Theater for College Students: Curious Incidents and Constellations

By Tara Dalton

via Wikipedia
via Wikipedia

I previously mentioned that I won a $10 ticket to see “Hamilton” through my dorm, University Hall, and that the experience was magical. I did not disclose that my wonderful dorm provided me with another show ticket: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.”

First: What. A. Name. (If only all experiences could have the same charisma. Consider “The Tragic Tale of Sanity Lost in the Unyielding Turnstile,” or “The Peculiar Pallor of the Bobst Zombies during Finals Season.”)

“Curious Incident” (the unfortunate drawback of awesome names is that they’re often shortened for convenience) may sound familiar: the play is based upon the bestselling novel by Mark Haddon. The story puts the audience in the mind of Christopher Boone, a boy with autism, as he strives to find the murderer of his neighbor’s dog.

The program at my dorm, “Page to Stage,” required participants to read the novel and participate in a book discussion prior to the show. I’ll admit, I harbored suspicions that my show experience would be slightly soured with knowledge of the plot – the plot holds no more mystery! Where’s the tension, the intrigue?

As when dealing with any truly great story, my worries were unfounded. I once more was drawn in, regardless of my prior knowledge, regardless of the medium. The genius of the choreography, techno music, and unique light effects were more impactful in the context of the original source. By reading the novel, the impressive transformation a story undergoes when transferring to the stage was all the clearer.

The creativity involved in this play is substantial. Check out the Broadway show’s initial promo video, with footage from the original West End production, to get a glimpse into exactly how this show utilizes technology in conjunction with traditional tools to create an extremely unique experience.

If you too would like to see “Curious,” the National Theatre offers two main discounts:

General rush tickets are $37 (limited to two tickets per person). These tickets offered on the day of the performance at the National Theatre box office and are limited to availability. The earlier in the day you arrive, the better chance you’ll have of scoring a ticket.

If you’d prefer to plan in advance, the National Theatre is affiliated with www.tix4students.com, a website that provides discounted tickets specifically for college students. Currently, the tickets are $34.25 on the site. It costs $7 a year to be a member, but the benefit of membership is that the discounted tickets are available for purchase much farther in advance than by other methods.

As a final tidbit, play that’s received rave reviews, “Constellations,” is closing on March 15. “Constellations” is a love story, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson, that explores their relationship in the context of the physics concept of infinite parallel universes. Think “If/Then,” but a lot more “alternative worlds.” To score the $27 student rush tickets available, show up to the box office two hours prior to the show with your student ID.

The Manhattan Theatre Club, the show’s producer, also participates in the 30 Under 30 program ($30 if you’re under 30, must enroll online). At this late stage, 30 Under 30 is unlikely to have tickets available for “Constellations.” However, the program is free, so check it out for future productions.

Tara Dalton is a contributing writer. Email her at theater@nyunews.com.

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