2009 Theatre Subscription Series Profiles – Tarragon Theatre

By Megan Mooney

Next in the subscription series profiles is Tarragon Theatre

Since Tarragon was founded in 1970, this would be their 39th season.  You’ll notice some trends in when theatres started as we go through this.  There was a big boom in Canadian theatre in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s which has grown into a nice rich ever-changing theatrical tradition in this country.

And so, now, onto the specifics of the 2009-10 season at Tarragon and their subscription series:

There are two types of subscription series at Tarragon, one that is the 5 Mainspace shows plus two extra space shows, and one that is just the 5 Mainspace shows.

The costs for these vary depending on when you want to attend the show.  They are:

7 shows (5 Mainspace shows, 2 extra space shows)

  • Any night of the run – $205 (~$30/show)
  • Weeknights or Matinees – $175 ($25/show)
  • Weeknight or Matinees for Seniors  – $155 (~$22/show)
  • Under 35 or arts workers (Friday shows only) – $90 (~$13/show)
  • Preview subscriptions are already sold out

5 shows (all Mainspace shows)

  • Any night of the run – $160 ($32/show)
  • Weeknight of Matinees – $135 ($27/show)
  • Weekend or Matinees for Seniors – $120 ($24/show)
  • Under 35 or arts workers (Friday shows only) -  $65 ($13/show)
  • Previews (some still available as of Wed Aug 26) $85 ($17/show)

My take on this is, if you live in the city, or can get into the city pretty easily, I’d do a weeknight subscription.  Not only is a bit cheaper, but it’s a really great way to break up your week.  If it were me I’d do a weeknight subscription and go to shows on Wednesday nights.  That would be about perfect.

However, if you live outside of the city and it might be a pain to get to the theatre on time during the week, I would choose something that meant I could go on a weekend.  Personally I like matinees, because then you can go for dinner afterwards and take your time while you kibitz about the show.  For me, going to dinner before an 8pm curtain can sometimes lead to feeling a bit rushed, which isn’t as fun. 

Of course, it’s a pretty fun thing to be able to go to a show on a Saturday night, it means it doesn’t break up your day, and there’s always other stuff to do in the cities if you want to make it a daytrip kind of thing.

The following plays are the plays included in the subscription series (including 5 world premiers):

Mainspace productions:

MIMI (or A POISONER’S COMEDY)   World Premier Musical – September 15 to October 25, 2009

The tempestuous Marquise of Brinvilliers has a young lover, a repressive father, an
accommodating husband, and a thrilling new hobby: poison. A darkly funny musical about
France’s most infamous serial killer, who found the prospect of murder just as delicious as an evening of debauchery.

ROCKING THE CRADLE  World Premier – November 4 to December 13, 2009

When Joan marries Vince in a small Newfoundland outport, she has great plans for their future together. Vince has his own dreams, but Joan is determined to win him over, whatever the cost.  Inspired by Federico García Lorca’s poetic Yerma, Rocking the Cradle is an evocative portrait of a woman driven to extremes by unfulfilled longing.

COURAGEOUS World Premier – December 30, 2009 to February 7, 2010

Michael Healey’s newest satire takes on hot-button topics like gay marriage, religious freedom, immigration and equality and begs the question: when social realities challenge personal codes, how does one act with the courage of their convictions?

COMMUNION World Premier – February 23 to April 4, 2010

Lida has a secret she is keeping from her daughter Annie. When her psychotherapist does the unthinkable and offers concrete advice, Lida decides to act before it’s too late. When work, love and God are dead ends, how do you find meaning in life?

IF WE WERE BIRDS Mainspace premier – April 14 to May 23, 2010

In this vivid re-imagining of Ovid’s myth, Procne marries the triumphant war hero Tereus of
Thrace, leaving her beloved sister Philomela behind in Athens. When Tereus returns to fetch her, desire triumphs over reason igniting a chain of horrific events.

Extra Space:

THE DROWNING GIRLS – October 6 to November 15, 2009

Three blushing Victorian brides emerge from their daily baths, to tell the tale of a whirlwind
romance with the same man. Charming, seductive, he rescues all three from the life of a
spinster – but at what price? Less than three months married they are surprised to find the fine line between desperation and love so blurred.

HUSH  World Premier- February 9 to March 21, 2010

When a devoted father enters the dream world of his eleven-year old daughter, he discovers demons from his past. His quest to save her spirals out of control when he is pulled deeper into her dreams obsessed by the memories he has tried to forget. This modern thriller moves through reality, dreams and memories, exposing our deepest held secrets.


Some things that may (or may not) influence your decision:

– There is plenty of handy parking at Tarragon, so if you’re a person who drives, there will be a place for your car.  Just be forewarned that there’s some kind of epic construction on Bathurst near the theatre, so you need to use Howland Ave from either Dupont or Davenport St to get there these days.

– It is a reasonably easy to access the theatre by public transit, subways get you pretty close.

– The theatre is in a lovely area with lots of trees and a generally nice vibe, but there aren’t a lot of restaurants *right* nearby (bringing me back to the suggestion of going to matinees so you can search out somewhere for a leisurely dinner after the show), but there are certainly some within walking distance.