– Eight groundbreaking plays –
– Six Canadian playwrights –
– Two world premieres –
Toronto, February 26, 2016 – Artistic Director Richard Rose and Managing Director Susan Moffat announced Tarragon Theatre’s 2016-17 season today, featuring an ambitious and exciting mix of eight plays from across the country and abroad including two world premieres by Tarragon Playwrights-in-Residence, two Toronto premieres of Canadian plays – and playwrights – from Western Canada, two international productions receiving Toronto debuts, and two remounts: one, a smash hit that was a world premiere from Tarragon’s 2014-15 season; the other, a critically-acclaimed touring production from last year’s PANAMANIA Festival.
In announcing the lineup, Rose said, “This is a season that truly celebrates Canadian artists, whether in new works from across the country and at home, or interpreting important works from away. I am thrilled to introduce two new exhilarating voices from the Prairies to Tarragon audiences – Geoffrey Simon Brown and Arun Lakra – with Toronto premieres of two provocative and insightful pieces, The Circle and Sequence respectively. In addition, we are proud to present three productions from Tarragon’s own Playwrights-in-Residence: world premieres that delve deeply into the world we live in today by Erin Shields and Maria Milisavljevic (The Millennial Malcontent and Peace River Country) along with a remount of Hannah Moscovitch’s brilliant and unusual family drama, Infinity. We are also excited to bring two internationally acclaimed plays to Toronto audiences for the first time: the startling Broadway dramedy The Realistic Joneses by noted American dramatist Will Eno and the Toronto English-language premiere of the boundary-breaking contemporary romantic comedy, Midsummer (a play with songs) from across the pond by acclaimed Scottish playwright David Greig and singer-songwriter Gordon McIntyre. And we are delighted to kick off the tour of an important Canadian play, The Watershed by Montreal‘s Annabel Soutar, after its huge success at PANAMANIA last summer. In its upcoming 46th season, Tarragon continues to be a welcoming and nourishing home for Canadian theatre-making.”
Tarragon’s 2016-17 season opens in the Mainspace with The Watershed, the critically acclaimed play by Montreal documentary theatre artist Annabel Soutar, produced by Crow’s Theatre and Porte Parole who created this extraordinary work that investigates the forces that are shaping the future of our natural resources. It earned raves in its premiere last summer as part of the PANAMANIA Festival, and will tour to Montreal and elsewhere following its run at Tarragon. Chris Abraham, Artistic Director of Crow’s, again directs.
Following in the Mainspace is the penetrating dramatic comedy that garnered raves on Broadway: The Realistic Joneses about two suburban couples who seem to have even more in common than their identical homes and shared last names. It is written by Brooklyn-based Will Eno, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for Thom Pain (based on nothing) which Tarragon produced in 2007. After a lauded run on Broadway in 2014 that earned three Drama League nominations and two Drama Desk awards, it now makes its Toronto premiere. Richard Rose, Tarragon’s Artistic Director, directs.
The first Extraspace production of the season is the Toronto (and Ontario) premiere of The Circle, a hard-hitting, unsettling play about youth and belonging set in a high-school garage party by one of Canada’s most exciting new young voices, Calgary’s 27-year-old Geoffrey Simon Brown in his Tarragon and Toronto debut. Peter Pasyk, Tarragon’s Urjo Kareda Resident Artist for 2013-14, directs.
The new year brings another Toronto (and Ontario) premiere: Sequence, a science thriller about luck, faith and math that won the 2013 Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play by Calgary ophthalmologist, playwright, screenwriter and songwriter Arun Lakra, also in his Tarragon/Toronto debut. Tarragon’s Associate Artistic Director Andrea Donaldson helms this work in the Mainspace.
Also in January, Toronto audiences have another chance to catch the smash hit remounted from Tarragon’s 2014-15 season: Infinity, a gripping story about love and time written by in-demand Playwright-in-Residence Hannah Moscovitch that won the 2015 Dora Award for Outstanding New Play. A co-production with Volcano Theatre, Ross Manson, Artistic Director of Volcano, directs this buzz-worthy collaboration in the Extraspace.
Then follow two world premieres by Tarragon Playwrights-in-Residence: Peace River Country, an intense drama inspired by the real-life story of alleged eco-terrorist – and Reverend – Weibo Ludwig by Maria Milisavljevic, staged by Richard Rose (who steered Milisavljevic’s last work for Tarragon, the memorable Abyss in the 2014-15 season) in the Extraspace; and The Millennial Malcontent by Governor General’s Award winner Erin Shields, a meditation on the millennial generation loosely adapted from The Provoked Wife by Sir John Vanbrugh, directed by the former Artistic Director of the National Arts Centre English theatre, Peter Hinton in the Mainspace.
The season wraps up with the English-language, Toronto debut in the Mainspace of the internationally acclaimed “play with songs,” Midsummer (a play with songs) by Scottish award-winning playwright David Greig in collaboration with Edinburgh indie rocker Gordon McIntyre, an hilarious tale of two 30-somethings turning a one-night-stand into a great lost weekend of bridge-burning, midnight trysts and self-loathing hangovers.
In addition to its work on the stage, Tarragon continues to build on the success of its new Workspace program that offers free development and performance space as well as administrative support to emerging artists and companies in the community. It is dedicated to growing its extensive youth programs and continuing to develop the country’s most successful new play development program as well as its Beyond the Stage programming which includes Talkback Weeks, Lecture-Conversations, Tarragon Tasting Nights, and other audience engagement activities. Tarragon also continues to grow its initiatives to welcome underserved communities into the theatre, including subsidized student matinees, and its First Preview program offering complimentary tickets to community partners. As well, Tarragon offers a Rush Ticket policy of $15 a ticket for almost every performance throughout the season.
The 2016/17 season is generously sponsored by BMO Financial Group.
Tarragon Theatre 2016-17 Season Details
PANAMANIA hit kicks off National Tour in Tarragon debut
Presented by Tarragon Theatre
Produced by Porte Parole (Montreal) and Crow’s Theatre (Toronto) with support from La Coop fédérée
by Annabel Soutar
directed by Chris Abraham
September 20 – October 30, 2016 (Opens September 28, 2016)
Annabel, a Montreal documentary theatre artist, leads her own family on a cross-country journey investigating the forces that are shaping the future of our natural resources. Encountering leading freshwater scientists, government officials, activists and business leaders along the way, The Watershed captures an increasingly polarized Canada in a moment of acute political reflection. From the creators of the hugely successful play Seeds, Crow’s Theatre (Chris Abraham, Artistic Director) and Porte Parole (Annabel Soutar, Artistic Director), The Watershed follows an artist and a country struggling to chart a sustainable course between economic growth and environmental stewardship. A huge hit at Toronto’s 2015 PANAMANIA festival, the production moves on to the Centaur Theatre in Montreal after its Tarragon engagement.
“★★★★ – Chris Abraham and his creative team have crafted a fast-flowing, continually inventive production.” — The Globe and Mail
by Geoffrey Simon Brown
directed by Peter Pasyk
October 18 – November 27, 2016 (Opens October 26, 2016)
Welcome to Ily’s high school garage party: there’s the genius, the drug dealer, the runaway, the kid with ADHD and the son of a priest. Everyone’s a total mess, but it’s better than being alone on a Friday night in suburbia. When it premiered at Calgary’s Alberta Theatre Projects in 2015, critics called it “Electrifying . . . . gritty, ground breaking theatre” (Calgary Sun). This remarkable debut by Calgary-based playwright Geoffrey Simon Brown (who was 26 at the time) is an explosive SOS from an orphaned generation desperately looking for a place to belong.
The Realistic Joneses
by Will Eno
directed by Richard Rose
November 9 – December 18, 2016 (Opens November 16, 2016)
Meet the Joneses – Bob and Jennifer, and their neighbours, John and Pony – two suburban couples who have even more in common than their identical homes and shared last names. With compassion, great humour and a fine eye for the quirks of contemporary life, The Realistic Joneses dives deep below the surface to expose the extraordinary heroism of the everyday.
Will Eno is an award-winning American playwright; his works Title & Deed and The Realistic Joneses were both named in a round up of ”The Hottest Tickets of the Year” in the New York Times for 2012. The Realistic Joneses’ 2014 run on Broadway earned two Drama Desk awards and three Drama League nominations; his Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 2005.
“Plays as funny and moving, as wonderful and weird as The Realistic Joneses, do not appear often on Broadway; a pleasurable rush virtually unmatched by anything I’ve seen this season.” – Charles Isherwood, The New York Times
by Arun Lakra
directed by Andrea Donaldson
January 3 – February 12, 2017 (Opens January 11, 2017)
Do you believe in luck? A man successfully bets double or nothing on the Super Bowl coin toss for twenty years in a row. A professor races the clock on a ground-breaking discovery to cure the disease that is causing her own progressive blindness. Two fascinating stories intertwine like DNA, examining the interplay between science and faith, probability and luck. An ophthalmologist by day, Arun Lakra is also a playwright, screenwriter and songwriter. Sequence – his first and only play to date – received the 2013 Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play when it was debuted by the theatre company Downstage and a Calgary Theatre Critics’ Award for Best New Script.
“Lakra’s writing style is a little bit Aaron (West Wing) Sorkin (if he was a science geek instead of politics geek), a little bit David Mamet (if he was a little less macho and more funny) and a whole lot of Tom Stoppard (if Tom Stoppard was a Calgarian, instead of British) all of it coming at you like a cavalcade of playwriting’s greatest hits over the past three decades.” – Calgary Herald
Back by popular demand!
by Hannah Moscovitch
A co-production with Volcano Theatre
directed by Ross Manson
January 4 – January 29, 2017 (Opens January 4)
How does a new Theory of Time change everything we know about ourselves? Three brilliant minds – a musician, a mathematician, and a theoretical physicist – smash together like colliding particles in an accelerator. Together they learn that love and time are connected in ways they couldn’t have imagined. Infinity is a shocking, funny and revelatory play about love, sex and math by Tarragon Playwright-in-Residence Hannah Moscovitch, developed with Volcano Theatre.
One of Canada’s most acclaimed playwrights, Moscovitch’s previous plays for Tarragon include East of Berlin and This is War, for which she became the first playwright to win the Trillium Book Award (2014). Infinity won the 2015 Dora Award for Outstanding New Play.
“NNNN: Brilliant; makes you feel as much as it makes you think” – NOW Magazine
Peace River Country
by Maria Milisavljevic
directed by Richard Rose
February 14 – March 26, 2017 (Opens February 22, 2017)
Inspired by the real-life story of Reverend Weibo Ludwig and his decades-long battle with the Alberta oil and gas industry, Peace River Country follows the lives of a close-knit traditional family as their land, health and way of life becomes increasingly threatened by mega-corporations and big government. How does a traditional Christian family living off the land in rural Alberta gain a national reputation as violent eco-terrorists? This fictional account of real-life events is a timely look at the ties of love and loyalty that bind a community. Tarragon International Playwright-in-Residence, Germany’s Maria Milisavljevic, returns with her latest creation since her English-language premiere of Abyss in Tarragon’s 2014-15 season, which was nominated for a Dora Award for Outstanding New Play and went on to productions in London, England and New York City.
The Millennial Malcontent
by Erin Shields
directed by Peter Hinton
February 28 – April 9, 2017 (Opens March 8, 2017)
Moxy is married and seething, fed up with the constraints of domesticity, and longing for some action. Meanwhile, her long-suffering husband Johnny has decided that enough is enough and contemplates having an affair with Faith, a secret admirer. Add to the mix a vain YouTube star, his Québécois cousin, a lesbian party girl, a music blogger and a PhD student and the stage is set for a raucous exploration of the social posing, sexual frankness and the emotional minefield of the Millennial generation. Governor-General’s Award winner and Playwright-in-Residence Erin Shields pens another bold work for the Tarragon stage, where her provocative Soliciting Temptation and When We Were Birds premiered.
Midsummer (a play with songs)
English-language Toronto premiere
By David Greig and Gordon McIntyre
April 18 – May 28, 2017 (Opens April 26, 2017)
Midsummer’s weekend in Edinburgh. It’s raining. Bob’s a failing car salesman on the fringes of the city’s underworld. Helena’s a high-powered divorce lawyer with a taste for other people’s husbands. She’s totally out of his league; he’s not her type at all. They absolutely should not sleep together. Which is, of course, why they do. Midsummer is the hilarious story of a great lost weekend of ill-advised romance: bridge-burning, car chases, wedding bust-ups, midnight trysts, poignant pop songs, honest humour and self-loathing hangovers. David Greig, who served as the first Dramaturg of the National Theatre of Scotland in 2005, has produced over 50 plays, texts, adaptations, and translations. Midsummer (a play with songs) had its world premiere at the Traverse Theatre in 2008 as a part of its Traverse Too series.
“★★★★ Exhilarating…you float out laughing as if you’ve just swallowed sunshine on a spoon.” – The Guardian
HOW TO GET TICKETS TO TARRAGON SHOWS:
SUBSCRIPTIONS: Tarragon continues to offer the most flexible subscription packages in the city, allowing patrons to choose their productions, change their dates free of charge, and offering many different price points to suit all schedules and budgets.
2016-17 Earlybird Subscriptions (with spectacular savings of up to 45%) for the 2016-17 season are on sale now. 7-play season pass packages are currently on sale, with flex packages to be introduced after the Earlybird Subscription Period.
Single tickets for the 2016-17 season will go on sale in the spring.
Subscriptions and tickets can be purchased online at www.tarragontheatre.com, by phone at 416-531-1827 or in person at the Tarragon Theatre Box Office at 30 Bridgman Avenue. Call Patron Services at 416-531-1827 for more information or visit www.tarragontheatre.com.
ABOUT TARRAGON THEATRE
Tarragon Theatre is one of Canada’s most important arts institutions. For over 45 years, Tarragon Theatre has created, developed and produced new plays by home-grown artists as well as significant works from the world stage, vitally contributing to the important legacy of a Canadian culture. Since its founding, over 190 works have premiered at Tarragon and over 500 scripts have been created and workshopped, receiving 34 nominations and 11 wins for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Tarragon received the 2012 Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in recognition of producing and developing leading edge and thought-provoking Canadian Theatre, both nationally and on the world stage. Richard Rose has been the Artistic Director since 2002. For more information, visit www.tarragontheatre.com.
Media refer for more information and/or interview requests:
Dianne Weinrib, DW Communications – firstname.lastname@example.org – 416-703-5479
CORRECTION: The Realistic Joneses was previous listed as a Canadian premiere. In fact the Canadian premiere is occurring in Edmonton this March, presented by Theatre Network. An update has been made.