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
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
Kamal Al-Solaylee is a former theatre critic for The Globe and Mail and is currently an assistant professor at the School of Journalism in the Faculty of Communication & Design, Ryerson University. Based in Toronto, he started his career as a critic and theatre feature writer at Eye Weekly in 1998 and since then has covered various aspects of Canadian performing arts and culture for the National Post, The Toronto Star, The Walrus, Report on Business magazine, Elle Canada, Canadian Notes & Queries, and the Literary Review of Canada, among others. He holds a PhD in Victorian literature from the University of Nottingham, England.