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Tarragon & Theatre Smash to Stage THE UGLY ONE, 1/14-2/16


Tarragon Theatre in co-production with Theatre Smash proudly presents the award-winning The Ugly One, a razor sharp satire about image, identity and getting ahead in today's superficial, consumerist culture by Marius von Mayenburg, one of Germany's hottest playwrights. This acclaimed production opens January 14 and runs to February 16, 2014 (with previews from January 8) in Tarragon's Extraspace. Tickets range from $21-$53 (inclusive of HST) and are available by calling Patron Services at 416-531-1827 or by visiting

Theatre Smash's original production of The Ugly One was nominated for six Dora Awards and won for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Set Design in the Independent Theatre Division. It also made the Globe and Mail's "top 11 productions of 2011." The original creative team and cast ¬reassemble for this powerful work directed by Theatre Smash Artistic Producer Ashlie Corcoran, a former Tarragon Urjo Kareda Emerging Artist Resident who recently directed Buddies in Bad Times' The Gay Heritage Project and was appointed Artistic Director of the Thousand Island Playhouse in Gananoque, ON in 2012.
"You can't sell anything with that face"

The Ugly One catapults the audience with mesmerizing speed into a terrifying and narcissistic world obsessed with beauty, image and plastic surgery - where everyone is identically beautiful and identically detached from those around them.

Lette is a successful engineer who is also unspeakably ugly. His boss and wife confirm it: his face is "unacceptable." When a plastic surgeon restructures his face, Lette emerges from the operation an Adonis. His life changes overnight: his wife finds him irresistible, women lust after him and men want to be him. He becomes a star at his company, and he is fawned upon wherever he goes. But this dream life soon becomes a nightmare as Lette's surgeon begins to offer his face to anyone who will pay.

When The Ugly One premiered in 2007 at The Royal Court Theatre in London, it won CurtainUp London's Best New Play of 2007. The Sunday Telegraph hailed the play as "fiendishly clever, deeply unnerving and scalpel sharp" while the London Evening Standard praised it as "a delectable black comedy."

When the play had its Toronto premiere in 2011 at Tarragon's Extraspace, the Globe and Mail called it a "wicked satire of skin-deep values...cast is excellentŠa beautiful job of examining some ugly truths," while NOW Magazine said it was "impressively directedŠ an inventive send-up of a society in which individuality is lost when everyone wants the same thing."

Using a precise paired-down form, four actors perform eight roles with no traditional scene breaks and no variation of costume or makeup or even character names: Jesse Aaron Dwyre (Tin Drum for Unspun Theatre, Great Expectations, Farther West for Soulpepper), David Jansen (Canadian Stage's The Winter's Tale, Mirvish's Cloud Nine, Shaw Festival's A Moon for the Misbegotten, Little Foxes), Hardee T. Lineham (Tarragon's True West - Dora nomination, White Biting Dog; Studio 180's Stuff Happens, Canadian Stage's Richard III - Dora Award, Theatre Passe Muraille's The Crackwalker) andNaomi Wright (Bloomsbury Collective's A Room of One's Own, Stratford Festival's Elektra, Bard on the Beach's Othello - Jesse nomination).

Set and costume design is by Camellia Koo, lighting design is by Jason Hand and sound design is by John Gzowski. The stage manager is Natasha Bean-Smith.
Marius von Mayenburg is a playwright, translator, dramaturg and director. Currently one of the most widely produced German playwrights, his plays receive regular productions at the Schaubühne/Berlin, the Royal Court Theater/London, and at other major theaters around the world.

Theatre Smash is a multi Dora Award-winning Toronto-based independent theatre company dedicated to developing and producing contemporary work with a global twist. Co-founded in 2005 by Artistic Producers Sarah Baumann and Ashlie Corcoran, Theatre Smash is now headed by General Manager Stacey Norton and Artistic Producer Corcoran who directed the company's inaugural production, the North American premiere of Welsh playwright Abi Morgan's Tiny Dynamite (2006) as well as The Ugly One (2011), nominated for six Dora Awards and winning Outstanding Production and Outstanding Set Design in the Independent Theatre category. Corcoran's other productions for Theatre Smash include the world premiere of Canadian playwright Graeme Gillis' A Boy Called Newfoundland (2010) and the first professional production of Layne Coleman's Tijuana Cure (2009). For more information .

Tarragon Theatre is one of Canada's most important arts institutions. For more than 40 years, it has worked tirelessly to develop home-grown artists and contribute to Canadian culture. Tarragon's mission is to create, develop and produce new plays, and to provide the conditions for new work to thrive. Since its founding, over 190 works have premiered at Tarragon and over 500 scripts have been created and workshopped, receiving 33 nominations and 11 wins for the Governor General's Literary Award. Tarragon received the 2012 Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts in recognition of producing and developing leading edge and thought-provoking Canadian Theatre, both nationally and on the world stage. Richard Rose has been the Artistic Director since 2002. For more information visit,

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