After a remarkable year of change and adaptation, Centaur Theater wraps up its whirlwind 53rd season with the Canadian premiere of A room for the living in a time of extinction by Miranda Rose Room – the theater’s first mainline production of 2022.
The play takes a nourishing look at our relationship to climate change by delving into the history of extinctions on Earth. With humor and grace, this one woman show encourages us to look to the future with hope.
“Planet Earth is one of the most important things we share as people and this beautiful piece by Miranda Rose Hall offers us all a chance to come together around this idea. It is a wonderful example of the how art brings us together to explore our fragility alongside our capacity for hope. In today’s world, hope is a moral obligation,” said Eda Holmes, Artistic and Executive Director of Centaur Theatre.
Award-winning actor Warona Setshwaelo will play Naomi, an unsuspecting playwright who has to perform a play about climate change when the actors don’t show up. With a BA in Theater Arts from Virginia Tech University, Ms. Setshwaelo has worked extensively in theatre, film, television and voiceover.
Since her first TV credits on Big Brother Africa, she has made an invaluable contribution to the Montreal theater community as a mentor for Black Theater Workshop’s Artist Mentoring Program and Imago Theater’s ARTISTA program. Recently, she won Best Lead Performance at the 2020 METAs for her work in Small Mouth Sounds, which performed at the Segal Center. A Play for the Living… will be Ms. Setshwaelo’s first Centaur main-stage production, although she has previously trod the Centaur boards in Imago Theatre’s 2017 Intractable Woman offering. The Centaur Theater is delighted to work with such a prolific artist.
“I have long admired Warona’s powerful performances that I’ve had the privilege of seeing over the years, and I’m thrilled to be able to collaborate with her on this project. She brings depth, heart and humor to every role she plays. it occupies, which are integral to the telling of this story.”
– Rose PloteckDirector
A play for the living… begins with an actor’s nightmare (or rather a playwright’s nightmare): the play is about to begin and the actors cannot be found. Initially, Naomi intends to cancel the show, but she finds herself driven by the importance of the story to continue. And that’s what she does, and she works with the audience to find a new way to tell the story. The result is spirit, grief and inspiration all at once, and Naomi’s journey implores us to continue with radical hope.
“From my first reading of A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction, I was struck by how Miranda had captured feelings and sensations that had become so familiar to me as we consider the enormous challenge that awaits us and all creatures on this planet. The playwright gave us this gift by sharing her vision of what our future may hold with such heart, humor and optimism about the collective capacity of humanity.
– Rose Plotek, director
It’s no wonder playwright Miranda Rose Hall has won multiple awards for her work, including the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award in 2020. A Play for the Living… was commissioned by the LubDub Theater Company in 2018, including Ms. Hall is a founding member. and artistic director. It has since been produced professionally at the Baltimore Center Stage in Baltimore, MD, and at the Vidy Theater in Lausanne, Switzerland. The play was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2021.
The play will be directed by Rose Plotek, former Associate Director of the Directing Program at the National Theater School. Ms. Plotek has held the title of Associate Artist at Centaur since September 2020. Centaur audiences will know about her work as curator of the Wildside Festival. She has also worked with several leading theater companies, such as Why Not Theatre, Complicité and World Stage. This will be Ms. Plotek’s first production at the Centaur.
A limited number of socially distant seats are available by phone only on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that as the provincial government moves through the next stages of the COVID-19 reopening plan, proof of vaccination requirements for indoor venues have been waived effective March 12, 2022. Mask protocols stay in place when you are seated and moving around the building.
A room for the living in a time of extinction is available to theater industry professionals on Tuesday and Wednesday nights for $30 while Centaur is offering $20* RUSH tickets to students and groups of 20 or more (available only at the box office 514-288- 3161).
Prices include taxes and surcharges.