Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

VIDEO: Canadian Premiere of Tony-Winning Play THE HUMANS at the Citadel

Witness the drama and emotion of an entertaining family dinner fraught with secrets and tension with The Humans at the Citadel Theatre.

Winner of four Tony Awards, including Best Play, The Humans takes place in a New York apartment at Thanksgiving. When the Blake family gathers to celebrate the holiday, underlying anxiety and family skeletons threaten to come out. The Humans shows the strength people can find in humour and how the darkest moments can turn hilarious with enough wit and self-deprecation.

Sisters Brigid and Aimee Blake, along with their parents, Erik and Deirdre, grandmother Momo, and Brigid's older boyfriend, Richard, gather at Brigid and Richard's new apartment in Chinatown to celebrate Thanksgiving. We quickly learn about the struggles this ordinary American family faces on a daily basis - and the ways they choose to get by. Fraught with humour, irony, fear, and determination, the realities depicted in the play are all too relatable.

Written by playwright Stephen Karam, The Humans was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2016, in addition to winning numerous distinguished prizes. Called "the best play of the year," by multiple publications, including the New York Times, Newsday, and The Washington Post, the Broadway production was a critical darling. The Hollywood Reporter praised the show for "finding gorgeous balance between humour and sadness, love and disappointment, hope and dread, solace and hollow desolation," while the Daily News called it "a play of uncommon strengths; funny, fresh, piercing, and perceptive."

The Citadel's production of The Humans is directed by Jackie Maxwell, the former Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival. Maxwell, who was the AD at the Shaw Festival for 14 years, has been recognized for her contributions to Canadian theatre with several honours, including the National Theatre School's Gascon-Thomas Award, an honourary degree of Doctor of Humanities from the University of Windsor, and the Herbert Wittaker/Drama Bench Award.

The cast features Edmontonian Maralyn Ryan, who originated the role of Mrs. Dilber in Citadel's A Christmas Carol in 2000, and performed it every year until 2015, when her daughter, Kate Ryan, took over the role (followed by Darla Biccum the year after). Ryan's other noteworthy Citadel performances include Romeo and Juliet (1991-92 and 2000-2001), Tete a Tete (1991-92), Lend Me a Tenor (1991-92), and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2004-05). The rest of the cast is comprised of Citadel favourites Sara Farb (Next To Normal), Alana Hawley (Venus In Fur), Laurie Paton (The Glass Menagerie, Country Holiday, The Real Thing, Peter Pan, Mephisto, and The Promise) and Ric Reid (August: Osage County, God of Carnage). Making his Citadel debut is Dora award-winning actor Richard Lee. With Set and Costume Design by Judith Bowden, Lighting Design by Michael Walton, and Sound Design by Matthew Skopyk, this hilarious, heartwarming but eerie family drama may make audiences grateful that the holiday season is behind them.

The Humans runs at the Citadel in Shoctor Theatre January 6 to 28, 2018. Tickets are available at and 780.425.1820. Tickets start at just $30 plus fees and GST.

Related Articles View More Toronto Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You