Tyler Lea makes a stunning Broadway debut as Christopher Boone, a 15-year-old British teen on the spectrum who is determined to solve the mysteries in his life, in the Tony Award-winning Best Play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Below, BroadwayBox gets to know the North Carolina native a bit better as he talks about his process, his band geek past and finding freedom in NYC.
1. The most important part of my pre-show prep for Curious Incident is:
Taking the time to shut out my world so that I can focus and give all of my energy to playing Christopher. Also, I sometimes read parts of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (the novel) or The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida for inspiration.
2. The most important part of my post-show come down is:
I usually take a brief moment to reflect on my performance and ask myself how I can I deepen or discover more truth in specific moments.
3. If I had to describe 15-year-old me in a hashtag, I was:
#coolestkidinschool of course...but if I have to be honest... #bandgeek
4. Most memorable thing I've heard so far at the stage door has been:
When people tell me that they understand so much more about their family member or student or a friend who is on the spectrum because of this show. I am always honored and proud to be a part of a play that brings so much awareness to a community who is otherwise underestimated in their abilities. So those are the moments I will always remember and the moments that keep me going, knowing that a difference is being made in the world every night people see this play.
5. Two things I'm really passionate about outside of performing are:
1. Drum Corps International (DCI.org) which is a marching music organization...think marching band on steroids. I actually traveled the whole country marching with the Glassmen the summer of 2007.
2. I like to find and collect unique things like art, antiques, clothes, or furniture. I always enjoy antique hunting with my dad when I visit home in North Carolina.
6. My favorite line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet:
“Then I defy you, stars.”
7. Fictional character I feel might be my spirit animal:
Mikey from The Goonies.
8. Book (other than Curious) that completely rocked my world the first time I read it:
Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman.
9. Movie that can always make me laugh & a movie that can always make me cry:
A movie that can always make me laugh…Dumb & Dumber
And the movie(s) that will most definitely always make me cry...Stepmom and Marley and Me (I couldn’t decide which is more heart-wrenching)
10. My New York City happy place is:
By the Hudson because the buildings occasionally create a feeling of being caged in, and sometimes I just need some breathing room. Being by the water seems to give me a sense of freedom from the lovely chaos of NYC.
Get yourself over to Broadway’s Barrymore Theatre to see Tyler Lea as Christopher in ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’.