Starstuff: Per Aspera Ad Astra

Starstuff: Per Aspera Ad Astra, written and directed by Derek Chan, tells the story of astronaut Thomas Malinsky and his perilous journey to a planet far away in a one-person spaceship.

The story is complex and multilayered. Although the story is philosophical and historical, it is overly repetitive and difficult to follow. It is challenging to determine what play the writer/director was aiming for. It seems like he tries to draw parallels between the birth of a child and space exploration. In spite of the fact that the story itself is poetic and intimate, it is not captivating and comprehensive enough.

Although the author is trying to convey great messages about unknown territories and connections lost in today’s hyperconnected world, the story itself not well connected and not cohesive. The end of the play is abrupt and the viewer left stunned and confused. If ambiguity and confusion was the goal it is well achieved, otherwise the play just tumbles through space.

Overall, good acting, great soundtrack, interesting stage direction that produces an anti-gravity effect and the stillness of space. Great message, invites viewers to think, and intended for young adults and adults.

By Natalia Krioutchkova