Canadian Stage to Present Teen Thriller CONCORD FLORAL This Fall
A new iteration of the suburban teen thriller Concord Floral written by Jordan Tannahill, directed by Erin Brubacher and Cara Spooner, and inspired by the medieval allegory The Decameron, will open Canadian Stage's 16.17 season from September 27 to October 16, 2016. An ensemble of emerging youth performers from across the country will re-create this 2015 Dora Award-winner for Outstanding New Play at the Bluma Appel Theatre.A sleeper hit that premiered at the Theatre Centre in October 2014, Concord Floral has been described by critics as "Degrassi meets I Know What You Did Last Summer...easily the Best New Play of the Year" by The Globe and Mail's J. Kelly Nestruck and "a brilliant modern Canadian fable" by Annie Hodgins of Theotromania. This collaborative work by Governor General's Award-winner Jordan Tannahill (2015 Dora Award-winning Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom, Canadian Stage's 14.15 Playwright-in-Residence) and multidisciplinary artists Erin Brubacher and Cara Spooner was first developed as part of Canadian Stage's 2012 Festival of Ideas and Creation. "It is wonderful to see the progression of a project initially developed as part of our Festival of Ideas and Creation become a mainstage production four years later. We are delighted to be an artistic home for Jordan Tannahill as he continues to break new ground in Canadian theatre," said Artistic and General Director Matthew Jocelyn. "A bold contemporization of a classic fable and exploration of the world of alliances and exclusion, Concord Floral is a perfect follow-up to last season's Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom. Seen through the eyes of the fantastic teen cast and the vision of directors Erin Brubacher and Cara Spooner, it promises to be a Live Theatre experience like no other." Concord Floral is a million square foot abandoned greenhouse and a hangout for neighbourhood kids. Something has happened there. Something nobody wants to talk about. Concord Floral re-imagines Giovanni Boccaccio's 13th century literary masterpiece The Decameron in the contemporary Toronto suburb of Vaughan, in which ten teens must flee a plague they have brought upon themselves. This Canadian Stage production brings together ten youth performers from the GTA and across the country to play ten teenagers (plus a fox, a bird, a couch, and a greenhouse), in this piece about beauty, cruelty, mercy and the modern adolescent experience. The creative trio of Erin Brubacher, Cara Spooner and Jordan Tannahill has taken on different roles throughout Concord Floral's development. Playwright Tannahill wrote the script over three iterations, while Brubacher and Spooner have directed the process as well as the casts of young performers who have brought the piece into being in cities and sites across Canada, from Ottawa's National Arts Centre, to the Magnetic North Festival in Yellowknife. "The cast is a true reflection of today's teenagers and the cultural fabric of our shared communities," said Brubacher. "Young people in the audience may recognize themselves and perhaps feel empowered to create pieces of culture themselves," adds Spooner. Made of up of cast members from the premiere Theatre Centre production and Calgary/Ottawa/Yellowknife runs - many 2016 High School graduates - the Toronto company includes Madison Baines, Theo Gallaro, Ofa Gasesepe, Davinder Malhi, Jovana Miladinovic, Jessica Munk, Franco Pang, Micaela Robertson, Rashida Shaw and Melisa Sofi. Erum Khan, who began workshopping the piece in 2012 as a grade 12 student, and who originated the role of Nearly Wild in 2014, now joins the creative team as Assistant Director. With sleek, atmospheric lighting by Kimberly Purtell and a haunting soundscape by Composer/Sound Designer Christopher Willes, the production will take on a new life at the historic Bluma Appel Theatre. Canadian Stage will begin to introduce relaxed performances with the Saturday, October 1st, 1pm performance of Concord Floral. Relaxed Performances are designed to welcome audience members who will benefit from a more relaxed sensory experience and casual performance environment, including (but not limited to) patrons with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorder, or a learning disability, and parents with babies. To learn more about this new program, visit www.canadianstage.com/online/accessibility. Concord Floral will be on stage at the Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front Street) from September 27 to October 16 (Previews: September 27-October 2, Relaxed Performance: October 1 at 1 pm). Performances run Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 8 pm, Fridays at 7 pm, and with matinees on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 1 pm beginning October 1. Tickets from $39 to $79 are available online, by phone at 416.368.3110, or in person at the Berkeley Street box office. For details visit www.canadianstage.com/online/concord. Canadian Stage's 16.17 season will continue this Fall with All But Gone: A Beckett Rhapsody, a Necessary Angel production directed by Jennifer Tarver (Hedda Gabler, Venus in Fur), from October 11 - November 6, and Constellations, the Toronto premiere of Nick Payne's hit Broadway and West End play. Directed by Peter Hinton and starring Cara Ricketts and Graham Cuthbertson, this Centaur Theatre co-production will premiere in Montreal from October 4th to 30th before hitting the Bluma Appel Theatre stage November 8-27. 16.17 season subscriptions and single tickets are on sale at canadianstage.com, by phone at 416.368.3110, or in person at the Berkeley Street box office.
Founded in 1987, Canadian Stage is one of the country's leading not-for-profit Contemporary Theatre companies, with the 16.17 season marking the organization's 29th season. Led by Artistic & General Director Matthew Jocelyn and Managing Director Su Hutchinson, Canadian Stage produces and showcases innovative theatre from Canada and around the world, allowing its audience to encounter daring work guided by a strong directorial vision and a 21st-century aesthetic. The company prides itself on presenting multidisciplinary pieces and work in translation that pushes the boundaries of form and style. Canadian Stage reinforces the presence of Canadian art and artists within an international context through work that mirrors the cultural diversity of Toronto. The company stages an annual season of work at three major venues (the Bluma Appel Theatre, the Berkeley Street Theatre and the High Park Amphitheatre) and runs a series of artist development and education initiatives, as well as youth and community outreach programs. For more information, visit canadianstage.com.Brubacher, Spooner and Tannahill have worked together on Concord Floral since Suburban Beast (Toronto) first workshopped the project in 2012. All multi-disciplinary artists, the Brubacher/Spooner/Tannahill trio have taken on different roles throughout Concord Floral's development, informed by their distinct bodies of work. Playwright Tannahill wrote the script over three iterations, while Brubacher and Spooner have directed the process as well as the casts of young performers who have brought the piece into being in cities and sites across Canada. Works by these artists have been presented at The National Arts Centre, Habourfront Centre's World Stage, the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the British Film Institute, the CONTACT Photography Festival, the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Theatre Centre, the Goethe Institut and Stromereien 11 and others.