Tarragon to Premiere SOLICITING TEMPTATION, 4/1-5/4
In a sweaty and sticky hotel room in an unnamed developing country, a Western man and a young woman meet for sex. Somewhere between the reality and the fantasy, the sex becomes talk and the talk becomes dangerous. Nothing is off limits in this battle of morality, economics and desire.
Says Shields, "I initially started writing this play because I was incensed at the rise in child sex tourism in developing countries. As I began to write, I realized that what I wanted to talk about was the power dynamics between young and old, rich and poor, male and female. Soliciting Temptation is about child sex tourism, but it is also a play about entrapment and desperate longing, about sexual suppression and sexual awakening, about the desire to expose and be exposed."
Director Andrea Donaldson, who has collaborated with Shields previously on such Groundwater Productions as Montparnesse and The Unfortunate Misadventures of Masha Galinski, says, "We count on playwrights to write the unspeakable, and for actors to give those words life - to be us at our best and to be us at our worst. Erin's two characters are ultimately each other's perfect match - and there is nothing more attractive than a couple who are worthy opponents. At the end of 60 minutes of real-time, they face themselves in ways that surprise them and us. I am drawn to this play because it grapples with our most essential human questions in an unexpected way."
Derek Boyes makes his Tarragon debut. A resident artist at Soulpepper Theatre, currently in his 11th season there, his numerous credits recently include The Norman Conquests and The Crucible with 12 Angry Men upcoming. An early claim to fame was his appearance in the world premiere of Ann-Marie MacDonald's Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), produced by Nightwood Theatre. He is also an associate artist with Toronto Masque Theatre.
Miriam Fernandes also makes her Tarragon debut. She has been seen in Hamlet for Shakespeare in Action, The Biographer for Tango Co. at Videofag, The Bundle during Sheep No Wool Theatre Company's Edward Bond Festival in 2012 and she is currently an artist-in-residence at Theatre Passe Muraille. In 2011, Fernandes co-founded The Pomegranate Project, an arts education initiative that connects students in Toronto to students in Mumbai, India through dance, theatre and filmmaking. She is the recipient of the inaugural Independent Theatre Creators International Training Scholarship, a partnership between Theatre Ontario and Why Not Theatre.
Erin Shields won the 2011 Governor General's Award for her play If We Were Birds, produced by Tarragon where she is a playwright-in-residence. She is a founding member of Groundwater Productions through which she creates, develops and produces much of her work. Her other plays include the Dora-nominated Montparnasse (co-created with Maev Beaty and Andrea Donaldson for Groundwater/Theatre Passe Muraille) which won the Alberta Theatre Projects' Enbridge playRites Award, The Unfortunate Misadventures of Masha Galinski and The Epic of Gilgamesh (both for Groundwater/Summerworks) as well as Barrel Crank (Suitcase in Point/Summerworks). She has been nominated for numerous awards including the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the K.M. Hunter Award and five Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Her upcoming work includes an adaptation of Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea for the Shaw Festival; To a Flame co-produced by Groundwater, Tyst Theatre (Sweden) and Teatteri Totti (Finland); Mistatim, an interdisciplinary play for young people for Red Sky Performance; and a new musical with composer Bram Gielen for Acting Up Stage Company.
Director Andrea Donaldson is the Assistant Artistic Director at Tarragon. For Groundwater, she previously directed Montparnasse, earning her a Summerworks Spotlight Award as director and a Dora co-nomination for Outstanding New Play, and The Unfortunate Misadventures of Masha Galinski (NOW Magazine Roundup: Outstanding Director, Outstanding Production). Offensive Fouls for Theatre Direct earned a Dora nomination for Outstanding Production. As well, Donaldson has spent the last two years assistant directing Chris Abraham on Othello and The Matchmaker at the Stratford Festival. She has been nominated twice for the John Hirsch Directing Award, and was the 2013 recipient of Stratford's Jean Gascon Directing Award.
Set and costume design is by Ken MacKenzie, lighting design by Kimberly Purtell, and sound design by Thomas Ryder Payne. The stage manager is Laura Baxter.
Tarragon Theatre proudly presents the world premiere of Soliciting Temptation By Erin Shields Directed by Andrea Donaldson Starring Derek Boyes and Miriam Fernandes Set and Costume Design by Ken MacKenzie Lighting Design by Kimberly Purtell Sound Design by Thomas Ryder Payne. April 9 to May 4, 2014 (previews from April 1) Tarragon's Extraspace, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto Tuesday-Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2:30pm with Saturday 2:30pm matinees on April 12, 19, 26 Tickets range from $21-$53 (including discounts for students, seniors and groups) AND a Pay-What-You-Can on April 1 at 8pm - $13 Rush Tickets at the door Fridays (on sale at 6pm) & Sundays (on sale at 1pm) starting April 11 - For tickets, call Patron Services at 416.531.1827 or visit www.tarragontheatre.com.