Toronto, February 20, 2017 – Artistic Director Richard Rose and Managing Director Susan Moffat announced Tarragon Theatre’s 2017-18 season today: a season of far ranging, genre mixing and world travelling dramatic presentations including three musical productions (an opera, a play with rock music, and an urban libretto), a world premiere ‘spontaneous theatre’ creation and four unique plays by Tarragon playwrights.
In announcing the lineup, Rose remarked, “This is a season that expands on our definition of what a ‘new Canadian play’ can be at Tarragon, as we pursue our goal of telling stories that reflect, enlighten, and inspire Canadians. The breadth of voices we are bringing to our stages in 2017-18 is very exciting for me, our staff and our patrons – from homegrown artists to exciting national and international collaborations. I’m thrilled to introduce exciting new writers to the Tarragon audience including Motion and DJ L’Oqenz’s Oraltorio: A Theatrical MiXtape, the inaugural RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwright’s Prize winner Evan Placey’s Girls Like That, and the Macau Experimental Theatre’s SummerWorks hit Mr. Shi and His Lover, as well as present plays by some of our patrons’ most well-loved artists: the world premiere of Rebecca Northan’s Undercover (created with Bruce Horak), Rosa Laborde’s Marine Life, the remount of Kat Sandler’s hit show Mustard, a thrilling new rock & roll approach to Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Hannah Moscovitch’s Bunny.
Tarragon’s 2017-18 season opens in the Mainspace with Undercover, a new spontaneous theatre creation from Blind Date’s Rebecca Northan. She and her Spontaneous Theatre Ensemble invite an audience member up on stage to play the role of rookie cop and help solve a murder case. This exciting new play will have audiences returning to the ‘scene of the crime’ again and again. Co-produced by Calgary’s Vertigo Theatre, where the production will travel following its premiere at Tarragon.
The Extraspace season opens with Tarragon Playwright-in-Residence Rosa Laborde’s romantic comedy Marine Life, about a tree-hugging activist, her new corporate lawyer love interest and her emotionally dependent Mariachi-playing brother. A hit in the 2012 SummerWorks festival, Laborde will also direct the production at Tarragon. Presented in collaboration with Aluna Theatre.
Following in the Mainspace is another hit SummerWorks production: Mr. Shi and His Lover, produced by Music Picnic, Macau Experimental Theatre and Point View Art Association. This contemporary opera about the real-life affair of a French Diplomat in China who falls in love with a male opera performer he believes to be a woman has text by Wong Teng Chi, music and musical direction by Njo Kong Kie and is directed by Tam Chi Chun. The play is presented in Mandarin with English subtitles, and was originally commissioned by the Macau Experimental Theatre.
2018 at Tarragon opens with Hamlet in the Mainspace, written by William Shakespeare, directed by Richard Rose, and featuring original modern rock music by Thomas Ryder Payne and the ensemble. Shakespeare’s best-known tragedy is reimagined on the Tarragon stage through the powerful lens of rock and roll.
Kat Sandler’s hit dark comedy Mustard from Tarragon’s 2015/16 season returns to the Extraspace for a remount in January 2018. This twisted fairy tale about growing up, losing innocence and an imaginary friend’s quest to stay in our world won three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, including Outstanding New Play for Sandler. Mustard is once again directed by Ashlie Corcoran.
Then follow two celebrated productions new to Tarragon audiences: Tarragon Playwright-in-Residence Hannah Moscovitch’s Bunny in the Mainspace, and emcee/poet/screentwriter/playwright Motion’s urban libretto Oraltorio: A Theatrical MiXtape in the Extraspace. Bunny, the story of a young woman’s unleashed desire amidst repressive social norms, received critical acclaim in its world premiere at the Stratford Festival last season and will once again be directed by Sarah Garton Stanley. Oraltorio is a magnetic coming of age story with beats, rhymes, poetry, song and dance by Motion and DJ L’Oqenz, directed by Mumbi Tindyebwa.
The season closes with former RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwright’s Prize-winner Evan Placey’s Girls Like That in its Canadian premiere, following a series of critically-acclaimed productions in Europe. This explosive new play explores the evolution of feminist consciousness and modern female friendships in the wake of advancing technology. Girls Like That is directed by Tarragon’s Assistant Artistic Director Esther Jun.
In addition to its work on the stage, Tarragon continues to foster a home for playwrights to create and develop their work. The theatre remains 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 is also pleased to continue its partnership with Workman Arts, presenting the artworks of local artists on a rotating basis for patrons to enjoy in the lobby. New this season, Tarragon will have on staff its first ever fully-salaried Playwright-in-Residence generously sponsored by George Youssef, a two year term beginning Spring 2017. The Workspace program continues to offer free development and performance space, as well as administrative support, to emerging artists and companies in the community. The theatre 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 $20 a ticket for almost every performance throughout the season.
The 2017-18 season is generously sponsored by BMO Financial Group.
Tarragon Theatre 2017-18 Season Details
Undercover A world premiere
Created by Rebecca Northan with Bruce Horak
Co-produced by Tarragon Theatre & Vertigo Theatre
September 19 – October 29, 2017 in the Mainspace
One grizzled cop. One audience-member-turned-rookie-detective. One unsolved case.
MURDER strikes at Tarragon Theatre! Rebecca Northan (creator of Dora Award-winning, international sensation Blind Date) and her partners in improvisational crime are back at Tarragon to recruit one intrepid audience member for an undercover ride into the criminal mind. When everyone’s a suspect, will our rookie detective be able to sort the clues from the red herrings, point the finger at the right perpetrator and see that justice is served?
“Do you believe in love at first sight? I do, because I once spent 90 minutes under the spell of Rebecca Northan.” – Toronto Star
Written & directed by Rosa Laborde
In collaboration with Aluna Theatre
October 31 – December 10, 2017 in the Extraspace
Save the world or save yourself? Tree-hugging activist Sylvia is saving the world from micro-plastics in our water. But new love and Mariachi musical madness interrupt our ecological heroine. When the rains come and the flood rises, what wild intimacies and mad manipulations will she stoop to in the name of love?
Mr. Shi and His Lover
Text by Wong Teng Chi
Music & musical direction by Njo Kong Kie
Directed by Tam Chi Chun
Produced by Music Picnic, Macau Experimental Theatre and Point View Art Association
November 7 – December 17, 2017 in the Mainspace
An espionage scandal rocks the political world in this enigmatic contemporary opera about the delusion of love. Mr. Shi and His Lover illuminates the real-life affair of a French Diplomat in China who falls in love with a male opera performer he believes to be a woman. This classic tale is told through music inspired by Chinese opera and vintage pop from both East and West.
“Cheng and Kwan deliver stunningly sung, highly nuanced performances in this contemporary original musical” – NOW Magazine
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Richard Rose
Music by Thomas Ryder Payne & Ensemble
January 2 – February 11, 2018 in the Mainspace
Young Prince Hamlet seeks to avenge his father’s death in a world torn apart by political deception. Shakespeare’s best-known tragedy is reimagined on the Tarragon stage through the powerful lens of rock and roll.
Mustard Back by popular demand from the 2015/16 Season
By Kat Sandler
Directed by Ashlie Corcoran
January 3 – 28, 2018 in the Extraspace
NOT INCLUDED ON SUBSCRIPTION
Mustard still lives under Teenage Thai’s bed, while her recently-separated mother looks for solace at the bottom of a wine glass. Mustard is a twisted fairy tale about an imaginary friend’s quest to stay in our world; a whimsical story about growing up, losing innocence, and our unrelenting quest for love.
“90 minutes of emotionally complex, witty and well-paced magic — literally and figuratively. Easily their play of the year” – ★★★★★, Examiner.com
Oraltorio: A Theatrical MiXtape
Written & performed by Motion
Composed & performed by DJ L’Oqenz
Directed by Mumbi Tindyebwa
Choreographed by Roger C. Jeffrey
February 13 – March 25, 2018 in the Extraspace
The boom-bap of rap, the screech of rock, the cycle of 12 bar blues, the polyphony of freedom songs, the abandon of disco, the bounce of the club, the rebellion of secret drums. Inspired by the lineage of Black women in music, Oraltorio is a magnetic coming of age story told through beats, rhymes, and poetry by Motion and DJ L’Oqenz.
“As insightful as it is magical; perfectly realized moments where body, voice, soundscape and background imagery align with masterful precision.” – Mooney on Theatre
By Hannah Moscovitch
Directed by Sarah Garton Stanley
February 21 – April 1, 2018 in the Mainspace
Aroused by a series of inappropriate love interests, Sorrel discovers the power of her own allure at a young age. Ever the outsider, she struggles with the socially acceptable, only to find herself increasingly alone in her desires. Dangerous and disorienting, Bunny is a play about repressive social convention, personal inhibition and desire unleashed.
“Sexy; A beautiful play.” – ★★★★ out of 4, Toronto Star
Girls Like That Canadian premiere
By Evan Placey
Directed by Esther Jun
April 17 – May 27, 2018 in the Mainspace
A naked photo of Scarlett goes viral. Rumours spread across smartphones like wildfire and her reputation becomes toxic, threatening to shatter the fragile unity of the girls she has grown up with. But how long can Scarlett remain silent? And why isn’t it the same for boys? Girls Like That is an explosive new play that explores the evolution of feminist consciousness and modern female friendships in the wake of advancing technology.
“It’s viciously funny; Maybe change starts with plays like this.” ★★★★ out of 5 The Guardian
HOW TO GET TICKETS TO TARRAGON SHOWS:
SUBSCRIPTIONS: Tarragon Theatre continues to offer the most flexible subscription packages in the city, allowing patrons to choose their productions and change their dates free of charge, and offering many different price points to suit all schedules and budgets.
2017-18 Earlybird Subscriptions (with spectacular savings of up to 45%) for the 2017-18 season are now available. 7-play Season Pass packages are currently on sale starting at just $22/ticket, with 5-Play and flex packages to be introduced after the Earlybird Subscription Period.
Single tickets for the 2017-18 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 Canada’s home for groundbreaking contemporary playwriting. For over 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.
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