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Concord Floral: A Play About Memory, Secrets, and Refuge

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Waterloo chapter.

There is a theatre on the University of Waterloo campus – the Theatre of the Arts, in the Modern Languages building – which will very soon become a place that is no longer simply a theatre. Already, it has started to be transformed into a space between fantasy and the hyperreal, the past and the present, and the forgotten and the remembered.

In mid-November, the UW Theatre and Performance Department will be putting on Jordan Tannahill’s Concord Floral, a 2014 play about ten teenagers from Vaughan, Ontario. Abandoned in the middle of a field beyond the backyards of the suburbs, Concord Floral is a run-down one-million-square-foot greenhouse where these characters come to hide their secrets. When one of these secrets is unearthed, they must come to terms with the power of the greenhouse’s past. Haunted by memories no one wants to remember, they bond and fight with each other over one unified realization: the story of Concord Floral must be told.

Directed by Vikki Anderson, the Toronto-based Artistic Director of Theatrefront, this production aims to explore how memory constructs identity exploration in adolescence and young adulthood. As characters recall memories of both guilt and pleasure, they come-of-age in the space they carve for themselves in between confinement and freedom. Drawing many modern parallels with Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron, a medieval tale about the Black Death, Concord Floral portrays the catharsis that follows as characters either deny or atone for a plague of their own making.

Concord Floral will run from November 15-18th, 2017, with performances starting at 8:00 p.m. Two matinees will also run on November 15th and 16th, both at 12:00 p.m. However, ML’s Theatre of the Arts gallery doors will open half an hour before each show so that audience members can engage with an interactive lobby installation, one designed by the show’s dramaturgy team. At $15 per ticket ($10 per student ticket), this show is an experience that, much like the memories hidden within the Concord Floral greenhouse, will linger long after the last curtain call.

Want more information? Check out Concord Floral’s Dramaturgy Hub, tumblr, Pintrest, and video trailer. You can also follow UW Theatre and Performance on Facebook for a chance to win free tickets on Trivia Fridays. We hope to have the opportunity to share with you this contemporary retelling of a haunting urban myth.   

Stephanie is a University of Waterloo alumni. In her spare time, she loves filming and creating YouTube videos. Check out her YouTube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/Bizzarosmeszaros