June 22, 2017, TORONTO – Artistic Director Richard Rose and Managing Director Susan Moffat are thrilled to announce a number of exciting residencies and commissions for the 2017-18 season, including the Urjo Kareda Emerging Artist Resident, Christine Quintana, the Bill Glassco Playwright-in-Residence Jason Sherman, the RBC Emerging Playwright Chloé Hung, the Ontario Arts Council Playwright in Residence Kawa Ada, and two commissions to Drew Hayden Taylor, and Kenneth T. Williams

Urjo Kareda Emerging Artist Residency

The 2017/18 Urjo Kareda Residency Grant for an Emerging Artist, with a value of $15,000 plus a travel stipend, has been awarded to Vancouver playwright, actor, and Artistic Producer Christine Quintana. The grant is funded by the Youssef-Warren Foundation, and supports the training and artistic residency of an exceptional emerging theatre artist each season at Tarragon Theatre.

Upon accepting the residency, Christine offered the following remarks: “I’m deeply grateful to Tarragon Theatre for extending this opportunity to hone my practice as an artist while immersed in a dynamic and exciting theatre scene.  I look forward to exploring my questions about how theatre can truly reflect our lives, and hopefully creating work and dialogue that will resonate with audiences and artists both in Toronto and back home in Vancouver.”

“We are very excited to have such a dynamic and passionate artist from the West Coast come to Tarragon. Christine is an accomplished artist in playwriting, directing and community engagement with a deep knowledge and desire to further the relationship between audience and artist. We are confident Christine will become a vital contributor to not only our Toronto community but to our national theatre community as well.” Says Esther Jun, Tarragon’s Assistant Artistic Director.

Bill Glassco Playwright-in-Residence

This season Tarragon is thrilled to announce the creation of a position unique in Canadian theatre: a fully-salaried, two-year term as Bill Glassco Playwright-in-Residence. The inaugural playwright filling this role is Jason Sherman for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons. This new role is generously supported by George Youssef, a long-time advocate of Tarragon Theatre.

Jason Sherman is a multi-award winning playwright and screenwriter based in Toronto. Many of his plays were written and first produced during his previous long-term residency with the Tarragon from 1992 to 1999; among them are The Retreat, Patience, An Acre of Time, and three plays directed by Richard Rose: It’s All True, Remnants, and Three in the Back, Two in the Head, which received the Governor General’s Award for Drama. Reflecting on his new position at Tarragon, Jason shared he is absolutely thrilled to be back at the theatre that he called home for so many years, and to be reunited with his long-time collaborator and friend, Richard Rose.

RBC Emerging Playwright Prize

The 2017/18 RBC Emerging Playwright Prize, one of Canada’s most prestigious prizes for new artists supported by the RBC Foundation, has been awarded to Chloé Hung. Chloé’s play All Our Yesterdays was a part of Toronto’s Fringe and Next Stage festivals, and Issei, He Say (or the Myth of the First) will have its world premiere production in 2018.

“In Tarragon’s Playwright’s Unit, I was able to write Three Women of Swatow and hone in on the story I want to tell with the help of Andrea Romaldi, Andrea Donaldson, and my fellow unit members.” says Chloé. “I’m so grateful for this grant from RBC as it will give me the opportunity and resources to develop and continue exploring this play.”

Ontario Arts Council Playwright Residency

Kawa Ada describes his play Finding Islam: “The authorities believe Henri has fled to the Middle East to join ISIS. But his mother, Claudette, knows her son’s innocent and, with the help of a novice CSIS agent, must uncover the truth about his disappearance and how to get him back. Before it’s too late. Finding Islam is a story about mothers and sons, and the power of belief.”

Playwriting Commissions for 2017/18

Tarragon is also pleased to announce the commissioning of two additional artistic projects: Drew Hayden Taylor’s Cottagers and Indians, and The Herd written by Kenneth T. Williams.

Playwright Drew Hayden Taylor on Cottagers and Indians: “Arthur just wants to plant wild rice in the lakes where it used to grow free and wild just a few decades ago. The problem – local cottagers disagree with his plan.  What happens when Native tradition interferes with cewage owner’s concerns? 10,000 years of harvesting the land vs resale value in a lucrative real estate environment. Different priorities, different times. Things are difficult already and will probably get uglier.  There are no real heroes or villains in a story like this, only people trying to look after their families.”

Playwright Kenneth T. Williams describes his play The Herd, an adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People: “The Buffalo Pound Lake First Nation is buzzing over the birth of two white female buffalo calves. Are these calves the long-awaited fulfillment of the Lakota prophesy, a potential commercial opportunity, or a genetic leftover from when buffalo and domestic cattle were interbred? Dr. Anita Brokenhorn is the First Nation’s veterinarian responsible for the health and genetic purity of its buffalo herd. It’s up to her to navigate the forces of culture, commerce and science as she tries to determine what’s best for her community and the herd.”

Tarragon Theatre is grateful for the support of the Ontario Arts Council, The Royal Bank of Canada, The Youssef Warren Foundation, and the generous foundations, corporations, and individual donors who support us in the development of new plays.

Artist Biographies

Christine Quintana is an actor, playwright, and co-Artistic Producer of  Delinquent Theatre. In these various capacities, she has worked with the Arts Club Theatre Company, Bard on the Beach, The Cultch, Neworld Theatre, Electric Company Theatre, Rumble Theatre, Boca Del Lupo, Zee Zee Theatre, Carousel Theatre for Young People, Caravan Farm Theatre, Ruby Slippers Theatre, Playwrights Theatre Centre, Pi Theatre, Nightswimming Theatre, and Young People’s Theatre. Playwriting highlights include Selfie (commissioned by Théâtre la Seizième with additional commissioning from YPT, winner of the Sydney Risk Prize for Outstanding Script by an Emerging Playwright); Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical (winner of the Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for Outstanding Musical, Small Theatre) for which she also served as producer and performer; and Never The Last (co-created with Molly MacKinnon) at the rEvolver Theatre Festival, produced by Delinquent Theatre in association with Electric Company Theatre, developed at the 2016 Banff Playwrights Colony. As an actor, Christine has played in Elbow Room Café: The Musical (Zee Zee Theatre) Saint Joan, She Stoops to Conquer, and the LEAP Reading Series (Arts Club), Heathers (Chainsaw Collective), Mr. Marmalade (Latchkey Co-Op), Of Mice and Men (Hardline Productions), The Wizard of Oz and Seussical (Carousel Theatre).   Christine was proud to be part of the inaugural ThisGen gathering, produced by WhyNot Theatre.  Christine is Marketing & Operations Coordinator with Neworld Theatre, and the Program Assistant for the LEAP Program at the Arts Club. She holds a BFA in Acting from the University of British Columbia.

Jason Sherman is a multi-award winning playwright and screenwriter based in Toronto. Many of his plays were written and first produced during his previous long term residency with the Tarragon Theatre from 1992 to 1999; among them are are The Retreat, Patience, An Acre of Time, and three plays directed by Richard Rose: It’s All True, Remnants, and Three in the Back, Two in the Head, which received the Governor General’s Award for Drama. He has also received four other Governor General nominations. Jason worked again with Richard on an adaptation of The Brothers Karamazov for the Stratford Festival in 2005, the same year that his contemporary version of The Cherry Orchard (After the Orchard) premiered at the National Arts Centre. Among his other plays are The League of Nathans and Reading Hebron which, together with the work-in-progress United Nathans, form a trilogy about the nature of Judaism. For radio, Jason created the war serial Afghanada, which ran for over 100 hundred episodes on CBC, as well as National Affairs and PMO. For television, he most recently wrote an adaptation of the political satire The Best Laid Plans, which earned him a Canadian Screen Awards nomination. Other work for the camera includes We Were Children, a docudrama about the residential school system in Canada, which won a Banff Rocky Award and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award; Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures, an eight-part series for TMN; and a number of dramas concerning the dogged detective work of one sort of detective or another. Jason has won three Canadian Screenwriting Awards and been nominated seven other times. He recently created and wrote a 16-part podcast series called The Complete 150, about the rollout of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations; it can be streamed at the website of  Soulpepper Theatre, which produced the project. He is also finishing a feature documentary called My Tree, which follows Jason as he attempts to find the tree that was planted in his name in Israel 40 years earlier.

Born and raised in Toronto, Chloé Hung completed her MFA in dramatic writing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her first play, All Our Yesterdays, that she wrote and directed debuted at the 2015 Toronto Fringe Festival and was restaged at the 2016 Next Stage Theatre Festival. All Our Yesterdays raised money for Save the Children and Plan Canada’s Because I Am a Girl campaign. She workshopped Issei, He Say (or the Myth of the First) at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC as part of the National New Play Network’s 2016 MFA Workshop. Issei, He Say will receive its world premiere production in 2018. With Tarragon Theatre, Chloé was a part of the 2016/17 Playwright’s Unit where she wrote Three Women of Swatow. In Los Angeles, Chloé’s screenplay A Glimpse of Sun was workshopped at The Black List’s mini-lab, and currently, she is writing Model Minority in Moving Arts Theater’s MADlab. Chloé splits her time between Toronto and Los Angeles, where she is pursuing opportunities in writing for television and film.

Educated at The Boston Conservatory as an actor, Kawa Ada’s played leading roles at Tarragon, Soulpepper, Factory, Canadian Stage, Cahoots, several seasons at The Shaw Festival and on Broadway. He received a Dora Award for his performance in Accidental Death of an Anarchist. His play, The Wanderers, was recently released by Playwrights Canada Press. Next, he stars in the animated feature, The Breadwinner, which will premiere at TIFF in September. Kawa was born in Kabul, Afghanistan.

During the last twenty-five years of his life, Drew Hayden Taylor has done many things, most of which he is proud of.  An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario, he has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to being Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts.  He has been an award-winning playwright (with over 70 productions of his work), a journalist/columnist (appearing regularly in several Canadian newspapers and magazines), short-story writer, novelist, television scriptwriter, and has worked on over 17 documentaries exploring the Native experience. Most notably, he wrote and directed REDSKINS, TRICKSTERS AND PUPPY STEW, a documentary on Native humour for the National Film Board of Canada.
Kenneth T. Williams is a Cree playwright from the Treaty 4 territory. He is the only Indigenous person to earn an M.F.A. in Playwriting from the University of Alberta. His life and career paths are a guidance counsellor’s nightmare. He’s been a bartender, part-time soldier, full-time student, drummer in a reggae-rock band, door-to-door encyclopedia salesman, treaty and land claims researcher, government bureaucrat, freelance writer, television journalist, part-time university instructor, and, finally, artistic director of a theatre. He’s also been the faithful guardian of 5 hamsters. This summer, he and his partner, Dr. Melissa Stoops, will be moving to Edmonton after living 13 years in Saskatoon. Oh, and he’s written a few plays that you may have heard of. Google him (by the way, he’s not from the Carry On Gang), and his Wikipedia page is chockfull of inaccuracies.

ABOUT TARRAGON THEATRE

Tarragon Theatre is Canada’s home for ground-breaking 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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