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category: Performing Arts
published: May 2015
ISBN:9781552453131
publisher: Coach House Books

Theatre of the Unimpressed

In Search of Vital Drama

by Jordan Tannahill

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0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $14.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
category: Performing Arts
published: May 2015
ISBN:9781552453131
publisher: Coach House Books
Description

How dull plays are killing theatre and what we can do about it.

Had I become disenchanted with the form I had once fallen so madly in love with as a pubescent, pimple-faced suburban homo with braces? Maybe theatre was like an all-consuming high school infatuation that now, ten years later, I saw as the closeted balding guy with a beer gut he’d become. There were of course those rare moments of transcendencethat kept me coming back. But why did they come so few and far between?

A lot of plays are dull. And one dull play, it seems, can turn us off theatre for good. Playwright and theatre director Jordan Tannahill takes in the spectrum of English-language drama – from the flashiest of Broadway spectacles to productions mounted in scrappy storefront theatres – to consider where lifeless plays come from and why they persist. Having travelled the globe talking to theatre artists, critics, passionate patrons and the theatrically disillusioned, Tannahill addresses what he considers the culture of ‘risk aversion’ paralyzing the form.

Theatre of the Unimpressed is Tannahill’s wry and revelatory personal reckoning with the discipline he’s dedicated his life to, and a roadmap for a vital twenty-first-century theatre – one that apprehends the value of ‘liveness’ in our mediated age and the necessity for artistic risk and its attendant failures. In considering dramaturgy, programming and alternative models for producing, Tannahill aims to turn theatre from an obligation to a destination.

‘[Tannahill is] the poster child of a new generation of (theatre? film? dance?) artists for whom “interdisciplinary” is not a buzzword, but a way of life.’

– J. Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail

‘Jordan is one of the most talented and exciting playwrights in the country, and he will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.’

– Nicolas Billon, Governor General's Award–winning playwright (Fault Lines)

About the Author

Jordan Tannahill

JORDAN TANNAHILL is an award-winning playwright, director, and author. In 2016 he was described by the Toronto Star as being “widely celebrated as one of Canada’s most accomplished young playwrights, filmmakers, and all-round multidisciplinary artists.” His plays have been translated into multiple languages and honoured with prizes including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama and several Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Jordan’s films and multimedia performances have been presented at festivals and galleries such as the Toronto International Film Festival, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Tribeca Film Festival. From 2012 to 2016, Jordan and William Ellis ran the influential underground art space Videofag out of their home in Toronto’s Kensington Market. The Videofag Book, their chronicle of the four years running the space, was nominated for a Toronto Book Award. In 2017, his play Late Company transferred to London’s West End while his virtual reality performance Draw Me Close, a co-production between the National Theatre (U.K.) and the National Film Board of Canada, premiered at the Venice Biennale. In 2018, Jordan will premiere his play Declarations at Canadian Stage, and Xenos, a collaboration with dancer-choreographer Akram Khan, at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens. Born in 1988 in Ottawa, he currently resides in London, U.K.

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Contributor Notes

Jordan Tannahill is a playwright, theatre director and filmmaker. His plays and short films have been presented in theatres, festivals and galleries across Canada and internationally. He received the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama for his book Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays. In collaboration with William Ellis, Jordan runs the alternative art-space Videofag, out of a defunct barbershop in Toronto's Kensington Market.

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Age of Minority

Age of Minority

Three Plays by Jordan Tannahill
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
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