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76Tarragon's current artistic director Richard Rose. "We're watchingyoung writers come on to the scene and we're trying to cultivate arelationship and see how they work."Both the theatre and Rose have had a memorable year. Tarragonwas recently awarded the 2012 Premier's Awards for Excellence inthe Arts, awarded by the Government of Ontario, in recognition ofTarragon's contribution to arts and culture. Rose was personallyhonoured this past June with the Barbara Hamilton MemorialAward; and last fall, the Canadian Council for the Arts awardedRose the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts.At present, Tarragon offers a variety of services to writers: thePlaywrights Unit, an innovative group designed to bringplaywrights together to develop new plays; the Young PlaywrightsUnit, which offers writers between the ages of 15 and 18 theopportunity to develop and workshop a play with a professionalplaywright; the RBC Emerging Playwrights Competition foremerging playwrights, and the Under 20 for Under 20sPlaywriting Competition for aspiring writers.Very often, it starts with a discussion. "At some point we askthem: what do you need?" explains Rose of the developmentprocess. "Do you need a reading? Do you need to see it withactors? Do you need to see it come alive?" During this time, theplay begins to evolve, a process that takes approximately two yearsto fulfill. Along the way, drafts are written, workshops take placeand public readings are staged. Through it all, the playwright isgiven the opportunity to re-write, change and present their play."We keep the idea of theatre present in the writing process so thatit isn't just on the page, but it's an active engagement of theaudience," says Rose.With these programs in place, a new crop of Canadian plays hasdeveloped and a new generation of playwrights walk the Tarragonhallways. Daniel MacIvor, Hannah Moscovitch, Erin Shields andDavid Yee are all current playwrights-in-residence, and all aremaking waves in the Canadian theatre scene.As Canadian theatre approaches middle age, its needs havechanged. It's no longer necessary that a play is written by aCanadian; it just needs to speak to a Canadian audience. Althoughnot every play staged at the Tarragon is written by a Canadianplaywright, the plays staged are distinctly Canadian in theirstorytelling: "You can choose to do Hamlet and you can do it in aclassical, Elizabethan sense, but you can also choose to doHamlet because it speaks to Canadians right now," explains Rose."Five years from now, the world will have changed, Canada willhave changed, Toronto will have changed, and that play won'tnecessarily speak to a contemporary audience."No GreatMischiefTarragon's 42nd season features 11plays, all written by Canadianplaywrights. Included in the season isNo Great Mischief, written by David S.Young and adapted from AlistairMacLeod's award-winning novel of thesame name. Tarragon will be hosting amini-festival featuring the work ofyoung playwright-in-residence HannahMoscovitch, including This is War,Other People's Children, Little Oneand In This World. Other playwrightsfeatured in the 2012-2013 seasoninclude John Mighton, Morris Panych,Michel Nadeau, David Yee, Melody A.Johnson, Asha and Ravi Jain.tarragontheatre.com

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