Theatre of the Unimpressed

By (author): Jordan Tannahill

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)

AUTHOR

Jordan Tannahill

Jordan Tannahill is a Toronto-based playwright, director, and filmmaker. Through his company Suburban Beast, he has developed and presented plays at theatres including Buddies in Bad Times, Canadian Stage, Theatre Passe Muraille, and the Theatre Centre. Jordan is the 2011 recipient of the Inside Out Film Festival’s Emerging Canadian Artist Award, the 2011 Ken McDougall Award for Emerging Directors, and the 2012 Enbridge playRites Award. He runs a storefront theatre called Videofag in Toronto’s Kensington Market with his partner William.

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Details

Dimensions:

160 Pages

0.38lb0.38in6.13in * 7.66in

Published:

May 08, 2015

Publisher:

Coach House Books

ISBN:

9781552453131

Book Subjects:

SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General

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Language:

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