Yesterday, I enjoyed an expansive evening at Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille as playwright Adam Seybold’s “The De Chardin Project” brought one of my theological heros to vivid life. Before my very eyes, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin gave new meaning to “forever!” Seybold’s bravery in taking on the complex work of Teilhard is matched by his sensitivity for the life and ideas of the man whose thinking continues to impress those who seek ways of expressing the complicated marriage of theology and science. In ninety short minutes Seybold’s script propelled us to the sun and back over and over again as the talents of Maeve Beaty and Cyrus Lane breathed life in to the divine/human love affair that is life
After years of pouring over Teihard’s work, I can empathize with the challenges of bringing his genius to a wider audience. The combination of talents that have come together in this production to stretch the audience’s perspective beyond the limits of tired arguments has succeeded in creating an experience which far exceeded my expectations. When I entered the theatre, I was sceptical. I wondered what would become of the ideas that I treasure. But it only took a few moments for Seybold’s words to woo me and before I knew it, Cyrus Lane’s tortured and dying Teilhard had me opening myself to a series of transformative moments, the like of which I’ve not enjoyed in the theatre for a long time. With Maev Beaty’s steady hand as our guide, Teihard’s questions took us on an adventure worthy of our deepest wonderings. Beaty’s moving ability to transform herself was aided by the subtle and sometimes startling staging. Director Alan Dilworth managed to not only direct his actors but his audience as well as we transcended the stage up, up, up, to the sun and back again into the deep interior of our being to capture precious grains of sand.
If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, whether you’ve read Teihard or never heard of him before, this play is a must see. The run ends December 14. So don’t delay. After the adventure of The De Chardin Project the expansion of my ideas about reality, like forever, is just beginning as Maev Beaty’s passionate “Yes” echoes throughout my being!