Written by Alexandria Haber
Directed by Alain Goulem
February 9 to MARCH 6, 2016
With Stefanie Buxton, Trevor Hayes, Emelia Hellman, Carlo Mestroni, and Leni Parker
Music Composer Alain Goulem ▪
Set & Costume Designer Amy Keith ▪ Lighting Designer Robert Thomson ▪
Assistant Director Stephanie Costa ▪ Assistant Set & Props Designer Clara Gonzalez ▪
Stage Manager Melanie St-Jacques ▪ Apprentice Stage Manager Marissa Ireland ▪
Centaur Theatre’s ON THIS DAY asks: Can the 100 mile diet lead to bliss?
Centaur Theatre proudly presents as its first play of 2016, the world premiere of On This Day, written by Montreal playwright Alexandria Haber, playing from February 9 to March 6, 2016. Ms. Haber’s works have previously graced the Centaur stage in the Wildside Festival (Life Here After), Urban Tales (Tom Waits) and Brave New Looks (Four Minutes If You Bleed). This event marks her first mainstage production for the company.
SARAH: Anxiety is in. Everyone is on Beta blockers and Valium. The road to happiness is bumpy – full of tricky twists and unexpected turns – and one random event can change everything.
In this disarming comedy-drama, a couple driving to a birthday party hit a young woman who comes out of nowhere. Or did they? A celebration in the country becomes a day of soul searching and revelation for two couples and the mysterious young woman as they examine their relationships with each other and themselves in the pursuit of happiness.
CELIA: Unhappiness is the biggest disease of the 21st century. And as it turns out, Clive, organic vegetables can’t prevent it.
Roy Surette, Centaur Theatre’s Executive and Artistic Director said, “I couldn’t be more pleased to have one of Alexandria Haber’s plays as part of our season. Her script is probing and witty, making no apologies for its blatant honesty. Global warming, marital infidelity, organic vegetables, actually listening to your partner … Ms. Haber has
captured the challenges of living and loving in the 21st century so perfectly that audiences are bound to see a piece of themselves in each of her beautifully crafted characters, brought to life by a terrific cast. Ms. Haber has given us a bit of a mystery and much to ponder in this compelling and timely story.”
CLIVE: You choose what you are going to pay attention to. You choose what matters.
The idea for the play came from a random image Ms. Haber had of a girl walking into the path of an oncoming car and asking: “why someone would do such a thing”. She wrote the scene years ago and then put it away, but when she was invited to Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre writers’ unit, she needed a new completed work. On This Day is the result. Ms. Haber expanded: “One of the themes I’m exploring with this play is the Production Sponsor definition of happiness. How do we define it? How do we hold onto it? How important is it to be happy? At what cost to others would you be willing to pursue your own happiness?”
HENRY: … what might very well be the enlightened and happy choice for me may have the exact opposite effect on someone else.
City slickers Sarah and Henry are played by Leni Parker (in her seventh Centaur production) and Carlo Mestroni (Centaur’s In Absentia and Four Minutes If You Bleed) respectively. Stefanie Buxton (2015 Brave New Looks production of Province) and Gemini nominee Trevor Hayes (the lead in the TV mini-series Dr. Norman Bethune)
play the country couple, Celia and Clive. Emelia Hellman (Viola in Repercussion Theatre’s 2015 production of Twelfth Night) takes on the role of the enigmatic stranger, Grace.
Alain Goulem, well known to Centaur audiences and last seen as the police inspector in this season’s hit, Butcher, directs, with assistance from Stephanie Costa. Amy Keith’s set mirrors both the simplicity of country living and the vastness of the universe in which these five people strive to find purpose, while her costumes reflect the views and attitudes of each character with subtlety. Ms. Keith is assisted by Clara Gonzalez.
Stratford veteran Robert Thomson, also known for his outstanding opera and dance designs, creates the lighting. Melanie St-Jacques stage manages with Apprentice Stage Manager, Marissa Ireland.