The Darkest Dark

Coming 2022



Based on the book by Chris Hadfield with Kate Fillion
Adapted for the stage by Jim Millan and Ian MacIntyre
Directed by Jim Millan

Magic Consultant: David Ben
Set and Costume Design by Anna Treusch

Lighting Design by Bonnie Beecher

“The creation of The Darkest Dark has been another challenging journey in my life. Jim’s thirty years of creating incredible theatre and expertise in the world of magic will provide the perfect vehicle to envelope audiences.”
– Commander Chris Hadfield, Astronaut

From the imaginations of Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield and acclaimed director/writer Jim Millan – with a little enchanted guidance from world-renowned magician David Ben – this ground-breaking theatrical experience will weave magic, flight, movement and multimedia with theatre arts to create an enchanting planetary playground.

Chris HadfieldInspired by Commander Hadfield’s internationally best-selling children’s book, The Darkest Dark is a timely new play for young audiences about overcoming your fears and embracing the unknown. The story is based on Hadfield’s own experience as a child confronting his fear of the dark so he can one day travel to space.

The Story

The Darkest Dark book coverAre you afraid of the dark? Nine-year-old Chris is too.
At bedtime, the night closes in – full of shadows, creaks and the worst sorts of aliens. It’s 1969 and Apollo II is about to land on the moon. Space-loving Chris dreams of becoming an astronaut. But watching history being made hangs in the balance if he can’t conquer his fear. What is truly out there – in the darkest dark?

Inside The Darkest Dark

In 2016, Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield published his internationally best-selling children’s book, The Darkest Dark.

Director/writer Jim Millan (Kids in the Hall, Mythbusters, Broadway’s The Illusionists and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) developed a relationship with the Hadfield family when he worked on Chris’s science-based variety show, Generator. Both were intrigued by the idea of bringing The Darkest Dark to the stage. In 2017, Jim approached YPT to turn the beautiful book into a play.

Early on in the process, YPT realized that we were dealing with a production unlike anything we had ever mounted before – one that would weave magic, flight, movement and multi-media with theatre arts. We knew we had a very special piece of source material, with a truly extraordinary creative team to guide the project.Darkest Dark creative team new

YPT is proud to announce that The Darkest Dark has been selected as a recipient of The National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund, representing the first English language TYA project to receive support.

nac logo
The NAC is proud to partner with outstanding Canadian artists and companies whose range of work is truly inspiring. The National Creation Fund is a catalyst for Canadian artists to take their projects to a new level…to be successful on the national and international stage.
– The National Arts Centre

This investment will offer YPT an unprecedented opportunity to explore and pilot the integration of magic and illusion into this World Premiere theatrical event.

Development Partners: Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Geordie Theatre, Talk Is Free Theatre, and the Magicana Foundation.

As Canada’s premier theatre for young audiences, YPT offers over half a century of expertise in arts and education. The commitment the  company shows to child development through the arts gives me confidence that The Darkest Dark will be in safe – and extraordinary – hands.”
– Chris Hadfield

Program & Study Guide