Stage Door News

Toronto: The world premiere of “Orphan Song” runs at the Tarragon Theatre March 23-April 24

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Mike Payette, Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre and Managing Director Andrea Vagianos are excited to announce the awaited world premiere of Orphan Song. The play, written by Sean Dixon, runs in the Mainspace from March 23 - April 24, 2022 (opening April 1, 2022).

In the year 40,027 BCE, an Early Modern homosapien couple adopts a Neanderthal child, but the struggle to communicate drives a wedge between Mother and Father. With that, an epic journey begins to reunite, reconnect and protect the child at all costs. A surprisingly personal account of parenting, Orphan Song explores what family means, how connections can last - or shatter, and how bonds of love can overcome.

Orphan Song is an ambitious production, with musical direction by Juliet Palmer and a musical Neanderthal language based on words believed by anthropologists to be the building blocks of spoken language. It also features dynamic projection work, and puppetry bringing Orphan Song’s Neanderthals to life.

"In a moment where so many of us have endured the separation from family and community, the playfulness, heart wrenching and imaginative scope of Sean’s work with Richard’s dynamic vision reminds us of the timeliness of Orphan Song," notes Artistic Director Mike Payette.

He continues, "A story of belonging and re-connection, Orphan Song embraces the complexities of forming new family relationships within the vast ways in which we communicate and share language.”

This new work is written by Sean Dixon (Tarragon: A God In Need of Help, Blyth Festival: JUMBO) and features performances by Heather Marie Annis (Tarragon debut, Co-Artistic Director of U.N.I.T. Productions, “Morro” of Morro and Jasp), Beau Dixon (Tarragon: Hamlet, Dora Award-winning Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story), Sophie Goulet (Tarragon Acoustic: Scorched, Forests, “Anne with an E”), Phoebe Hu (Tarragon debut, Project Mulan Rogue), Germaine Konji (Tarragon debut, The Musical Stage Company: Blackout), Ahmed Salah Moneka (Tarragon debut, Evolution Dance Theatre: Follow Your Heart), Kaitlin Morrow (Tarragon debut, Storefront Theatre: Hangman), Kaitlyn Riordan (Tarragon debut, Shakespeare in the Ruff: Romeo & Juliet, playwright: Portia’s Julius Caesar), Terry Tweed (Tarragon: Forests, Another Home Invasion, NAC: Pride and Prejudice) and Daniel Williston (Tarragon debut, Thousand Islands Playhouse: Once). With direction from Richard Rose (former Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre, Tarragon: Hamlet, Léo, Scorched).

Orphan Song runs in Tarragon’s Mainspace from March 23 - April 24, 2022, opening April 1.

Tarragon will continue with our current plan to require proof of vaccination for all staff, artists and patrons and reduced capacities in our theatres. Masking remains mandatory as per provincial guidelines. You can find the full list of safety measures, including our vaccination policy, here.

Orphan Song (World Premiere)

written by Sean Dixon

directed by Richard Rose

March 23 - April 24, 2022 (opening April 1)


“In a lightning strike of inspiration, I claimed another child”

40,027 BCE (when the average human could count to five), a grief stricken Homo-Sapien couple adopts a Neanderthal child. But language separates parents and child only to then separate mother and father – how do we love when we can’t communicate?

With that, a mythic journey of danger and sacrifice ensues to connect to the Neanderthals and to protect the child at all costs.

A heroic tale of clashing cultures and how the bonds of family are truly formed.

Showtimes are Tuesday - Saturday at 8pm with matinees on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm.

Single Tickets range from $25 - $50 and can be purchased online at, or by phone at 416-531-1827. Discounts are available for students, groups, arts workers, Front Line Workers, and the Underemployed. Contact the box office for more information.

Tarragon offers the most flexible subscription packages in the city with Pay-What-You-Can Pricing. Plus, allowing patrons to choose their productions, change their dates free of charge. Visit the website or call Patron Services today for more information.

Rush tickets are sold for $25, online via at 12pm on the day of the performance. Rush tickets are subject to availability.