Cheeky and insightful, Shields’ new work highlights this most enigmatic generation

February 8, 2017, TORONTORichard Rose, Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre, is pleased to announce the world premiere of Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Erin Shields’ hipster culture-infused new work, The Millennial Malcontent, with direction from Peter Hinton. The play runs February 28 – April 9, 2017 (opening March 8, 2017) in the Mainspace.

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 PhD student and a music blogger and the stage is set for a raucous exploration of the social posing, sexual frankness and emotional minefield of the Millennial generation.

The Millennial Malcontent is a rowdy, gender-bending adaptation of The Provoked Wife, the restoration comedy by Sir John Vanbrugh (1697). Frequently stereotyped and often misunderstood, the modern Millennial generation appears in carefully-curated online personas: seeking the impossible balance between constant digital engagement and real human experience. In a world where existence is a construct of clicking and typing, how do we fully connect?

“My goal with The Millennial Malcontent was to craft a contemporary restoration comedy that would speak directly to the social dynamics of our time in order to both reflect and critique the world we live in today,” notes playwright Erin Shields.

The writing process, describes Shields, began as a contemporary adaptation of The Provoked Wife by Sir John Vanbrugh. Draft by draft, the characters and the story moved further away from the original narrative. What remains of the restoration play are the two layers of comedy, “On the surface, there is a light, playful banter of romantic intrigues, entrepreneurial exploits and over the top fashion choices that poke fun at the social mores of contemporary hipster culture. But there is also a painful longing in the core of all of these characters; each striving for something that is unattainable in their world,” Shields explains.

“Many pieces we’ve seen in Tarragon’s 16/17 season have brought great insight along with laughter,” notes Artistic Director Richard Rose. “The Millennial Malcontent is no exception. It will speak to a generation of theatre goers grappling with similar experiences to Shields’ characters, but also to those who watch these Millennials from the wings and try to understand their world amidst the stereotypes. It’s a real pleasure to debut Erin Shields’ new piece at Tarragon.”

The Millennial Malcontent features an exciting & celebrated cast, many of whom are having their Tarragon debut, including Frank Cox-O’Connell (Tarragon debut, Canadian Stage’s Shakespeare in High Park Hamlet), James Daly (Tarragon debut, Shaw Festival’s Peter and the Starcatcher), Rong Fu (Tarragon debut, Roseneath Theatre’s The Money Tree), Natasha Mumba (Tarragon debut, Shaw Festival’s The Adventures of a Black Girl in Her Search for God), Liz Peterson (Tarragon debut, Performance About a Woman at SummerWorks), Alicia Richardson (Tarragon debut, Storefront Theatre’s The Baby), Amelia Sargisson (Tarragon/Porte Parole/Crow’s Theatre’s The Watershed; Crow’s/Porte Parole’s Seeds) and Reza Sholeh (Tarragon debut, The Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse’s Honor Killing). With direction by Peter Hinton (Canadian Stage’s Constellations).

Erin Shields is a founding member of Groundwater Productions where she creates, develops and produces much of her work. Her Governor General’s Award-winning play If We Were Birds was produced by Tarragon in 2010 (winning two Dora Awards), appeared at SummerWorks Performance Festival in 2008, and has been translated into German as part of The German Theatre Exchange.

The Millennial Malcontent has its world premiere at Tarragon Theatre from February 28 – April 9, 2017, opening officially Wednesday, March 8.

The Millennial Malcontent
In Tarragon Theatre’s Mainspace
by Erin Shields
directed by Peter Hinton
featuring Frank Cox-O’Connell, James Daly, Rong Fu, Natasha Mumba, Liz Peterson, Alicia Richardson, Amelia Sargisson and Reza Sholeh
February 28 – April 9, 2017 (opening March 8)

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 PhD student and a music blogger and the stage is set for a raucous exploration of the social posing, sexual frankness and emotional minefield of the Millennial generation.

This brand new play from Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Erin Shields is a fierce meditation on the Millennial generation, loosely adapted from The Provoked Wife by Sir John Vanbrugh.

CAST + CREW
Written by Erin Shields
Directed by Peter Hinton
Starring Frank Cox-O’Connell as Charm, James Daly as Heartfree, Rong Fu as Faith, Natasha Mumba as Teasel, Liz Peterson as Moxy, Alicia Richardson as Raz, Amelia Sargisson as Mimi and Reza Sholeh as Johnny
Projection design by Howard Davis
Lighting design by Jennifer Lennon
Sound design by Lyon Smith
Set & costume design by Joanna Yu
Stage manager Marinda de Beer

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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. Patrons under 35 & arts workers visit www.tarragontheatre.com/tarragon22.

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. 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, Jazz FM Radio, and Zoomer Radio/Classical 96.3. The Millennial Malcontent is sponsored by PwC.

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