Local and World Premieres Will Spice Tarragon's 40th Season in Toronto

News   Local and World Premieres Will Spice Tarragon's 40th Season in Toronto Tarragon Theatre, the Toronto company devoted to contemporary theatre — particularly Canadian voices — has announced programming for its 40th season. World and Toronto premieres are once again part of the mix.

The playwrights represented in the Mainspace will include Stephen Massicotte, Joan Didion, Kent Stetson, Jennifer Brewin, Leah Cherniak, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Alisa Palmer, Martha Ross and Wajdi Mouawad. Writers in the Extra Space will be Brendan Gall and Kate Cayley.

Dates and casting will be announced at a later date. Here's the Tarragon's 2010-11 season at a glance:

MAINSPACE

The Clockmaker by Stephen Massicotte, directed by Bob White, a Toronto premiere.
"A humble clockmaker is besotted by a married woman who brings a shattered cuckoo clock into his shop. As he unravels the mystery of how the clock came to be destroyed, their relationship deepens and he vows to make her the most splendid clock the world has ever seen."

Stephen Massicotte is the author of Mary's Wedding, produced at theatres across Canada. His work was last seen at Tarragon in 2006-07 with The Oxford Roof-Climber's Rebellion, which was subsequently produced in New York. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, The Belfry Theatre Production, directed by Michael Shamata, starring Seana McKenna, a Toronto premiere.
"In this dramatic adaptation of Joan Didion's award-winning memoir, one woman grapples with the sudden loss of her husband of 40 years and their only child. Seana McKenna will reprise her critically acclaimed performance from Belfry Theatre's production."

Joan Didion is a celebrated writer of fiction and non-fiction including "Slouching Towards Bethlehem," "Play It As It Lays" and "Up Close and Personal." This play is her adaptation of her memoir of the same name.

The Harps of God by Kent Stetson, a co-production with the Segal Centre for Performing Arts (Montreal), directed by Richard Rose, a Toronto premiere.
"This play presents a raw retelling of the Newfoundland Sealing Disaster of 1914, when 132 sealers were unwittingly abandoned on the ice for two long winter nights without supplies of any kind. A gripping ensemble piece, The Harps of God probes the limits of the human body and spirit, exploring the demands of leadership amidst catastrophic circumstances."

Kent Stetson received the 2001 Governor General's Literary Award for The Harps of God, as well as the 2001 Canadian Author's Association's inaugural Carol Bolt Award.

More Fine Girls by Jennifer Brewin, Leah Cherniak, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Alisa Palmer and Martha Ross, a co-production with Theatre Columbus, directed by Alisa Palmer, starring Leah Cherniak, Ann-Marie MacDonald and Martha Ross, a world premiere.
"Jayne, Jojo and Jelly get together ten years after the party that drove them apart. This time, the sisters go into the basement. They convene for a family crisis, and share an overwhelming need to be together again. It is an intimate and comic look at sisters and the surprising truths of middle age."

More Fine Girls is a new work written by Brewin, Cherniak, MacDonald, Palmer and Ross. They have come together to reprise their roles as they work to create a new play based on characters from their original hit The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls.

Forests by Wajdi Mouawad, translated by Linda Gaboriau, directed by Richard Rose, the English-language premiere.
"When Aimee learns that she has an unusual brain tumor, she decides to risk her life to have her child, only to die when her daughter Loup is a teenager. Enraged and grief-stricken, Loup reluctantly begins a quest to discover the origin of her mother's mysterious illness. In a story that spans six generations and two continents, Wajdi Mouawad demonstrates that the bonds of family are not merely biological and cannot be contained: they are borne of love, sacrifice and deep commitment, and endure beyond the death of any single member."

Wajdi Mouawad, one of Quebec's most celebrated writers and directors, is artistic director of the National Arts Centre (French Theatre). Forests is the third play in a tetralogy exploring origins; the series includes Tideline and the celebrated Scorched.

EXTRA SPACE

Wide Awake Hearts by Brendan Gall, directed by Gina Wilkinson, a world premiere.
"A prodigious young film director casts his wife and his best friend as lovers in his new film. When their on-screen intimacy spills over into real life, he has to wonder: did he unwittingly clue in to a pre-existing affair and give it life on screen, or did he actually write it into existence?"

Brendan Gall was a member of the 2006 Tarragon Playwrights Unit where he developed 2007-08's Alias Godot. His acclaimed performance in Tarragon's East of Berlin has been seen across Canada.

After Akhmatova by Kate Cayley, directed by Alan Dilworth, a world premiere.
"When Alan, a young American academic, travels to the U.S.S.R. to interview Lev Gumilyov, he believes he knows all there is to know about Lev's late mother: Anna Akhmatova. Once a writer of love poems, Anna became famous for 'Requiem,' which is an ode to her imprisoned son and a dangerous condemnation of Stalin. As he searches for answers, Alan becomes entangled in Lev's relationship to his mother, to 'Requiem' and to its impossible legacy."

Kate Cayley was a member of Tarragon's 2008 Playwrights Unit where she developed After Akhmatova under the title Ashes. She is also artistic director of Stranger Theatre and the producer of the Toronto's Cooking Fire Festival of Theatre.

For subscription information, call (416) 531-1827 or visit tarragontheatre.com.

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