Irene Poole. Photo by Bronwen Sharp.
a woman with red light on her eyes

A Theatrical Space Odyssey

Originally published by Toronto Life on December 16, 2021.

Canadian Stage will return to indoor theatre in January 2022 with a production of the Soviet space saga Solaris. Toronto Life talked to artistic director Brendan Healy about the big premiere.  

CanStage is finally back on the boards. Is it fair to say you’re psyched?  
Oh, really psyched. We were lucky to be able to do some performances outdoors over the summer, but an indoor theatre provides the opportunity to create beautiful pictures on stage with lights and set intimacy. It’s where the finer aspects of theatre really come alive. 

And I guess no one really wants to sit in an amphitheatre in January.  
Well, there’s that too.  

What was it about this play that felt right for the big return?  
As we were reimagining how we were going to return, Solaris seemed really relevant. We knew we wanted to start with a big, spectacular story that required us to embrace the theatricality of the stage. Solaris takes place on a space station orbiting a mysterious planet, so that required creativity in terms of the set design. We landed on something evocative and beautiful – fans of 2021: A Space Odyssey will recognize some references. There’s also something powerfully thematic about the play that relates to the present moment.  

How so?  
The protagonist, Kris Kelvin, is an astronaut sent up to see what’s going on when the space station loses contact. She discovers a crew being visited by apparitions from their past. This idea of the limits of communication and the attempt to connect with the unknown feels true to what we’re going through as we emerge from isolation.  

Check out the full interview in the January print edition of Toronto Life. 
We hope to see you in the new year at Canadian Stage!

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