Real-life story of family, environment and community fuels Maria Milisavljevic’s new work, opening February 15

January 17, 2017, TORONTORichard Rose, Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre, is excited to announce the world premiere of award-winning playwright Maria Milisavljevic’s newest work, Peace River Country. The real-life inspired, politically-infused story of family, environment and community in the wake of Alberta’s booming oil and gas industry has its world premiere in Tarragon Theatre’s Extraspace from February 7 – March 19, 2017 (opening February 15).

Inspired by the real-life story of Reverend Wiebo 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 become 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.

The political and environmental impact of Canada’s energy industry, especially in Alberta, has been a central tenet of the our national discourse for many years. Peace River Country offers an intimate glimpse into the experience of one close-knit religious community during the booming growth of Alberta’s oil industry, and the extremes one man went to keep his family’s way of life intact.

Abyss was well received the world over and it was a thrill to collaborate with Maria on it, so naturally we were excited to join forces again for Peace River Country,” notes Richard Rose. “Peace River Country is extraordinarily timely. It examines one of the most pressing issues of our time, the ticking clock on our civilization, and the impact religious devotion can have on a family fighting for what they see as the good of all.”

Peace River Country is not only a play about the effects of mining, nor is it just the story of one family’s fight. Sadly, it is a story about our collective environmental future; a tale that has become commonplace within and outside of this country,” notes playwright Maria Milisavljevic.

Peace River Country marks the Tarragon debut of cast members Benjamin Sutherland (Breathing Corpses, Coal Mine Theatre) and Janet Laine Green (This Life, CBC, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe, Storefront Theatre) and the return of Sarah Sherman (Abyss, Tarragon Theatre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Canadian Stage) alongside Layne Coleman as the family patriarch (Public Lies, As Far As the Eye Can See, Tarragon Theatre). The play is directed by Tarragon’s Artistic Director Richard Rose (The Realistic Joneses, Abyss, Tarragon Theatre) and written by award-winning playwright Maria Milisavljevic (Abyss, Tarragon Theatre). Milisavljevic received a Dora Award nomination for Outstanding New Play for Abyss and won the Heidelberger Stückemarkt Award and Else-Lasker-Schüler Award 2016 for Best New Play for Beben (Noise).

Peace River Country has its world premiere at Tarragon Theatre from February 7 – March 19, 2017, opening on February 15.

Peace River Country (world premiere)
In the Extraspace
by Maria Milisavljevic
directed by Richard Rose
featuring Layne Coleman, Janet Laine Green, Sarah Sherman & Benjamin Sutherland
February 7 – March 19, 2017 (opening February 15)

Inspired by the real-life story of Reverend Wiebo 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 become 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.

CAST + CREW
Written by Maria Milisavljevic
Directed by Richard Rose
Starring Layne Coleman as Dad, Janet Laine Green as Mom, Sarah Sherman as Jemima, & Benjamin Sutherland as Joe
Sound designer John Gzowski
Lighting designer Jason Hand
Set costume & video design Curtis Wehrfritz
Stage manager Nicola Benidickson
Apprentice stage manager Helen Monroe
Assistant director Ali Joy Richardson

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Showtimes are Tuesday – Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2:30pm, and select Saturdays at 2:30pm.

Tickets range from $29 – 65 and can be purchased online at www.tarragontheatre.com, or by phone at 416-531-1827. Discounts are available for seniors, students, groups and arts workers.

Tarragon offers the most flexible subscription packages in the city with savings of up to 40%, allowing patrons to choose their productions, change their dates free of charge, and offering many different price points to suit all schedules and budgets. Visit the website or call Patron Services today for more information.

Rush tickets are sold for $20 cash only, in person at the theatre two hours before showtime. This year Tarragon will also be offering online rush tickets at varying discounts, 24h prior to the show for performance after opening night. Both Rush ticket options are subject to availability.

For more information on Tarragon’s events and activities, visit www.tarragontheatre.com/calendar.

Tarragon Theatre’s 2016/2017 Season Sponsor is BMO Financial Group. The 2016/17 Season Media Sponsors are NOW Magazine, Zoomer Radio/Classical 96.3, and Jazz FM. Peace River Country is generously supported by Anonymous Benefactors.

Tarragon Theatre gratefully acknowledges annual operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.

ABOUT TARRAGON THEATRE

Tarragon Theatre is Canada’s home for groundbreaking contemporary playwriting. For 46 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. Tarragon assists 30+ emerging and established playwrights each year through residencies, grants, dramaturgical support, and training programs. Patrons of all ages attend lectures, workshops, talkback weeks, play readings, and other events designed to engage audiences with new work. 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. Richard Rose has been the Artistic Director since 2002. For more information visit www.tarragontheatre.com.

Twitter: @tarragontheatre
Facebook: Tarragon Theatre

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For media inquiries please contact:

Danielle Morgan
daniellemorganpr@gmail.com | 416.904.8046