Stage Door News

Toronto: Tarragon Theatre presents “Redbone Coonhound” February 7-March 5

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Mike Payette Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre and Managing Director Andrea Vagianos are delighted to announce Redbone Coonhound, continuing its rolling world premiere at Tarragon Theatre in co-production with Imago Theatre (Montreal). The play, written by real-life couple Amy Lee Lavoie and Omari Newton and inspired by a first-hand experience, runs in the Mainspace from February 7 - March 5, 2023 (opening February 15).

In a new piece that’s as riotously funny as it is deeply pensive, we meet interracial couple Mike and Marissa. As they go on a walk they meet a dog whose breed bears an unfortunate name, a redbone coonhound, which catapults the pair into a discussion of race as it relates to their relationship. Traveling through the 19th, 20th and 21st century and from Vancouver to Detroit, and many places in between, Redbone Coonhound manifests as a series of microplays, a deeply satirical examination of race, gender, systemic power, oppression and privilege.

“The scope of Amy Lee and Omari’s new piece is so rich in its ability to embrace so many intersectionalities pertaining to race and gender. With the support of hilarious and intense micro-provocations that bridge the modern-day through line of Marissa and Mike’s journey, the audience is taken into a multiverse and is asked to examine how we connect with each other when language and the need to be right support our socio-political arguments,” notes Artistic Director Mike Payette.

He continues, “All this takes place through the comic sensibilities of a team of creatives and cast who collectively support one of the funniest and deeply resonant pieces of Canadian theatre of our time.”

Redbone Coonhound is written by Amy Lee Lavoie (Tarragon debut, C’mon, Angie!, Rabbit Rabbit) and Omari Newton (Tarragon debut, Sal Capone), and features performances by Christopher Allen(Tarragon debut, Crow’s Theatre/Modern Times Stage Company’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Canadian Stage’s Sweat), Kwesi Ameyaw (Tarragon debut, Pacific Theatre Vancouver’s The Mountaintop, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”), Lucinda Davis (Tarragon debut, Black Theatre Workshop’s Harlem Duet, NAC’s Adventures of a Black Girl In Search Of God, cofounder Metachroma Theatre), Brian Dooley (Tarragon’s Gyroscope, Talisman Theatre’s Night from the 4th to the 5th, Citadel Theatre/Canadian Stage’s The December Man), Deborah Drakeford (ARC’s Martyr, Gloria, Oil, and Bea, Grand Theatre’s The Penelopiad, Soulpepper’s Waiting for the Parade, Marat/Sade), Jesse Dwyre (Tarragon’s Ugly One, Theatre Passe Murraille’s Brave New World, Soulpepper’s Great Expectations/Farther West) and Chala Hunter (Tarragon’s Wormwood, Canadian Stage’s As You Like It, Paradigm Theatre’s The Philosopher’s Wife and Four Sisters, Segal Centre’s Noises Off). Featuring set design by Jawon Kang (Director’s Workshop Project Stratford Festival - Mary Stuart, Ubu Roi and Fefu and her friends), costume design by Nalo Soyini Bruce (Tarragon debut, Arts Club Theatre Company’s Da’ Kink In My Hair, Black Theatre Workshop’s Pipeline), lighting design by Michelle Ramsay (Tarragon’s The Jungle; carried away on the crest of a wave; the sankofa trilogy. Factory Theatre’s among men, Year of the Rat), sound design by Thomas Ryder Payne (Tarragon’s Hamlet, Mustard, If We Were Birds, Aluna Theatre’s Madre), projection design by Frank Donato (Tarragon’s Orestes, Soulpepper’s The Golden Record, Sudbury Theatre Centre’s Ride the Cyclone), animation by Dezmond Arnkvarn (MOVmnt - multi-sectional installation, The 187; SADSTAB BNW PARTY - 2104 Dundas Gallery) and dramaturgy by Stephen Drover (Tarragon debut, Arts Club’s Mustard, Hand to God, Bard on the Beach’s Harlem Duet). With direction from Micheline Chevrier (Tarragon debut, Imago Theatre and Geordie Theatre’s Persephone Bound, Shaw Festival’s Helen’s Necklace, NAC’s Salt-Water Moon) and associate direction by Kwaku Okyere (Tarragon debut, Canadian Stage’s Choir Boy, Theatre Passe Muraille/Saga Collectif’s Iphigenia and the Furies (on Taurian Land)).

Redbone Coonhound runs in the Mainspace, February 7 - March 5, 2023, opening on February 15. Redbone Coonhound will also be available digitally from April 4 - May 31, 2023 as part of Tarragon Theatre’s “Chez Vous” subscription, offering fully realized recordings of the performances in the 2022/23 season.

Following the Toronto run, Redbone Coonhound continues its rolling world premiere performances at Imago Theatre in Montreal, beginning March 21, 2023. The piece appeared at Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver in the Fall of 2022.

Tarragon will continue to require masking in the Theatre for the protection of our artists and patrons. You can find the full list of safety measures here.

Redbone Coonhound
An Arts Club Silver Commission as part of a rolling world premiere with Tarragon Theatre and Imago Theatre (Montreal)
Written by Amy Lee Lavoie and Omari Newton
Directed by Micheline Chevrier with Kwaku Okyere
Live on stage: February 7 - March 5, 2023
Tarragon Chez Vous: April 4 - May 31, 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.

Showtimes are Tuesday - Saturday at 8pm with matinees on Wednesdays, select Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30pm.

Single Tickets range from $15 - $55 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 significant discounts on subscription 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 $20, online via at 12pm on the day of the performance. Rush tickets are subject to availability.

For more information on Tarragon’s events and activities, visit