2015 Tony for Best Director for the play.
“Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” won five of the six 2015 Tony Awards for which it was nominated, including Best Play, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role of a Play, Best Scenic Design of a Play, and Best Lighting Design of a Play.
I am immensely proud of my nephew for his bravery and continued success in facing Asperger syndrome, my brother and sister-in-law for their continued support and strength, and Taylor for his ability to accurately and sensitively share with the world the struggle experienced by those with this disorder and their families.