Denver Center Theatre Company Presents WHEN TANG MET LAIKA
A Denver Center Commissioned World Premiere
When Tang Met Laika
by Rogelio Martinez
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
January 22 - February 27, 2010 (Opening Thursday, January 28) The Space Theatre
Commissioned by the Denver Center Theatre Company and
Magic Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation New Science & Technology Plays Initiative.
Playwright Rogelio Martinez looked to his love of the space program for inspiration when he was commissioned by the Denver Center Theatre Company to write a new play. His resulting love story is set on planet Earth and the International Space Station and involves Laika - a Soviet dog sent into space with no hope of recovery, Tang - the astronaut's breakfast drink loved by an entire generation of American children and the ghost of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. When Tang Met Laika, described by Director Terrence J. Nolen (Denver Center debut, Artistic Director of Philadelphia's Arden Theatre) as "unique and audacious," explores how a Soviet Cosmonaut and an American Astronaut thawed the Cold War.
The design team for When Tang Met Laika was given the unique challenge of creating both earth's gravity and the weightless environment of space in the in-the-round Space Theatre. They include Scenic Designer James Kronzer (Denver Center debut, Broadway's Glory Days), Costume Designer David Kay Mickelsen (A Raisin in the Sun, Radio Golf, Gem of the Ocean), Lighting Designer Charles R. MacLeod (Absurd Person Singular, A Raisin in the Sun, Dusty and the Big Bad World), Sound Designer Jason Ducat (Absurd Person Singular, The Voysey Inheritance, Radio Golf) and Projection Designer Charlie I. Miller (Denver Center stage debut, 10 Minutes to Curtain). Original music for this world premiere production was composed by Jorge Cousineau (Denver Center debut, more than 30 productions for Arden Theatre), the Dramaturg is Douglas Langworthy (Sunsets and Margaritas, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Inana) and the Dialect Coach is Kathryn G. Maes (A Christmas Carol, The Voysey Inheritance, Dusty and the Big Bad World). Assisting with space program information was Astronaut Bruce McCandless, the first man to take an untethered walk in space, and assisting with the Russian language was Maria Pakulova.
The cast includes Ian Merrill Peakes (Glengarry GLen Ross) as Patrick; Jessica Love (Denver Center debut, The Juilliard School) as Elena, Megan Byrne (Absurd Person Singular, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Noises Off) as Samantha, Randy Moore (The Voysey Inheritance, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Trip to Bountiful), Richard Thieriot (You Can't Take It With You, Pride and Prejudice), M. Scott McLean (A Christmas Carol, The Voysey Inheritance, A Prayer for Owen Meany) and R. Ward Duffy (Denver Center Debut, Lincoln Center, Cherry Lane).