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"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" opens at Syracuse Stage Friday

Watertown Daily Times - 10/26/2017

Oct. 26--SYRACUSE -- The lead actor in Syracuse Stage's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" says it's important for people on the autism spectrum to see themselves represented appropriately on stage and in media.

"The young actors in this country who have a disability need to see positive role models who will tell them that if you are different, if you access the world differently, if you need special accommodations, then theater needs you -- the world needs you," Mickey Rowe said in a news release.

Mr. Rowe, who is on the autism spectrum, is one of those role models. He plays 15-year-old main character Christopher Francis Boone, who has autism and is intent on solving a neighborhood mystery.

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," based on the 2003 best-selling book by English novelist Mark Haddon and adapted by Simon Stephens, opens at Syracuse Stage at 8 p.m. Friday in the Archbold Theatre at the Syracuse Stage/Syracuse University Drama Complex, 820 E. Genesee St.

A preview performance will be at 7:30 p.m. today.

The drama is co-produced with the Indiana Repertory Theatre, which produced it for several shows beginning Sept. 19.

Syracuse Stage and IRT are among the first regional, nonprofit theaters to receive the rights to produce "Curious Incident," which has previously played only on Broadway, in London'sWest End and on national tour. This co-production is the first featuring an actor on the autism spectrum, Mr. Rowe, playing the lead role.

Although Mr. Row's character, Francis Boone, struggles to make sense of the chaos around him, he performs feats of mathematical memory and calculation, observing the world with an instant perceptiveness. Along the way, his determination and brilliance lead him to discover not only secrets about his family, but his own strength and courage.

"The role of Boone is very demanding intellectually, emotionally and physically," Syracuse Stage artistic director Robert Hupp said in a news release. "Mickey brings all of that to the table through his passion and authenticity as an actor."

Although Mr. Rowe had intensive speech therapy throughout elementary and middle school, he did not receive a formal diagnosis until he was a young adult.

"I'm excited to be the first American actor to portray Boone because I have experienced some of the same challenges he has," Mr. Rowe said.

"When I saw the play on Broadway, it was an experience that I had never had before in theatre," said Mr. Hupp. "I think it's a fascinating story and gives insight into the lives of characters we may have never met on stage before. I am excited to see this story come to life with an incredibly talented creative team and cast."


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