Rat Gets Starring Role in Broadway Play

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Audiences have fallen in love with a new actor on Broadway. She’s a rat named Toby, and her role in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has just been expanded.

Toby is the rat kept by the teenager with autism at the center of the show, and while the New York Times reports that some cast members were initially skeptical about performing with a live rat, audiences have responded so positively to Toby that the directors decided to give her a little more freedom onstage. (it is a female rat playing a male character). Now, Toby, who is played by a female rat, gets to leave her carrier at one point during the performance.

“She’s a special rat,” Benjamin Klein, the associate director of the play, told the New York Times.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time opened in October.

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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com