Previews began Jan. 22 at the Space Theatre in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
DCTC artistic director Kent Thompson and director of new play development Bruce Sevy commissioned When Tang Met Laika. Performances continue to Feb. 27.
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," according to production notes. "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." The play "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."
The team includes scenic designer James Kronzer, costume designer David Kay Mickelsen, lighting designer Charles R. MacLeod, sound designer Jason Ducat and projection designer Charlie I. Miller. Original music is composed by Jorge Cousineau. (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 is Maria Pakulova.)
The cast for When Tang Met Laika, directed by Terrence J. Nolen, includes Ian Merrill Peakes as Patrick; Jessica Love as Elena, Megan Byrne as Samantha and Randy Moore, Richard Thieriot, M. Scott McLean and R. Ward Duffy.
For tickets and more information, call (303) 893-4100 or (800) 641-1222, or visit www.denvercenter.org.
DCTC won the Tony Award as Outstanding Regional Theatre.