Stage Door News
Toronto: Jordan Tannahill’s “Is My Microphone On?” plays the High Park Amphitheatre September 2-19
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
This September, Canadian Stage’s 2021 Dream in High Park programming continues with an innovative and insistent new work from the company’s long-time collaborator and Governor General’s Award-winner Jordan Tannahill, Is My Microphone On?
On stage in the High Park Amphitheatre September 2 – 19, Tannahill’s newest play takes the form of a theatrical protest song. Led by director Erin Brubacher, a chorus of seventeen young Torontonians aged 12-17 turn the theatre into a site of intergenerational reckoning. Urgent, moving, and confrontational, Is My Microphone On? is both a declaration of war and a declaration of love delivered by a generation facing the perils of climate change.
Fundamentally asking how do we move forward from here?, Is My Microphone On? demands attention for those who will no longer be able to avoid the consequences of the climate crisis, a generation just under the voting age but painfully aware of the legacy left for them. They speak to the adults in the audience, holding them to account, questioning the choices that have not been made, the ones that children will be forced to make, and what kind of future they stand to inherit.
“Jordan Tannahill is one of this country’s most powerful and searingly truthful voices,” comments Canadian Stage Artistic Director Brendan Healy. “He has an uncanny ability to mine the most essential from the profoundly complex. I can’t think of a subject more relevant right now than what is happening with the climate and the very real existential threat that it presents. What is so thrilling about this piece is how it centres and platforms young voices in this moment. There is an elemental power in their claiming of the stage and the undiluted truth of what they have to say.”
An artistic endeavour developed within the context of the pandemic, Tannahill’s script is adapted from speeches given by global youth climate activist Greta Thunberg, into a choral piece further shaped by Brubacher’s work with the cast, along with key collaborators, production designer Sherri Hay, composer Veda Hille, sound designer Debashis Sinha, and movement director Cara Spooner.
Brubacher and Tannahill previously worked together on 2016’s Concord Floral, which Brubacher co-directed with Cara Spooner, and which was also produced by Canadian Stage and was awarded the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play. A re-imagining of the medieval allegory The Decameron, Concord Floral similarly foregrounded contemporary youth experience and was also made in collaboration with Toronto teenagers. Tannahill also previously collaborated with Canadian Stage on 2018 Governor General’s Award-winning play Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom, and on 2019’s Declarations.
Is My Microphone On? runs September 2 – 19, Thursday – Sunday, at 7:30pm. Advanced tickets for Is My Microphone On? performances at Dream in High Park are now available. At noon, two days prior to each performance, 50% of ticket capacity will become available at Pay-What-You-Wish pricing. Tickets cannot be purchased at the venue. Advertised ticket prices include applicable fees and HST.
About Is My Microphone On?
A Canadian Stage production
Featuring Remi Ajao-Russell, Hiyab Araya, Jack Bakshi, Chloe Cha, Felix Chew, Nia Downey, Sidonie Fleck, Oscar Gorbet, Saraphina Knights, Iris MacNada, Iylah Mohammed, Amaza Payne, Sanora Souphommanychanh, Alykhan Sunderji, Catherine Thorne, Sophia Wang, and Skyler Xiang
Written by Jordan Tannahill
Direction and Dramaturgy by Erin Brubacher
Composer Veda Hille
Production Designer Sherri Hay
Movement Cara Spooner
Sound and Music Designer Debashis Sinha
Lighting Designer Kaitlin Hickey
Youth Mentors Sadie Laflamme-Snow & Davinder Malhi
For tickets visit www.canadianstage.com.
Photo: Jordan Tannahill. © Alejandro Santiago.