Fishers teen set for role in ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

From left, Barb Weaver, Lori Colcord, Gus Pearcy, Nikki Lynch, Earl Campbell, Tanya Haas, Ryan Shelton, Cathie Morgan and Kelly Keller are the cast of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.” (Photo courtesy of Carmel Community

Noah Ebeyer is getting quite the challenge for his first major role.

Ebeyer, 19-year-old Fishers resident, is playing Christopher in Carmel Community Players’ production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” Feb. 25 to March 6 at The Cat, 254 Veterans Way, Carmel.

Christopher is a 15-year-old who finds his neighbor’s dead dog. The dog has been speared with a garden fork. Christopher, who is exceptional at math but has difficultly relating with people, becomes determined to solve the mystery.

Although it is never stated, the inference is that Christopher is on the autism spectrum.

“Playing someone with a disability is difficult when you yourself don’t have that disability,” said Ebeyer, a 2021 Hamilton Southeastern High School graduate and Ivy Tech student. “It took a lot of outside research to get the physical mannerisms of the disability. You still can’t understand what is going in the head completely.

“There is a fine line to walk to portray it accurately and not going over the top. Once you go over the top, you ruin it.”

Ebeyer said it helps when there are people in the cast who work with people on the spectrum or have people or family members on it.

“It helps to know what works and what doesn’t,” Ebeyer said.

Carmel resident Lori Colcord plays Christopher’s teacher. Colcord, a behavior consultant, works with individuals who have neurodevelopment disabilities.

“When I read the character of Siobhan, I saw Christopher and Siobhan have a special relationship,” she said. “She sees he is a unique student with a lot of gifts which get overshadowed by his maladaptive behaviors. But she accepts him for everything he is and everything he’s capable of.

“She doesn’t try to make him do anything he’s not capable of doing. “

Colcord said the way the relationship is portrayed is what drew her to the role.

“Anyone can connect with it because the play is about how one thing can happen in your life and send it spinning into a different direction,” she said. “Christopher has a mystery to solve. In order to solve this mystery, he has to do some things he’s never done before. For instance, talk to his neighbors. When he talks to his neighbors, they reveal information that sends him spiraling in a different direction.”

Colcord said it’s interesting to watch Christopher, who is not neurologically equipped to go through changes, go through tremendous changes in a small amount of time.

“How he maneuvers these changes and how his relationships evolve because of the changes are the heart of the story,” Colcord said.

This is Colcord’s first acting role in 13 years. She took a break when she got married and started a family.

Colcord decided to see what theaters were doing and read about the play because she wanted to see the show. She saw that it wasn’t cast and auditions were in two days.

“That’s how I accidentally came into the show,” she said.

Carmel resident Tanya Haas plays a few roles, including Mrs. Shears, whose dog is killed, and the head of school. She also plays some random roles, including an ATM machine.

Haas’ oldest son is on the autism spectrum. She worked at Midwest Academy as the drama teacher and later directed the school musicals as a volunteer. Many students at Midwest are on the spectrum.

“Noah is doing an amazing job,” Haas said. “Everyone seems to have the tone of the show spot on. I don’t have the largest part by any means, but it’s a privilege to be part of the production.”

Brownsburg resident Larry Adams is directing his first show for CCP.

“They asked me if I would direct it and I said, ‘If they had brought up any other show I would have said no,’” he said. “I love the show. I love the book it’s based on. It’s one of my absolute favorites.”

Adams said the show has drama, humor and poignancy.

“It’s about being different, and we’ve all felt that way,” Adams said.

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