Patient Hour and Cape Town Project Developed by Tarragon in January

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09 Jan 2008

Two new works are being shaped in the WorkSpace new play development program of Toronto's Tarragon Theatre in January.



The Patient Hour by Kristen Thomson, directed by Chris Abraham, will get a public presentation Jan. 12, 18 and 19 at Tarragon's Extra Space.

The workshop of The Cape Town Project, directed by Daryl Cloran and co-developed with Theatrefront and co-produced with Neptune Theatre and Theatrefront, will be seen Jan. 26-27 in the Tarragon Near Studio.

"WorkSpace," according to Tarragon, "is both a place — an intimate performance venue located in the Near Studio — and a philosophy. In an effort to nurture new play development and to enhance our premiere productions, Tarragon offers artists several weeks to workshop a play before presenting it, in its primary phases, to a small audience. In the exercising of the new play — taking it from the page to the stage — we have an opportunity to explore and develop both directorial concepts and the creation of characters, to begin the design process and, finally, to test the play with a public presentation. This testing continues over the course of several presentations as the creative process evolves in the intervening work sessions. This additional step complements the existing play development path at the Tarragon Theatre."

The Patient Hour will feature Patricia Fagan, Kelli Fox, Lisa Repo-Martell and Todd Thomson. In it, "Charles and Laura keep vigil in a hospital room as their mother wavers between life and death, with a foot in both worlds. All they can do is wait patiently for time to reveal its truth — contemplating the weight of loneliness, the power of reunion, and the unfathomable mystery of each person's inner world."

Director Abraham and playwright Thomson previously collaborated on the play (and later film) I, Claudia. Designer Julie Fox, who created the set and costumes for Tarragon's original production of I, Claudia, is the designer of The Patient Hour.

The Cape Town Project will feature Andile Nebulane, Mbulelo Grootboom, Deborah Hay, Holly Lewis and David Jansen, and be stage managed by Krista Blackwood, with sound design by Christian Barry.

In it, "Snow falls on a young woman standing over a grave. Now six months pregnant, she is determined to discover the identity of her birth parents. A world away in South Africa, a young man is charged with a quest: he must collect his father's spirit, and bring him home to rest with his ancestors. Both begin their search — only to realize they are haunted by the same ghosts."

The Cape Town Project began in April 2005, when five members of Theatrefront's ensemble traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, to begin developing an international collective theatre creation with The Baxter Theatre Centre. Under the direction of Daryl Cloran, Theatrefront's artistic director, the Canadian and South African actors spent a month in Cape Town working together to create a new play. The South African collaborators have since traveled twice to Toronto to continue work on the production, as part of Tarragon's WorkSpace program. This will be their third visit to Tarragon.

Tickets are $10 for each production. For reservations call (416) 531-1827.

For more information visit www.tarragontheatre.com.