Toronto: Taragon Theatre announces its 2022/23 season

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Artistic Director Mike Payette and Managing Director Andrea Vagianostoday announce Tarragon Theatre’s 2022-23 season: a season that embraces the range of artistic form within the theatre experience and encourages interdisciplinary, intercultural and intergenerational exchange. This season, Tarragon stages feature seven world premiere performances, punctuated by humour, rawness and celebration of the human condition from the finest new and established award-winning Canadian playwrights.

The Tarragon team is also pleased to announce the continuation of Tarragon Chez Vous digital access, enabling audiences everywhere to experience the upcoming 2022-23 season with limited digital runs of every production.

It has been a wild time for our theatre and the sector as we move to embracing this new moment in meaningful artistic and community engagement. It’s also a moment that offers great opportunity for growth and connection with our artists and audiences,” notes Artistic Director Mike Payette.

He continues, “It’s in that spirit that I look forward to championing the next chapter of Tarragon’s legacy in widening the scope of the experiences and perspectives that Canadian storytellers share on our stages, offering new discoveries and inspiring audiences.

Our season begins with COCKROACH from Bulmash-Siegel New Play Development award-winner Ho Ka Kei (Jeff Ho). This coming-of-age story of a boy moving through a great trauma navigates queerness, culture and survival on a path of identity. Directed by Tarragon Artistic Director Mike Payette with movement from Dora Award-winning choreographer Hanna Kiel, Artistic Director of Human Body Expression. Onstage from Sept 13 – Oct 9, 2022.

In October, we’re thrilled to welcome multi-talented playwright and storyteller Yolanda Bonnell with MY SISTER’S RAGE, a story about grief, love, laughter and the power of community.  Featuring a stellar cast of eight Indigenous artists, it’s a deeply moving exploration of family, loss and forgiveness and the journey towards healing. Directed by Yolanda herself, and produced in association with Studio 180 Theatre and TO Live, My Sister’s Rage runs Oct 11 – Nov 6, 2022.

Next, we’re excited to welcome back Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Hannah Moscovitchwith her newest work POST-DEMOCRACY. In this biting new show oozing with the condition of greed, Hannah skewers the 1% in a play that asks, “What happens to morality when human beings have limitless power?” Post-Democracy was commissioned by Prairie Theatre Exchange (Winnipeg) as a virtual production, and now, guided by the remarkable direction of Obsidian Theatre’s Artistic Director Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, Post-Democracy makes its live premiere Nov 8 – Dec 4, 2022.

To ring in the new year we’re bringing a festival feel back to Tarragon with GREENHOUSE! A new, process-led, interdisciplinary residency for creators in residence from Aug 2022 - Jan 2023, culminating in an audience-centric sharing that will activate the whole building. With live performances, art installations and more, the festival will be two of the hottest weeks in January! Greenhouse will sprout at Tarragon from Jan 2 – Jan 15, 2023.

In February 2023, we’re excited to partner with Montreal’s Imago Theatre for the rolling world premiere of REDBONE COONHOUND, an Arts Club (Vancouver) Silver Commission. Based on an interaction that award-winning playwrights and real-life couple Amy Lee Lavoie and Omari Newton experienced, an interacial couple meet a dog breed with an unfortunate name and a subversive journey ensues. Redbone Coonhound explores race, systemic power and privilege in surprising and hilarious ways, as told through a series of micro-plays. Directed by Micheline Chevrier with Associate Director Kwaku Okyere, Redbone Coonhound will be on stage Feb 7 – Mar 5, 2023.

Also in February, we’re looking forward to welcoming back Anosh Irani, award-winning author and playwright of Buffoon from our 19-20 season. Anosh will bring his tense and mysterious new work BEHIND THE MOON to Tarragon, where Ayub, an immigrant working at an Indian restaurant, is forced by the arrival of a mysterious stranger to face reality, the family he’s left behind and the dreams he’s abandoned, all while keeping the restaurant clean to a mirror shine. Directed by previous Tarragon Theatre Artistic Director Richard Rose, Behind the Moon is a beautiful story of love and loss, freedom and faith, the meaning of brotherhood and how we begin a new life. On stage Feb 21 – Mar 19, 2023.

Next is Makram Ayache’s THE HOOVES BELONGED TO THE DEER produced in association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. The Hooves Belonged to the Deer is an epic story of life, discovery and belonging where small town Canada meets the Tree of Knowledge.  When a young queer Muslim boy attempts to reconcile sexuality and faith, Izzy invents an imagined Garden of Eden, where everything is turned upside down by the arrival of Steve, a beautiful, blue-eyed, white-skinned northerner. Envisioned through the infinite artistic wisdom and scope of legendary director Peter Hinton-Davis, The Hooves Belonged to The Deer will premiere April 4 – Apr 23, 2023.

Closing the season, Tarragon Artistic Director Mike Payette directs PAINT ME THIS HOUSE OF LOVEfrom Tarragon’s RBC emerging playwright award-winner Chelsea Woolley. In Paint Me This House of Love, Cecelia and her father Jules are attempting reconciliation after 25 years of estrangement. Unable to communicate past shames and shortcomings, the pair become dependent on increasingly dramatic fairy tales to explain away their pain. Paint Me this House of Love asks how we communicate, “I Love You,” when the words alone are not enough. Premiering April 11 – May 7, 2023.

Beyond this season’s productions, Tarragon is thrilled to collaborate with Nightswimming Theatre, for PURE RESEARCH, bringing innovative research-based process back to Toronto after a four-year hiatus and opening up a discourse on play development through dramaturgy.

Tarragon is also proud to further an ongoing partnership with the graduating acting class at The Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University supporting the development of new work for large ensembles, providing the class with 2 co-commissioned works from Tarragon Alumni, and 2 workshop presentations featuring the graduating acting students.  

In the Spring of 2023, Tarragon is delighted to welcome back Paprika Festival. Originally conceived at Tarragon Theatre as a unique performing arts festival celebrating the work of young and emerging artists, Paprika returns to its roots on Bridgman Ave.

Beyond our stages, Tarragon Theatre’s production of Makambe K. Simamba’s smash-hit Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers will be on-tour to Prairie Theatre Exchange and Persephone Theatre (Saskatoon) bringing Makambe’s essential look at racism and the Black experience to new audiences throughout Canada. With Direction from Donna-Michelle St. Benard, this is a co-production with Montreal's Black Theatre Workshop based on the premiere production by b current Performing Arts.

The 2022-23 season offers a collection of work, available in-person and online, that reflects the importance of community and underlines the incredible discoveries that can be made through collaboration. We’re welcoming people back to the Theatre, Where the He(art) is.

The 2022-23 season is generously sponsored by BMO Financial Group.

 

Tarragon Theatre 2022-23 Season Details

Cockroach (World Premiere)
by Ho Ka Kei (Jeff Ho)
Directed by Mike Payette
Choreographed by Hanna Kiel


September 13 – October 9, 2022

A cockroach smoking catnip. A bard lamenting over immortality. A boy stuck in a sticky situation. Three splinters caught in a collision of language, longing, and lobsters (who sometimes burst, and who sometimes burp).

From Toronto Theatre Critics award-winning playwright Ho Ka Kei (Jeff Ho), Cockroach is a coming-of-age play about the stories we tell ourselves to comfort, to survive, to resist, to overcome, and to be.


My Sister’s Rage (World Premiere)
In association with Studio 180 Theatre and TO Live
Written and Directed by Yolanda Bonnell


October 11 – November 6, 2022

When their Matriarch ends up in a coma, a ma’iingan-wolf clan family gathers together to work through their collective grief and begin to heal from an incident in the past. While the Aunties camp out in the hospital room, the younger cousins spend their time at the Grandmother’s house by the backyard firepit; all while being circled by a cackling crow jokester.

As the veil between the ancestral plane and the earthly realm gets thinner, tensions and emotions are high and vulnerabilities are exposed, revealing the true strength and resilience of the ma’iingan kwe.

Yolanda Bonnell’s My Sister’s Rage is a story about the nuances of holding trauma and joy at the same time and how laughter is medicine.


Post-Democracy (World Premiere)
by Hannah Moscovitch
Directed by Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu


November 8 – December 4, 2022

Welcome to the world of the 1%, the corporate elite, the “C-suite” – the “king-makers” whose influence flows through every aspect of our lives virtually unnoticed. When a CEO and his top executives are on a business trip for a major deal, a damaging sex scandal at the company is unearthed back home. As the pressure to complete the deal mounts, more secrets come to the surface, endangering the CEO's company, his family, and his legacy. What happens to morality when human beings have limitless power?

Biting and unabashedly oozing with the condition of greed, Post-Democracy asks what is the price of silence envisioned through the remarkable lens of Director Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu.


Redbone Coonhound (World Premiere)
An Arts Club Silver Commission as part of a rolling world premiere with Tarragon Theatre (Toronto) and Imago Theatre (Montreal)
Written by Amy Lee Lavoie and Omari Newton
Directed by Micheline Chevrier with Kwaku Okyere

February 7 – March 5, 2023


Out for a walk in their West End neighbourhood, Mike and Marissa—an interracial couple—meet a dog with an unfortunate breed name: Redbone Coonhound. This small detail unleashes a cascading debate between them about race and their relationship that manifests as a series of micro-plays, each satirizing contemporary perspectives on modern culture. Through its hard-hitting comedic elements, Redbone Coonhound explores the intricacies of subtle and overt polemics of race, systemic power and privilege in remarkable, surprising and hilarious ways.

A wild and subversive journey back through history and into the future. Redbone Coonhound reveals deep fears, rage, insecurities and, ultimately, hope.


Behind the Moon (World Premiere)
Written by Anoshi Irani
Directed by Richard Rose

February 21 – March 19, 2023


In a Mughlai restaurant in Toronto, a late night visit from a mysterious stranger rattles the cage and shatters the peace. Now Ayub must face reality, the family he’s left behind, and the dreams he’s abandoned, all while keeping the restaurant clean to a mirror shine.

From award-winning playwright and author Anosh Irani, Behind the Moon is an achingly beautiful story of love and loss, freedom and faith, the meaning of brotherhood, and how we begin a new life.


The Hooves Belonged to the Deer (World Premiere)
In association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
Written by Makram Ayache
Directed by Peter Hinton-Davis 


April 4 – April 23, 2023

When Izzy’s family immigrates to a small rural town, the young queer Muslim boy becomes the salvation pet project to the local Pastor Isaac. In his attempt to reconcile his sexuality and faith, Izzy invents an imagined Garden of Eden, where Adam and Hawa’s (Eve in Arabic) relationship is turned upside down by the arrival of Steve, a beautiful, blue-eyed, white-skinned northerner.

An emotionally-charged and ritualistic journey of two universes colliding, The Hooves Belonged to the Deer offers an epic story of life, discovery and belonging where small town Canada meets the Garden of Eden.


Paint Me This House of Love (World Premiere)
Written by Chelsea Woolley
Directed by Mike Payette


April 11 – May 7, 2023

“Why shouldn’t a dream be just as much a truth? A fantasy be just as deep a reality?”

After twenty-five years estranged, Cecelia and her father, Jules, are attempting reconciliation.
Unable to communicate past shames and shortcomings, the pair become dependent on increasingly dramatic fairy tales to explain away their pain.

Paint Me this House of Love is a rhythmic, yearning, experimentation of language, exploring the threads that stitch together our shared family narratives, and asks how we communicate, “I Love You”, when the words alone are not enough.


Greenhouse Festival
A festival of creation at Tarragon Theatre
January 2 – January 15, 2023
Throughout the Tarragon building

seeding new work
inspiring growth, risk, and innovation
a new incubator for theatrical experience


Audiences will be invited to experience 45-minute works from resident artists presented in rep, alongside staged-readings, workshops, installations and site activations, music, and community connection.


Paprika Festival
May 2023


Originally established in 2001 with then Artistic Director Urjo Kareda, the Paprika Festival showcases work entirely created by young artists. Paprika returns to its roots at Tarragon Theatre in Spring 2023.  

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HOW TO GET TICKETS TO TARRAGON SHOWS:

Subscriptions and tickets can be purchased online at www.tarragontheatre.com by phone at 416-531-1827 or in person at the Tarragon Theatre Box Office at 30 Bridgman Avenue.

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Tarragon Theatre continues to offer the most flexible subscription packages in the city, allowing patrons to choose their productions and change their dates free of charge, and offering many different price points to suit all schedules and budgets.

2022-23 Earlybird Subscriptions
7-Play and 5-Play subscriptions are currently on sale. Early bird pricing ends on June 30, 2022.