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North High student to star in latest Players Circle play

By Staff | Mar 13, 2020

Contributed photo by Mike Shapiro Harvey Evans and other members of the cast rehearse a scene from the production of “Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time.”

The Players Circle Theatre will present its fourth production of the season when “Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time” opens on Tuesday, March 17, with previews before the formal opening on March 21.

A North Fort Myers High School student is going to play the lead.

Harvey Evans, 17, of Cape Coral, is playing the role of Christopher Boone, a 15-year-old math savant on the autism spectrum who goes on an investigation when he discovers his neighbor’s dog has been murdered.

Christopher sets out to solve the crime, embarking on a journey that will change his world forever.

Evans said by playing Christopher, he got a deep understanding of the troubles people go through when they have a different life than others.

“I learned how these people and their families live their lives and those with special needs and how they see themselves and it’s truly inspiring,” Evans said.

Evans said it took a lot of preparation to play this role, as well as lots of practice and attention to detail, since it is never mentioned that he is on the spectrum, just that he goes to a special school.

“I did a lot of research and at North they have a special ed class and I observed that. I also have a family member who is a special ed teacher and contacted them on how they act and how they are with other people,” Evans said. “I also watched a lot of documentaries.”

Evans said a teacher discovered they were doing the performance at the Players Circle and contacted Robert Cacioppo, producing artistic director at Players Circle.

Cacioppo had worked with Evans three years ago when he played Jem in “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Florida Rep., which Cacioppo was running at the time and was thrilled to have him in the lead role.

Evans, who was born in England and came to Florida at age 4, started acting as a child in school productions, but once he got to high school, he wanted to set his sights higher.

“I thought why don’t I try doing a show outside of school. After the first rehearsal, I immediately fell in love with it and pursue it further,” Evans said, who has also done shows at the Broadway Palm in Fort Myers as well as shows at North High.

Evans said his character experiences a lot of growth throughout the production, and learns a lot about himself.

“He understands how and why things happened in his life and starts to see himself as a braver person with the adventures he goes on. When he says that at the end of the play, it’s an amazing moment,” Evans said.

Based on the popular novel by Mark Haddon, and adapted by Simon Stephens, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” premiered in London in 2013, and went on to win seven Olivier Awards (the equivalent of the Tony Award), more than any play in Olivier history.

Tony Graffy and Katie Pankow play Christopher’s parents, Joanna Harmon will play Christopher’s teacher. Also in the cast are Carrie Lund Cacioppo, Natalie Brouwer, Joel Stigliano, Matt Michaels, Karen Goldberg and Miami actor William Mahone

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” will run from March 17 to April 12, Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Wednesday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Discounted previews are from March 17-20 with opening night on Saturday March 21.

Ticket prices start at $25, VIP preview tickets at $35 and VIP regular tickets at $50. Discounts are available for groups and students.

For tickets or additional information, call 800-3292 or visit www.playerscircle.org.