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CHATTER: Tarragon offers a pay-what-you-can plan (July 2021)

August 16th, 2021 · No Comments

Budget-conscious theatre buffs rejoice: The Tarragon Theatre is offering a pay-what-you-can 2021-22 subscription season. Artistic Director Richard Rose wants to make the shared experience of theatre broadly accessible after a pandemic year that has kept audiences and actors apart. 

“The theatre fills our lives with meaning and emotion,” said Rose in a press release. “Catharsis is so necessary to what makes humans human. This congregating in a dark room to feel the unpredictable, the inexplicable, but the necessary.” 

The PWYC season will be accessible in more ways than one. From September to June, subscribers can enjoy, “Tarragon Acoustic Reboot,” a selection of Tarragon’s greatest hits from the past 50 years, recast as audio plays. Subscribers will receive a password for unlimited online access to them all. Bonus behind-the-curtain content, such as in-depth interviews with playwrights, directors and designers from the original stage productions, are included. 

Live, in-person theatre will run from January to June with six shows, including four world premieres. Topics range from intergenerational conflict (Three Women of Swatow, by Chloé Hung), to Black Lives Matter (Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers, by Makambe K. Simamba), to Indigenous tradition in a modern world (The Herd, by Kenneth T. Williams), inviting all audiences to experience diverse stories told onstage. 

Bill Glasco, Tarragon’s co-founder, introduced pay-what-you-can Sunday matinées in the early ‘70s. For those with an artistic bent, the Sunday theatre matinée became a ritual, and inspired many theatre careers (including this writer’s). A PWYC season could inspire a whole new generation of theatre artists. 

Subscribers must decide what they’ll pay for the season, and they have until September 17th to make their first payment, with the second half of the total amount due when the live season dates are announced. Visit tarragontheatre.com for details.

—Nicole Stoffman/Gleaner News

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