Tarragon World Premiere, Léo, Follows Friends Caught in Turbulent Chilean Times

News   Tarragon World Premiere, Léo, Follows Friends Caught in Turbulent Chilean Times
The Chilean-set drama, Léo, makes its world premiere in Tarragon Theatre's Extra Space starting Feb. 7 in Toronto.

"Political passions and sexual identity are delicately intertwined in this bittersweet tale of stolen youth" by Rosa Laborde, according to the resident professional company devoted to new works and Toronto premieres.

Richard Rose directs Léo, which is set post-Salvador Allende Chile, and "follows the path of three friends who journey from innocence to understanding as they learn what it means to truly 'disappear'; Rodrigo (Sergio Di Zio), the idealistic aspiring politician; Léo (Salvatore Antonio), the passionate young poet; and Isolda (Cara Pifko), a young woman adrift in her own life."

The intermissionless Léo is told from the perspective of the title character, "a 20-year-old pleasure seeker, who has become one of the desaparecido (disappeared) after the Chilean government is overthrown with the assassination of the president, Salvador Allende, in the military coup d'etat of 1973."

Rosa Laborde is an emerging playwright and actor. Her playwriting credits include The Source, Sugar (voted Outstanding new play by NOW) and the upcoming musical, The Ugly Duckling. Her acting includes a recurring role in the soon to be released Ken Finkleman television project, currently titled "Hotel Stories."

Léo was first introduced at the Rhubarb! Festival and further developed into a full-length play through Tarragon's Playwrights Unit and WorkSpace. All three cast members return to the Tarragon after their workshop of the play in spring 2005. Music is written and performed by Marcelo Puente, a singer and songwriter of Chilean origin who is immersed in the artistic life of Toronto.

Designers are Graeme Thomson (set and lighting), Jolene Antle (coordinating costumes) and Thomas Ryder Payne (sound).

Opening is Feb. 14. Performances continue to March 19.

For more information, visit www.tarragontheatre.com.

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