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OPEN AUDITIONS: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

Updated: Nov 26, 2021


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

Based on the novel by Mark Haddon

Adapted by Simon Stephens

Directed by Sarah Sheldrick

Open Auditions: Video auditions due on Monday, November 15th by 5pm

s.sheldrick@gmail.com


Rehearsal Timeframe

Callbacks in-person: November 17th 6:00pm by invitation

Rehearsal Weeks: December 6th - February 3rd Performances:

Evening: February 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th at 7:30pm

Matinee: February 6th, 13th at 2:30pm



The Majestic Theatre (a division of the City of Corvallis Parks and Recreation department) is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion and to creating a safe place for actors of all backgrounds to explore their craft. We are particularly eager to work with artists of color and other artists from marginalized communities. All auditions are free and open to the public. This audition is for an amateur, volunteer production. The Majestic Theatre staff and volunteers do not discriminate on the basis of age, national origin, race, gender, ethnic background, ability, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or any protected class.


All auditions will be via a video submitted to the director via email unless otherwise arranged. In addition to your audition video, please download, fill out, and attach our audition form located at tinyurl.com/MTAuditionForm


All underage performers will need the permission of parent / guardian before submitting their audition. A headshot will be requested to be posted with the cast list, so if you have one please attach it with your audition video and form.


SHOW TYPE

This show will be rehearsed and performed in-person. The performance will be presented to a limited live audience and will also be available for online streaming.


SHOW SYNOPSIS

Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain: He is exceptional at math but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched, and he distrusts strangers. The play opens with Christopher standing beside his neighbor’s dead dog, Wellington, who has been speared with a garden fork. Christopher is determined to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington, and he carefully records each fact of the crime. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a thrilling journey that upturns his world.


FROM THE DIRECTOR Sarah Sheldrick

This will be my fourth directed show at the Majestic Theatre main stage. I am trained in the art of pantomime and hold a degree in Theatre Arts. I am interested in the art of storytelling and identity. I put a strong emphasis on collaboration and creativity. I am looking forward to this enchanting show and will be looking to create an artistic theatre experience for cast and crew! This show has lots of movement and contemporary staging. Being trained in dancing is not a requirement. We adhere to the pillars of rehearsal and practice: Consent, Context, Communication, Choreography and Closure.


PREPARATION NOTES

Video Audition

Introduce yourself. Name, pronouns and answer one of the following questions:


1. Name three songs from your perfect playlist. Why these songs?


2. Choose any window in your home. If you could change something about what you see, what would it be?


3. If you could create a food truck, what type of food would you serve? And what is the name of the truck?


State your character(s) preference you are auditioning for.

Prepare and perform two of the sides that will be made available. You can choose the same side if you change the character you are reading. Make choices that show off your vocal, physical, and emotional range.


Send your completed video audition to s.sheldrick@gmail.com by November 15, 2021 at 5:00pm.

Sarah will contact you and invite you to callbacks on November 17, 2021 at 6pm. Vaccine verification will be required to attend callbacks.


CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

All characters do not have a specific race or ethnic background; we're excited to see a diverse pool of actors audition for all roles.


CHRISTOPHER

Age: Young Adult to Adult

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Race: Any

Ethnicity: Any

acting experience and skills

Ability/movement: mobility for running, crawling, hiding, curling up, floor work, jumping, actor will be lifted into the air.

Needs to be comfortable interacting with animals

Christopher is on stage the entire play and will be casting someone comfortable with showing a wide range of emotions.


ED (Christopher’s Dad)

Age: Adult

Desired Actor Gender: Male

Race: Any

Ethnicity: Any

Working class (Think: Mat Damon in Good Will Hunting)

Character demonstrates a spectrum of anger issues. He works hard to control himself, but is not successful. He is not a hugger. Needs to be comfortable interacting with animals.


JUDY (Christopher’s Mom)

Age: Adult

Desired Actor Gender: Female

Race: Any

Ethnicity: Any

Character is logical and efficient. She is full of pure love for her son. She is lost and sad without expressions of affection. Touchy feely – She is a hugger!

SIOBHAN (Christopher’s teacher)

Age: Adult, Mature adult, or Elderly adult

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Race: Any

Ethnicity: Any

This is the one person who communicates with Christopher without judgement and sees his full potential. This person is firm, direct, and kind. This person is WOKE!


SUPPORTING CAST: 6 to 8 people

Looking for scene stealers! Creative character-actors for development of multiple roles. Being able to utilize movement and change voice to demonstrate different characters a must.

Race: Any

Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender & Age:

One adult male

One adult female

All others: late teen, young adult, adult, mature adult, elderly adult, any gender.


Ability/Movement: mobility for running, crawling, some floor work (adapted for limitations), lifting stage boxes and Christopher. Please indicate any limitations at auditions, so we can adapt movement.

Indicate if comfortable with minimal interaction with animals or not.


SIDES


6. HOME


CHRISTOPHER. I'm sorry.


ED. It's OK.


CHRISTOPHER. I didn't kill Wellington.


ED. I know. Christopher you have to stay out of trouble, OK?


CHRISTOPHER. I didn't know I was going to get into trouble. I like Wellington and I went to say hello to him, but I didn't know that someone had killed him.


ED. Just try and keep your nose out of other people's business.


CHRISTOPHER. I am going to find out who killed Wellington.


ED. Were you listening to what I was saying, Christopher?


CHRISTOPHER. Yes I was listening to what you were saying but when someone gets murdered you have to find out who did it so they can be punished.


ED. It's a bloody dog, Christopher, a bloody dog.


CHRISTOPHER. I think dogs are important too. I think some dogs are cleverer than some people. Nicholas, for example, who comes to school on Thursdays needs help eating his food and he probably couldn't even fetch a stick.


ED. Leave it.


CHRISTOPHER. I wonder if the police will find out who killed him and punish the person.


ED. I said leave it for God's sake.


CHRISTOPHER. Are you sad about Wellington?


ED. Yes Christopher you could say that. You could very well say that.

 

8. SCHOOL


SIOBHAN. How are you today Christopher?


CHRISTOPHER. I'm very well thank you.


SIOBHAN. That's good.


CHRISTOPHER. In the bus on the way to school we paw..4..red cars in a row.


SIOBHAN. 4?


CHRISTOPHER. So today is a Good Day.


SIOBHAN. Great. I am glad.


CHRISTOPHER. I've decided I am going to try and find out who killed Wellington because a Good Day is a day for projects and planning things.


­SIOBHAN: Who's Wellington?


CHRISTOPHER. Wellington is a-dog that used to belong to my neighbor Mrs. Shears who is our friend, but he is dead now because somebody killed him by putting a garden fork through him. And I found him and then a policeman thought I'd killed him but I hadn't and then he tried to touch me so I hit him and then I had to go-to the police station.


SIOBHAN. Gosh


CHRISTOPHER. And I am going to find out who really killed Wellington and make it a project. Even though Father told me not to.


SIOBHAN. Did he?


CHRISTOPHER. Yes.


SIOBHAN. I see.


CHRISTOPHER. I don't always do what I'm told.


SIOBHAN. Why?


CHRISTOPHER. Because when people tell you what to do it is usually confusing and does not make sense. For example people often say "Be quiet" but they don't tell you how long to be quiet for.


SIOBHAN. No. Why did your father tell you not to try to find out who killed Wellington?


CHRISTOPHER. I don't know.


SIOBHAN. If your father's told you not to do something maybe you shouldn't do it.


CHRISTOPHER. Mmm.

 

11. SCHOOL


CHRISTOPHER. Reverend Peters, where is heaven?


REVEREND PETERS. I'm sorry Christopher?


CHRISTOPHER. In our universe whereabouts is it exactly?


REVEREND PETERS. It's not in our universe. It's another kind of place altogether.


CHRISTOPHER. There isn't anything outside our universe Reverend Peters. There isn't another kind of place altogether. Except there might be if you go through a black hole. But a black hole is what is called a Singularity which means it's impossible to find out what is on the other side because the gravity of a black hole is so big that even electro­magnetic waves like light can't get out of it, and electromagnetic waves are how we get information about things which are far away. And if heaven is on the other side of black hole then dead people would have to be fired into space on a rocket to get there and they aren't or people would notice.


Reverend Peters looks at him for a while before he responds.


REVEREND PETERS. Well when I say heaven is outside our universe it's really just a manner of speaking. I suppose what it really means is that they are with God.


CHRISTOPHER. But where is God?


REVEREND PETERS. Christopher we should talk about this on another day when I have more time.

 

15. HOME


ED. Where have you been?


CHRISTOPHER. I have been out.


ED. I have just had a phone call from Mrs. Shears. What the hell were you doing poking round her garden?


CHRISTOPHER. I was doing detective work trying to figure out who killed Wellington.


ED. How many times do I have to tell you Christopher? I told you to keep your nose out of other people's business.


CHRISTOPHER. I think Mr. Shears probably killed Wellington.


ED. I will not have that man's name mentioned in my house.


Beat. Everybody onstage pauses to look at Ed and Christopher.


CHRISTOPHER. Why not?


ED. That man is evil.


CHRISTOPHER. Does that mean he might have killed Wellington?


ED. Jesus wept. OK Christopher. I am going to say this for the last and final time. I will not tell you again. Look at me when I'm talking to you for God's sake. Look at me. You are not to go asking Mrs. Shears who killed that bloody dog. You are not to go asking anyone who killed that bloody dog. You are not to go trespassing on other people's gardens. You are to stop this ridiculous bloody detective game right now. I am going to make you promise me Christopher. And you know what it means when I make you promise.


 

18. THE STREET


MRS. ALEXANDER. What happened to you the other day? I came out again and you'd gone. I had to eat all the biscuits myself. I was looking forward to our little chat.


CHRISTOPHER. I don't do chatting. I don't like it.


MRS. ALEXANDER. No, I don't suppose you do. Do you like computers?


CHRISTOPHER. Yes, I like computers. I have a computer in my room.


MRS. ALEXANDER I know. I can see you sitting at your computer in your bedroom sometimes when I look across the street.


CHRISTOPHER. And I like maths and looking after Toby And I also like outer space and I like being on my own.


MRS. ALEXANDER. I bet you're very good at maths aren't you?


CHRISTOPHER. I am. I'm going to do A-level maths next month. And I'm going to get an A-star.


MRS. ALEXANDER. Really? A-level maths?


CHRISTOPHER. I'm the first person to take an A-level from my school because it's a special school. All the other children at my school are stupid. Except I'm not meant to call them that, even though that is what they are.


MRS. ALEXANDER. Well I am very impressed. And I hope you do get an A-star.


CHRISTOPHER. I will.


MRS. ALEXANDER. And the other thing I know about you is your favourite colour is not yellow.


CHRISTOPHER. No. And it's not brown either. My favourite

colour is red and metal-colour. Do you know Mr. Shears?


MRS. ALEXANDER. Not really, no. I mean I knew him well enough to say hello but I didn't know much about him. I think he worked in the National Westminster Bank in town.


CHRISTOPHER. Father said that he is an evil man. Do you know why he said that?


MRS. ALEXANDER.( Perhaps it would be best not to talk about these things Christopher.

CHRISTOPHER. Why not?


MRS. ALEXANDER. Because maybe your father is right and you shouldn't go round asking questions about this.


CHRISTOPHER. Why?


MRS. ALEXANDER. Because obviously he is going to find it quite upsetting.


CHRISTOPHER. Why is he going to find it quite upsetting?


MRS. ALEXANDER. I think you know why your father doesn't like Mr. Shears very much.


CHRISTOPHER. Did Mr. Shears kill Mother?


MRS. ALEXANDER. Kill her?


CHRISTOPHER. Yes. Did he kill Mother?


MRS. ALEXANDER. No. No. Of course he didn't kill your mother.


CHRISTOPHER. But did he give her stress so that she died of a heart attack?


MRS. ALEXANDER. I honestly don't know what you're talking about, Christopher.


CHRISTOPHER. Or did he hurt her so that she had to go into hospital?


MRS. ALEXANDER. Did she have to go into hospital?


CHRISTOPHER. Yes. And it wasn't very serious at first but she had a heart attack when she was in hospital.


MRS. ALEXANDER. Oh my goodness. Oh Christopher, I am so, so sorry. I never realised.


CHRISTOPHER. Why did you say "I think you know why your father doesn't like Mr. Shears very much"?


MRS. ALEXANDER. Oh dear, dear, dear. Christopher look, perhaps we should take a little walk in the park together. This is not the place to be talking about this kind of thing.

 

26a. SCHOOL


The next day Christopher comes home from school.


ED. You're soaking.


CHRISTOPHER. Yes.


ED. Give me your coat I'll hang it up.

How was school?


CHRISTOPHER. It was good thank you. Joseph Fleming took his trousers off and went to the toilet all over the floor of the changing room and started to eat it, but Mr. Davis stopped him.


ED. Good old Mr. Davis eh?


CHRISTOPHER. Joseph eats everything.


ED. Does he?


CHRISTOPHER. He once ate one of the little blocks of blue disinfectant, which hang inside the toilets. And he once ate a 50-pound note from his mother's wallet. And he eats string and rubber bands and tissues and writing paper and paints and plastic forks. Also he bangs his chin and screams a lot.


ED. I know how he feels. Christopher I've got to go out.


CHRISTOPHER. Why?


ED. I've just had a call. There's a lady. Her cellar has flooded. I've got to go out and fix it.


CHRISTOPHER. Is it an emergency?


ED. Yes mate.


CHRISTOPHER. It is raining very heavily.

ED. It is.


CHRISTOPHER. The rain looks like white sparks.


ED. Christopher if I go out, will you be OK?


CHRISTOPHER. Yes, I will because there's no one around because everybody's staying indoors.

ED. Good. Good. Good. Good lad.


CHRISTOPHER. I like looking at the rain.


ED. Terrific.


CHRISTOPHER. I like it because it makes me think how all the water in the world is connected.


ED. Does it?


CHRISTOPHER. This water, this rain has evaporated actually from somewhere like maybe the Gulf of Mexico maybe or Baffin Bay and now it's falling in front of the house.


ED. I'll have my mobile with me.


CHRISTOPHER. Yes.


ED. So you can call me if there's a problem.


CHRISTOPHER. Yes.


ED. Behave yourself Christopher yeah?


CHRISTOPHER. Yeah.


Ed exits.

 

26b. SCHOOL


SIOBHAN. "So I went into his bedroom and opened up the wardrobe and lifted the toolbox off the top of the shirt box and opened the shirt box. I counted out the letters. There were 43 of them. They were all addressed to me in the same handwriting. I took one and opened it. Inside was this letter."


As Judy reads so Christopher begins to assemble his train set. His building becomes frantic. At times almost balletic.


JUDY. 451c Chapter Road, London, NW2 5NG 0208 887 8907.

Dear Christopher. I said that I wanted to explain to you why I went away when I had the time to do it properly. Now I have lots of time. So I'm sitting on the sofa here with this letter and the radio on and I'm going to try and explain. I was not a very good mother Christopher. Maybe if things had been different, maybe if you'd been different, I might have been better at it. But that's just the way things turned out. I'm not like your father. Your father is a much more patient person. He just gets on with things and if things upset him he doesn't let it show. But that's not the way I am and there's nothing I can do to change it. Do you remember once when we were shopping in town together?­ And we; went into Bentalls and it was really crowded and we had to get a Christmas present for Grandma? And you were frightened because of all the people in the shop. And you crouched down on the floor and put your hands over your ears and you were in the way of everyone so I got cross because I don't like shopping at Christmas either, and I told you to behave and I tried to pick you up and move you. But you shouted and you knocked those mixers off the shelf and there was a big crash. And everyone turned round to see what was going on and there were boxes and bits of string and bits of broken bowl on the floor and everyone was staring and I saw that you had wet yourself and I was so cross and I wanted to take you out of the shop but you wouldn't let me touch you and we just had to wait until you stopped screaming. And I remember that night I just cried and cried and your father was really nice about it at first and he made you supper and put you to bed and he said these things happen and it would be OK. but I said I couldn't take it anymore and eventually he got really cross and he told me I was being stupid and said I should pull myself together, and I hit him, which was wrong, but I was so upset. We had a lot of arguments like that.


 

27. HOME


ED. Look, maybe I shouldn't say this, but...I want you to know that you can trust me. Life is difficult, you know. It's bloody hard telling the truth all the time. But I want you to know that I'm trying. You have to know that I am going to tell you the truth from now on. About everything. Because...if you don't tell the truth now then later on it hurts even more. So... I killed Wellington Christopher. Just...let me explain. When your mum left...Eileen...Mrs. Shears...she was very good to me. She helped me through a very difficult time. and I'm not sure I would have made it without her. Well, you know how she was around here most days. Popping over to see if we were OK. If we needed anything...I thought...Well...Christopher, I'm trying to keep this simple...I thought we were friends. And I guess I thought wrong. We argued Christopher, and... She said some things I'm not going to say to you because they're not nice, but they hurt, but...I think she cared more for that bloody dog than for us. And maybe that's not so stupid looking back. Maybe it's easier living on your own looking after some stupid mutt than sharing your life with other actual human beings, I mean, shit, buddy we're

not exactly low-maintenance are we? Anyway, we had this fight. Well, quite a few fights to be honest. And after this particularly nasty little blow-out, she chucked me out of the house. And you know what that bloody dog was like. Nice as pie one moment, roll over, tickle its stomach. Sink its teeth into your leg the next. Anyway, we're yelling at each other and it's in the garden. So when she slams the door behind me, the bugger's waiting for me. And...I know, I know. Maybe if I'd just given it a kick it would probably have backed off. But, shit Christopher, when the red mist comes down...Christ, you know what I'm talking about. I mean we're not that different me and you. And it was like everything I'd been bottling up for two years just...I promise you, I never meant for it to turn out like this.

Ed holds his right hand up for Christopher to touch.

Christopher ignores it. Ed stares at Christopher.

OK. Look. Christopher. I'm sorry. Let's leave it for tonight, OK? I'm going to go downstairs and you get some sleep and we'll talk in the morning. It's going to be all right. Trust me.

 

Submit your audition materials by 5pm, Thursday, November 15th by emailing

s.sheldrick@gmail.com

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