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ESL Presents "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time"

By contributor,
ESL 2-27-23

Enter Stage Left Theater (ESL), the resident community theater of the Hopkinton Center for the Arts (HCA), located at 98 Hayden Rowe St, Hopkinton, announces two weekends of performances of the award-winning play, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

Performances will take place Friday and Saturday March 3, 4, 10, 11 at 8pm at the HCA.

The play is written by Simon Stephens, based on the popular novel of the same name by Mark Haddon. The story concerns a mystery surrounding the death of a neighbor's dog that is investigated by young Christopher Boone, who is autistic, and his relationships with his parents and school mentor.

Director Paul Champlin is one of the founders of ESL Theater and has numerous performance and directing credits. He recently retired from the UMass Chan Medical school, where worked for thirty-six years as their Adolescent Behavioral Coordinator. This play has been on his radar to direct for some time.

Champlin noted, "This is ultimately a human story; one that is raw and painful on the one hand, touching and endearing on the other. It forces us to examine our own capacities for empathy and understanding as we watch Christopher experience the world from his perspective and navigate the stresses of interpersonal relationships."

While it is not always possible for theater groups who produce this play to cast a neuro-diverse actor to play Christopher, Champlin was fortunate to have two actors on the spectrum audition for the role. Ultimately 17-year-old Jacob Zinno of Sharon, MA was selected.

Zinno is a Junior at Sharon High School. He is thrilled to be playing the role of Christopher in his first show with Enter Stage Left Theatre.

When asked about his experience with interpreting this role Zinno noted,

"I identify with Christopher on a personal level, sharing some of his quirks and difficulties, albeit not as extreme. Probably the biggest challenge is that Christopher tends to be louder and more outwardly expresses his emotions, while I am more introverted and reserved."

When asked what he hopes the audiences will take away from their experience in seeing this play, Zinno said, "I hope that this show grants people a look inside a neurodivergent mind and helps them to understand a little better what kinds of challenges such a person deals with on a daily basis."

Rounding out the ensemble cast are John Alzapiedi, Casey Bowers, Amy Caffazo, Luke Desautels, Karen Dinehart, Gene Houk, Elyssa Miller, Beth Ristaino, Tiffany Sabasowitz, Alex Scavo, Savannah White and Julian Willard.

The cast hails from several local towns including Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Sharon, Marlborough, Milford, Upton, and Worcester.

Performances will take place Friday and Saturday March 3, 4, 10, 11 at 8pm at the HCA. The production is intended for audiences age 13 and older due to some adult language. Patrons attending the Friday performances are invited for a talk-back with the cast after the show.

Tickets may be purchased online at, in person or by calling 508-435-9222.

This is a Card to Culture eligible performance. EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare card holders can obtain tickets to this HCA event for no cost (supply may be limited). To obtain your Card to Culture ticket ahead of time reach out to us at to reserve your tickets.