Just in time for its fortieth birthday, Tonight at the Tarragon is the first ever anthology of plays that originated in or received their English-language premiere at Toronto's leading playhouse, the Tarragon Theatre. Handpicked and edited by former Eye Weekly and Globe and Mail theatre critic Kamal Al-Solaylee, this anthology captures the theatre during a transitional phase in its history: 1998–2005, the final years of late Artistic Director Urjo Kareda and the first seasons of his successor Richard Rose. Overlapping Al-Solaylee's experience as a critic in Toronto and underlining Tarragon's survival instincts during this period, the book serves as a record of some of the most exciting theatre created in Canada as one century gave way to another.
Half Life by John Mighton
Rune Arlidge by Michael Healey
The Optimists by Morwyn Brebner
I, Claudia by Kristen Thomson
Motel Hélène by Serge Boucher, adapted by Judith Thompson from a translation by Morwyn Brebner
It's All True by Jason Sherman
About the author
Kamal Al-Solaylee is the author of the national bestselling memoir Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes which won the 2013 Toronto Book Award and was a finalist for the CBC’s Canada Reads, the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction. His second book, Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone), was hailed as "brilliant" by The Walrus magazine and "essential reading" by the Globe and Mail. It was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards for Nonfiction, the Trillium Book Award and won the Writers' Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. He was previously a theatre critic at the Globe and Mail and has written reviews and features on arts and politics for all major Canadian publications, including Toronto Star, National Post, The Walrus, Toronto Life, Elle Canada, Quill & Quire and Literary Review of Canada. He’s a two-time nominee for the National Magazine Awards, winning a Gold Medal in 2019 for columns. He holds a PhD in English and is a professor of journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Canadian theatre scholars should be delighted with Kamal Al-Solaylee's new anthology of articulate and idiosyncratic plays from Tarragon's recent history. Each of the six plays is a worthy choice for study and the contextualizing support material is not only methodologically viable but also eminently readable, a novel combination in an age in which theoretical jargon has all but trumped genuine communication. —Don Rubin, Professor of Theatre Studies, York University