New Tarragon Season Will Have Canadian, Toronto and World Premieres

News   New Tarragon Season Will Have Canadian, Toronto and World Premieres
Tarragon Theatre, the resident Toronto theatre with a bent for Canadian plays, as well as international titles, announced its 2011-12 season. The playwrights on parade will include Sarah Ruhl, Michel Tremblay, Carole Fréchette, Andre Alexis, Daniel MacIvor, Hannah Moscovitch, d'bi.young anitafrika and more.

Here's the Tarragon season at a glance:


In the Next Room or the vibrator play
By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Richard Rose
A co-production with The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (Winnipeg)
Sept. 13-Oct. 23, 2011
Canadian Premiere

"At the dawn of the age of electricity, and the end of the prudish Victorian era, an ambitious doctor uses a newfangled medical device — the vibrator — to induce paroxysms in his female patients. His young wife is fascinated with the mysterious sounds of pleasure emanating from the doctor's offices. With all its medical prowess, can this new gadget solve the age-old problems of love?"

The Children's Republic
By Hannah Moscovitch
Directed by Alisa Palmer
A co-production with Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company
Nov. 8-Dec. 18, 2011
Toronto Premiere

"Dr. Janusz Korczak, famed educator, revolutionary champion of children and signatory to the League of Nations' Declaration of the Rights of the Child, meets his match in a defiant boy named Israel. When the Second World War threatens the survival of the children in Korczak's Warsaw orphanage, it is Israel who discovers a means of survival. In the face of looming catastrophe, the teacher becomes the student, and the student gives the greatest gift of all: courage over despair. Hannah Moscovitch is a current playwright in residence at Tarragon."

The Golden Dragon
By Roland Schimmelpfennig
Translated by David Tushingham
Directed by Ross Manson
Jan. 10-Feb. 19, 2012
Canadian Premiere

"The diners at the bustling Golden Dragon restaurant would never guess what goes on behind the scenes. While they sit savoring their meals, the kitchen staff rally to save a young illegal immigrant who is desperately searching for his lost sister. The truth about her disappearance can be found surprisingly close by; ask the patron sipping soup, or the chef, or the residents in the apartments above the restaurant." The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs
By Carole Fréchette
Translated by John Murrell
Directed by Weyni Mengesha
Feb. 29-April 8, 2012
English Premiere

"Grace and Henry are newlyweds, and besotted with each other, but there is a catch in this marriage. Grace must never enter the small room at the top of the stairs. When Henry reluctantly goes on a business trip, Grace finds herself irresistibly drawn to the mystery behind the door. Will she tempt fate by turning the handle? Does she dare encounter the secret life of the man she loves?"

The Real World?
By Michel Tremblay
Translated by Bill Glassco and John Van Burek
Directed by Richard Rose
April 24-June 3, 2012

"The Real World? remains a groundbreaking play about art, autobiography and authority. Should or can playwrights truly 'write what they know'? If they use their family members as characters in a play, whose play is it? Whose truth is it? And what happens when those family members stand up to their artist son and object to their theatrical selves? Tarragon Theatre is reviving this Canadian classic nearly 25 years after it premiered in English on our stage."


the sankofa trilogy
Featuring word! sound! powah!
Written and Performed by d'bi.young anitafrika
World Premiere
In repertory with blood.claat and benu
Oct. 22-Dec. 4, 2011

"word! sound! powah! is the story of Benu Sankofa, a young dub poet who is swept up in the violence of the 1980 national election in Jamaica. The country is on the cusp of a political coup, and in the heat of a struggle between young radicals and the establishment, Benu is arrested and interrogated. She finds the strength in her maternal ancestors to remain true to her political beliefs and to stand up for her country, Jamaica. d'bi.young anitafrika is a Jamaican-Canadian award-winning playwright, actor and dub poet. d'bi will bring back her acclaimed one-woman shows blood.claat and benu which trace the lineage and legacy of Mugdu Sankofa, her daughter Sekesu and her granddaughter Benu. the sankofa trilogy will be performed for the first time in repertory; three extraordinary stories of three generations of strong women and their resolute belief in blood and truth."

Was Spring
Written and directed by Daniel MacIvor
March 27-May 6, 2012
Toronto Premiere

"Three women — one older, one middle aged, and one young — confront each other about a tumultuous episode in their shared past. Accusations fly between the women, but what really happened? The fine line between pursuing a dream and living a lie creates a vacuum of honesty; this must be filled between the three generations and with each woman."


Name in Vain (Decalogue Two)
By André Alexis
Directed by Richard Rose
Oct. 4-30, 2011
World Premiere

"Set in a monastery, in a community of self-sacrifice, contrition and meditation, Name in Vain explores the Second Commandment, 'Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.' One monk, in a fit of rage, breaks not only his vow of silence but the commandment. His curse throws the close-knit brotherhood into an upheaval that tests the strength of their faith. André Alexis is exploring the Ten Commandments (the Decalogue), each exploring a theatrical form or conundrum. He is a novelist, playwright and short-story writer."

A Brimful of Asha
By Asha and Ravi Jain
Directed by Ravi Jain
A Why Not Theatre Production
Jan. 24-Feb. 19, 2012
World Premiere

"Real-life mother and son, Asha and Ravi Jain, share the stage and tell this true (and very Canadian) story about generational and cultural clash. While on a vacation in India, Ravi is surprised and then enraged by his parents who interrupt his trip to introduce him to potential brides for an arranged marriage. Asha explains her side of the story; her love and exasperation with her son are apparent: it's time for him to find a wife. At time of press release, Ravi still isn't married. Although Ravi is a trained performer, his mother Asha is not. They tell their story together—complete with family history, brief education to Indian marriage customs and full-fledged arguments—letting us into their personal drama."

For more information about Tarragon, visit

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