Tarragon Season Announcement (2014/2015)

Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre announces their 2014/2015 season

From Press Release

Toronto, February 19, 2014  – Artistic Director Richard Rose and General Manager Gideon Arthurs proudly rolled out Tarragon Theatre’s 8-play 2014-15 season today, filled with adventurous theatrical experiences both on and off the stage, and set Tarragon up for a fresh, affordable and seductive reinvention of the theatre-going experience. Tarragon’s 44th season, dubbed “Lies, Sex & What Comes Next”, features works from some of Canada’s greatest talents alongside brilliant artistry from Germany for a roster that showcases five world premieres of Canadian plays, two English-language premieres of cutting-edge German works and a brand new, home-grown Shakespeare adaptation.

In outlining the season, Rose said, “At the Tarragon, we are always on the look out for big ideas and different perspectives on human experiences. In 2014-15, we look at the politics of the environment, art forgery and fascism, sex and music, the medical world, condo development fever, the disappearance of a young woman, time in an infinite universe and the cultural beauty of Brampton. From rock-and-roll garage bands to the ticking clock of a hospital waiting room and the decadent parties of condo Toronto, from the fractured narrative of young immigrants to the broiling mind of a scientific genius and Bollywood and Bharatanatyam in a Shakespearean Brampton, Tarragon’s upcoming season, more than any previously, is a season for the 21st century – for a theatre that is about now, about ideas and about the many.”

Rose also outlined the fruition of the theatre’s Tarragon Village program and other initiatives that impact and improve the theatre’s amenities and infrastructure. “Not only will patrons savour the energy and excitement of the productions themselves, they will encounter a new – and even more comfortable – theatre-going experience,” said Rose, “including new seating, new discounts, new technology, new concessions, new audience initiatives and, slated for the new year, a shiny new lobby.”

In what promises to be one of the most exciting events of the entire theatre season in Toronto, Tarragon welcomes Thomas Ostermeier’s revolutionary production of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People from Germany’s foremost theatre, the Schaubühne, to launch the 2014-15 season — but with a twist. In other cities around the world where this global sensation has toured and been hailed as “an Ibsen for the Snowden age,” surtitles have been used. Notably and uniquely, Tarragon has secured the right to premiere the first-ever English-language version, for the first-ever local rendition. This contemporary mirror for our times will see a Toronto staging by Richard Rose, based on Ostermeier’s original production and vision, with translation by Maria Milisavljevic. (A first for Tarragon to do a ‘rendition’ of another production; and a first for Richard Rose as well.)

In another international offering, Tarragon’s very first International Playwright-in-Residence, Maria Milisavljevic, makes her Canadian debut with her Kleist Award winner Abyss, a poetic thriller about a missing woman that premiered at the Deutsches Theater Berlin. Richard Rose directs this English-language premiere.

2014-2015 also sees the return of three of Tarragon’s most beloved and prolific playwrights with brand new plays: Morris Panych with Sextet, a comic drama about six stranded and sexually entangled musicians (which he also directs); Daniel MacIvor with Cake & Dirt, a subversive work that digs deep into our psyches, directed by Amiel Gladstone; and Hannah Moscovitch with Infinity – a gripping play about love in a world animated by music and theoretical physics in a co-production with Volcano Theatre, which celebrates its 20th anniversary next season, directed by its artistic director, Ross Manson (the only co-pro in the season). Playwright-in-Residence Kate Cayley and long-time Tarragon artist Diane Flacks give us plays filled with hope and beauty in Bakelite Masterpiece, a piece about art and forgery, truth and lies, inspired by real events in Holland in the aftermath of World War Two, directed by Richard Rose; and Waiting Room, a drama about diagnosis, prognosis and uncertainty directed by Richard Greenblatt.

The season closes with yet another first: a high-energy Canadian-Bollywood Much Ado About Nothing set in Brampton. Shakespeare’s clever comedy about two sets of lovers is adapted and directed by Richard Rose with consulting director Ravi Jain (Dora Award for Why Not Theatre’s co-pro of Spent, Tarragon/Why Not’s acclaimed A Brimful of Asha) and choreography by Dora Award nominee Nova Bhattacharya.

In addition to its work on the stage, Tarragon continues with its extensive youth programs and the country’s most successful new play development program. As well, it announced a number of new programs and initiatives:

TARRAGON VILLAGE: Tarragon is a handmade theatre, full of big stories, ideas and feelings. For 44 years, it has nurtured a curious and passionate audience by keeping the Tarragon experience warm and welcoming. New audience initiatives bring patrons even closer together by inviting them to go deeper into the art and making their time in the theatre that much more worthwhile. Mirroring the community effort of theatre creation, the theatre has dubbed its enrichment program Tarragon Village. Tarragon Village includes Preview Feedback Sessions, Talk Back Weeks, Podcast Series, Lecture-Conversations, and improved hospitality and concessions.

CHEAP SEATS: In a continuing effort to make theatre accessible, Tarragon is removing cost as a barrier to art and giving everyone access to great Canadian theatre with a new program: Cheap Seats. For each and every performance next season, Tarragon is reserving 10% of the house for Cheap Seats. Specially priced $15 tickets will be available starting at 6:00pm for evening performances and 1:00pm for matinees. In the past, Tarragon has offered discounted Rush Tickets on Fridays and Sundays but was becoming unable to meet the growing demand. In response, Cheap Seats was born. Combined with a number of affordable options and the best-valued subscription packages available, Tarragon truly has a ticket for everyone.

NEW TECHNOLOGY: Thanks to a $103,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Tarragon will roll out new technology over the summer to increase its capacity to meet the needs of patrons. Upon request, Tarragon will offer Assistive Listening Devices to patrons for both the Mainspace and Extraspace theatres. The lobby will be animated by Large Digital Screens to share information about the shows, recognise donors and supporters, as well as play a high-definition feed from Closed Circuit Cameras in each theatre, with sound playing through a new Lobby Wide Sound System. As part of a serious commitment to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), Barrier Free Doors will be introduced to all public spaces. Patrons will be most pleased however by the arrival of New Chairs for both theatres. All of these changes begin the theatre’s long-term project to improve the facility in increasingly significant ways over the next few years.

And last, but far from least, a NEW LOBBY: Tarragon is also delighted to announce that, thanks to the City of Toronto’s Culture Build Fund, it will be renovating the lobby to create a new front entrance and seating area – stay tuned for more details as plans firm up.

2014-15 Early Bird Subscriptions (with spectacular savings of up to $190) and single tickets for the 2014-2015 season are on sale now.

An 8-play season package starts as low as $135; a Pick-6 Package starts at $105; and a 5-play Mainstage subscription is available for as low as $90 if booked by May 31, 2014.  Regular Subscription prices apply thereafter.

Subscriptions and tickets can be purchased by phone at 416-531-1827 or in person at the Tarragon Theatre Box Office at 30 Bridgman Avenue. Call Patron Services at 416-531-1827 for more information or visit www.tarragontheatre.com .


Tarragon Theatre 2014-15 Season Details:

A Canadian rendition of the Schaubühne Theatre (Berlin) production
An Enemy of the People
               English-language premiere         Mainspace

By Henrik Ibsen
Adapted by Florian Borchmeyer
Translated by Maria Milisavljevic
Original Direction by Thomas Ostermeier
Toronto Staging by Richard Rose
September 16 – October 26, 2014 (Opens September 24)


Dr. Stockman has made a shocking discovery, but to go public with it will spell the end of his town’s prosperity. The people don’t know that the local baths are contaminated with toxic industrial waste; and if the world finds out, it will send the community into economic collapse. Ibsen’s timely parable echoes with the questions of today as it grapples with how we balance our conscience and our comfort.  Censored scientists, whistleblowers, environmental crises, the pitfalls of democracy, anarchist manifestos and “the 1%” – An Enemy of the People is as alive now as it was in 1882.

Tarragon Artistic Director Richard Rose helms an all-Canadian rendition of Schaubühne Theatre Artistic Director Thomas Ostermeier’s visionary, boundary-crushing and acclaimed production – the first-ever Tarragon interpretation of another theatrical work. This riveting spectacle, originally presented by the renowned Schaubühne Theatre in Berlin and toured across the world with surtitles, now receives its English-language, Canadian cast premiere on the Tarragon stage – the first time it will see a production in a language other than German.

“An Ibsen for the Snowden age. From the first scene, when two actors sang an acoustic cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” to the climactic moment when the company threw paintballs, it was clear we weren’t in nineteenth-century Norway.” –  New Republic, New York, U.S.A.

“An inconvenient truth sets off a social and political time-bomb in Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People and Thomas Ostermeier’s production fires it directly into our contemporary world where it sits ticking ominously as we wait for it to explode.” – Herald Sun, Melbourne, Australia

The Bakelite Masterpiece             World premiere               Extraspace
By Kate Cayley
Directed by Richard Rose
October 21 – November 30, 2014 (Opens October 29)

It is the end of World War Two. Holland is in chaos. The artist Han van Meegeren is arrested. His crime? Selling a long lost painting by the Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer to Hermann Goering, Nazi leader. His defense? The painting was a perfect forgery painted by him. His proof? In front of his prosecutor, art historian and resistance fighter Geert Piller, he must paint another flawless forgery of a Vermeer to save his life. This premiere from playwright-in-residence Kate Cayley (Tarragon’s After Akhmatova, Stranger Theatre Artistic Director) embellishes an intriguing piece of history as it debates art and forgery, truth and lies, faith and doubt, and the reconstruction of a country.


Sextet                   World premiere                               Mainspace
Written and directed by Morris Panych
November 5 – December 14, 2014 (Opens November 12)


Six musicians are stranded by a blizzard in their motel with only their instruments, each other and their secrets to keep them warm. Where will everyone sleep when everyone is sleeping with everyone else?  Underscored by their difficulties to come to terms with their career struggles, failing marriages and unfulfilled desires, the sextet tries to make a set-list for a show that they know won’t happen. How long can they keep their composure before everything they’ve kept hidden comes into play? This is the inimitable Morris Panych at his comic-drama best: snappy dialogue, idiosyncrasies, and startling truths about the human comedy.

Waiting Room                  World premiere               Mainspace
By Diane Flacks
Directed by Richard Greenblatt
January 6 – February 15, 2015 (Opens January 14)


“Hope is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words

– And never stops – At all.” –Emily Dickinson

A doctor embarks on a groundbreaking medical experiment despite the objections of his colleagues. Meanwhile, a couple wonder if the doctor has what it takes to save their baby. When every choice leads you into the unknown, what are you willing to risk to save a life? This is a play about life in the waiting room of a major research hospital. This is a play about uncertainty. This is a play about families that find the will to keep going. This is a play about the needs of the heart and the necessities of medicine. This is a play about breaking the rules. This is a play about how to have hope. Diane Flacks and Richard Greenblatt team up once again for Tarragon (co-writers and performers on Sibs and Care, performer and director on By A Thread) as six actors take the stage for this new drama.

Abyss                    English-language premiere         Extraspace
Written and translated by Maria Milisavljevic
Directed by Richard Rose
February 3 – March 15, 2015 (Opens February 11)


MISSING. Karla Zuckowski, 24. Last seen before she left for the grocery store in blue jeans, a green parka  and her red rubber rain boots. The police and papers ignore the disappearance, leaving her loved ones to discover the truth. Suspicions turn to her lover Vlado, born into terror and war. “He is the kind that finds” and he must find Karla. A search for Karla becomes a search for the self in this poetic thriller and modern day epic cloaked in the mystery of Europe’s underworld. The first-ever international playwright-in-residence at Tarragon, German playwright Maria Milisavljevic makes her Canadian debut with Abyss, which was first presented at the Deutsches Theater Berlin (as Brandung) and won the prestigious 2013 Kleist Promotional Award for Young Dramatists.



Cake & Dirt                         World premiere               Mainspace
By Daniel MacIvor
Directed by Amiel Gladstone
March 3 – April 12, 2015 (Opens March 11)


Two nights, one week apart. Six residents of Toronto. Drama unfolds in a downtown hotel room, a suburban bedroom, a luxury condo and a forgotten parkette. There are those who believe there is a dark age ahead; there are those who believe it is already here; and there are those who couldn’t care less as long as there’s cake. Tarragon playwright-in-residence and one of this country’s finest and most prolific writers premieres another much-anticipated work. This is Daniel MacIvor like we’ve never seen him before.

Infinity                 World premiere               Extraspace
A co-production with Volcano Theatre
By Hannah Moscovitch
Directed by Ross Manson
March 25 – May 3 (Opens April 1)

Infinity is an elegy to time: a young mathematician explores the seeming impossibility of love; her brilliant parents’ lives collide with damaging force; all three are particles in a world animated by music and theoretical physics. A shocking, funny and revelatory new play about time, and what it offers, by one of Canada’s most celebrated playwrights, Hannah Moscovitch, whose East of Berlin, Little One and This is War were previously premiered by Tarragon.

Much Ado About Nothing              Freely adapted from the original          Mainspace
By William Shakespeare
Directed and adapted by Richard Rose
Consulting Director: Ravi Jain
Choreography by Nova Bhattacharya
April 22 – May 31, 2015 (Opens April 29)


Beatrice and Benedick take on Brampton in this Bollywood-inspired adaptation of Shakespeare’s clever comedy. As reimagined by Richard Rose with consulting director Ravi Jain, this Much Ado plays as an all-out war of the sexes against the backdrop of a very Canadian clash of cultures. At once witty and dark, moving from comedy to tragedy and back again with razor sharp wit, a familiar story takes on new meaning when set in our own backyard. Classical text fuses with contemporary bharatanatyam dance and Bollywood in this exuberant larger-than-life spectacle that promises to move audiences – both literally and figuratively!



Tarragon Theatre is one of Canada’s most important arts institutions. For more than 40 years, it has worked tirelessly to develop home-grown artists and contribute to Canadian culture. Tarragon’s mission is to create, develop and produce new plays, and to provide the conditions for new work to thrive. Since its founding, over 190 works have premiered at Tarragon and over 500 scripts have been created and workshopped, receiving 33 nominations and 11 wins for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Tarragon received the 2012 Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in recognition of producing and developing leading edge and thought-provoking Canadian Theatre, both nationally and on the world stage. Richard Rose has been the Artistic Director since 2002.  For more information visit: www.tarragontheatre.com

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