To open the 51st season of its subscription series, Centaur Theatre presents the world premiere of Alice and the World We Live In, written by local playwright, Alexandria Haber, and directed by Centaur’s Artistic and Executive Director, Eda Holmes. Looking at the reality of living in today’s uncertain world the two-hander, starring Daniel Brochu (Last Night at the Gayety and Triplex Nervosa) and Jane Wheeler (Social Studies, Innocence Lost, Twelfth Night and Dancing at Lughnasa), runs from October 15 to November 3.
“I feel like the world we live in is very different from the world I knew as a child,” stated playwright Alexandria Haber. “I think we are mourning the loss of a world we once knew as a society, due in part to the rising number of violent attacks which, by their nature, are random. Random makes us feel unsafe and death is very random. Even when it is expected, it is sudden: one minute the person is there and the next they are gone. When someone you love dies, the world you once knew is not the same anymore. Everything changes.”
Alice stands frozen on a dangerous mountain pass. Paralyzed, unable to move forward or turn back, she is suspended between multiple possibilities of what could have been and what is. Inspired by the topsy-turvy world Alice encounters in Wonderland when she falls down the rabbit hole, this moving allegory explores a woman’s struggle to push through the grief of losing the love of her life to a random act of terror. Echoing our collective fear of what lies ahead in these tumultuous and uncertain times, the play exalts our indefatigable resilience and endless capacity to love, once we find the courage to let go.
“When I first read the script, it grabbed me by the heart,” stated director Eda Holmes. “It gave voice to my own paralyzing fear of losing the one person I cannot imagine living without: the love of my life. But the play didn’t leave me there; it carried me through the fear to a place where I was no longer paralyzed — I was able to see the world from a new vantage point. It reminded me that our ability to love someone is the key to our survival. Alice and the World We Live In is a soaring testament of love’s capacity to give us the strength to face the unimaginable.”
The first draft of Alice and the World We Live In called for seven actors and was the second place winner of Infinithéâtre’s 2017 Write-on-Q competition, affording the script the prize of a public reading in The Pipeline series. Haber submitted that script to Holmes, who liked it but was most intrigued with the characters of Alice and Ever, and asked Haber if she would consider re-writing the play as a two-hander. Imago Theatre’s Artistic Director, Micheline Chevrier, was then hired as a dramaturg, and Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal was also instrumental in furthering the play’s development by financing three workshops over the course of two years.
Preview Pre-show Convo: Thursday October 17 at 7 pm.
In the intimate Centaur Theatre gallery, Eda Holmes will discuss the design elements with the entire Alice and the World We Live In creative team. Free and open to the public.
Sunday Chat-Up: Sunday October 20 at 12:30 pm
Also in Centaur’s main floor gallery. Join Lucinda Chodan, the Montreal Gazette's Editor-in-Chief, in conversation with Alexandria Haber, author of Alice and the World We Live In. This is a free public event with refreshments provided by Bonaparte Restaurant.
Post-Show Talkbacks: Thursday October 24 and Sunday October 27.
Audience members are invited to stay after the evening and matinée performances respectively for insightful Q&A’s with the cast, playwright and director.
Saturday Salon: Saturday October 26 following the matinée
In Centaur’s main floor gallery, Eda Holmes will be speaking about the role of the dramaturg within the process of play development.
- Written by Alexandria Haber
- Directed by Eda Holmes
- Dramaturgy by Micheline Chevrier
- October 15 to November 3, 2019
- With Daniel Brochu and Jane Wheeler
—Centaur Theatre Company