Pali’s drama department stages moving drama

Arielle Hatton, Staff Writer

Pali’s fall play “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” premiered on Thursday, Nov. 7 in Mercer Hall. Under the direction of distinguished teachers Cheri and Monique Smith, the drama department put on a total of eight shows, hosting their last show on Saturday, Nov. 16.

The play follows the wild adventures of Christopher Boon, a mathematically gifted teen who is on the spectrum. The action begins with Boon discovering a dead dog in his neighbor’s garden. Scarred and saddened by what he has just seen, Boon makes it his mission to find the culprit and restore justice to his town. As Boon begins his investigative journey, new revelations about his past turn his world upside down.

The Smith sisters have been directing plays and musicals for more than 20 years. They both agree that this year’s play was, by far, one of their favorites because of the impact the show has on the audience. As Cheri said, “Having families come up [after the show] to say how much it meant to them that we were presenting this material was very fulfilling!”

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is Simon Stephen’s 2012 adaptation of Mark Haddon’s 2003 mystery novel. Upon hearing about Stephen’s adaptation, the Smith sisters fell in love with the story and immediately decided to make it this year’s fall play. Cheri said that she wanted to “bring light to Christopher’s story.”

Auditions for the play began as early as August and took place over the course of three days. After the cast was finalized, they began rehearsals, practicing every day after school until 5:30 p.m. in preparation for opening night. Sophomore Oona Fitzmaurice, who was cast as Siobhan, Christopher’s teacher, said, “Preparing for the play was one of the most taxing and rewarding things in the world, and I really loved the process.”
The play proved popular among Pali students. The drama department offered classes the opportunity to sit in on a sneak peak of the play during school hours. Sophomore Charlie Slan, as well as many other students, enjoyed it so much that she decided to purchase a ticket to one of the complete, night-time performances. “It was so entertaining to watch,” she said. “Everyone was so talented, and it was clear that they have been really working hard at this.”

Cheri said she was “thrilled with the final product” and that for her “it was extremely rewarding.” Despite a few bumps in the road, the sisters are so proud of what their cast and crew were able to accomplish.