Tarragon's Richard Rose, Andy McKim and Mallory Gilbert announced the 35th season slate, which begins Sept. 13 with Morwyn Brebner's The Optimists in Tarragon's Mainspace. The theatre also operates the more intimate Extra Space.
Eda Holmes will direct The Optimists, about a weekend in Las Vegas. "The chance for hopes and dreams to come true provides the backdrop for Morwyn Brebner's humorous look at love," according to Tarragon. "It's the night before the chapel wedding and the promise of 'happily ever after.' Old friends confront their regrets, lies, betrayals and disappointments. Will hope be the elusive wild card?"
Brebner is a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon and her plays Music for Contortionist, Liquor Guns Karate and Little Mercy's First Murder (winner of seven Dora Mavor Moore Awards including Outstanding New Musical) have all premiered there.
The premiere of Goodness by Michael Redhill co-produced with Volcano, will be directed by Ross Manson, beginning Oct. 18 in the Extra Space. "A writer is told a story in confidence – a story about terrible events in an unnamed country. He is made to promise never to repeat it. He lies. What unfolds is the story of an accused war criminal claiming to suffer from Alzheimer's disease. A story that powerfully challenges our ideas of truth, responsibility and how we judge the world around us."
Michael Redhill is the award-winning author of the play Building Jerusalem and the novel "Martin Sloane." The Dishwashers, written and directed by Morris Panych, plays the Mainspace starting Nov. 8. "A young gun, a curmudgeon, and a nearly expired dish jockey come together in the basement of an upscale restaurant. In this place of endless dishes, suds and despair, Morris Panych brings wit and humor to the quest for existential meaning. A delicious comedy about the Zen of dishwashing."
Panych has enjoyed great success at the Tarragon with such plays as 7 Stories, Vigil, The Ends of the Earth, Lawrence and Holloman, and Girl in the Goldfish Bowl, which last year won the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama.
Charlotte Jones' London play, Humble Boy, directed by Richard Rose, begins Jan. 3, 2006, in the Mainspace. Inspired by Hamlet, the comedy concerns astrophysicist Felix Humble, whose father has just died and whose mother wants to marry his ex-girlfriend's father. And Felix's stutter has returned.
Humble Boy is the winner of the American Susan Smith Blackburn Award, and both the Critics' Circle and People's Choice Award for Best New Play in the U.K.
Rosa Laborde's Léo , directed by Richard Rose, premieres in the Extra Space Feb. 7, 2006. "Set in Santiago, Chile, three young friends form a bittersweet love triangle during the political upheaval surrounding President Salvador Allende's assassination. Told through Léo's memories, the play travels through childhood, first friends and first loves. Passion and poetry weave together in this story of innocence disappeared."
Rosa Laborde is an emerging young playwright. Léo was introduced at the Rhubarb! Festival but developed into a full-length play at Tarragon.
Past Perfect by Michel Tremblay, translated by Linda Gaboriau, beginning Feb. 22, 2006 in the Mainspace. "It's Thursday night and Albertine has put on her sister's best dress and won't get off the couch. She has lost her beau and she wants him back. Michel Tremblay returns to this passionate character from Albertine, in Five Times in this moving and intense portrait of a young woman who loves to suffer for love."
Tarragon has produced 12 of Michel Tremblay's plays, and premiered the English versions of 10 of them. Past Perfect marks the 20th anniversary of Albertine's first appearance at Tarragon.
Earshot, written and directed by Morris Panych, play the Extra Space March 21-April 9, 2006, as part of a A Crow's Theatre and National Arts Centre tour. "This critically acclaimed hit, which premiered at Tarragon in 2001, returns for a limited three-week run." Its stars Randy Hughson as Doyle.
The premiere of Care by Diane Flacks and Richard Greenblatt, directed by Eda Holmes, begins April 18, 2006, in the Mainspace. "Steve and Ellie are a modern-day couple sandwiched between a temperamental baby, high-pressure jobs and an ailing parent in a nursing home. The balance between other people’s needs and their own comes unhinged in this touching and comic story about two people trying to find their way back to each other, pulled apart by care."
Diane Flacks and Richard Greenblatt are both well known to Tarragon audiences as actors and writers. Greenblatt co-created and performed in 2 Pianos, 4 Hands and Flacks created and performed in Gravity Calling and By a Thread. Together they wrote and performed the hit comedy Sibs.
For information about Tarragon Theatre, call (416) 531-1827 or visit www.tarragontheatre.com.