Maja Ardal on how her battle with cancer inspired a new play featuring a powerhouse female cast

Presented by Nightwood Theatre in association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
Written by Maja Ardal
Directed by Kim Blackwell

Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

This season, Nightwood Theatre (Canada's national women's theatre company) presents the world premiere of Maja Ardal's new show HER2 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. In the play, a group of women are recruited for a clinical drug trial during which they form an unbreakable bond. Directed by Kim Blackwell, the production features a formidable female cast, including Olunike Adeliyi, Diane D’Aquila, Monica Dottor, Kyra Harper, Brenda Kamino, Nancy Palk, Ellora Patnaik, Chick Reid, Maria Vacratsis and Bahareh Yaraghi.

Here, playwright Maja Ardal talks about her experience creating this heartening piece.

Theatromania: Tell us about HER2. What inspired you to write this play?

MA: I was recovering from cancer and came across an account of a clinical trial for a breast cancer drug that involved women with a poor prognosis recieving treatment together. I imagined a group of women with nothing in common except the diagnosis and a desperation to survive forced to spend hours together. I also wanted to write a play for a large number of women, many over 55.

Theatromania: How would describe Nightwood Theatre’s production in a few sentences?

MA: This production is very entertaining with video and choreography and fantastic acting by some of Canada's finest. Director Kim Blackwell has a vivid and epic vision.

Theatromania: What are some of the challenges in staging this particular piece?

MA: It needed to be very well cast and to balance the pain of living with cancer with humour and fun.

Theatromania: What have you learned from this experience so far?

MA: I learn every day that actors make the play!

Theatromania: What do you hope audiences take away from this performance?

MA: I hope they can feel the life force while also thinking about how medical science and the cancer patient need to have a deeper ongoing dialogue about all of the forces at work that help to fight cancer including love, laughter, family, community, and complementary therapies.

HER2 runs until February 1, 2015 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Visit buddiesinbadtimes.com for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Tue, 2015-01-13 - Sun, 2015-02-01


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.