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Courtesy Michael Trudeau

Coming-of-age play explores isolation

By Rachel Woodward, March 29 2016 —

Theatre Junction GRAND is presenting Concord Floral, written in 2014 by award-winning Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill, from April 13–16.

Concord Floral follows 10 teenagers who find refuge in a million-square–foot abandoned greenhouse where they learn about each other and themselves. The play discusses themes of adulthood and adolescence.

Raphaële Thiriet, who has worked with Theatre Junction for nine years, is directing the play.

“We are really lucky to have the rights to the play. We are the first company to be privileged to have the rights,” Thiriet says. “A lot of companies approached [Tannahill] to do the show but he really wanted to collaborate with us and give us the rights because he thought that we were in the right spirit and that we are sharing the same values concerning the future of theatre in Canada.”

Kloee Huberdeau is a Calgary actress featured in the play. She said the show is about relationships. Making those attachments was a major goal for the group when the cast began working on the show.

“It’s got a lot going on but ultimately it’s a story about empathy and connection and what happens when you have a lack of connection, especially with teenagers and their parents.”

Huberdeau says a unique rehearsal process helped shape the finished play.

“We did a lot of movement work and connection work to get the cast really connected. It’s so organic and it really was a dialogue,” she says. “I think because we all worked to listen to each other, we’ve done this work to be tuned into each other, there’s less of a sense of separation from the audience. This is a message they want to get through to the audience ­— it’s not just a spectacle.”

The cast of Concord Floral is taking part in Theatre Junction’s Mentorship Program, which provides theatrical training to Calgary youth at no cost.

“It provides a very different set of skills. There would be one workshop every month and I think it’s great that it’s free because it’s so valuable,” Huberdeau says. “It changes your view on everything. You learn a lot of things that you don’t learn with other workshops. It’s a lot freer with abstract thought. It goes beyond a camp. It’s an amazing opportunity.”

Concord Floral aims to make its audience think about their teenage years, asking questions about the process of growing up and trying to fit in.

“I think the question of teenagerhood is very important. I don’t think we give enough credit to teenagers today,” she says. “It is very exciting, to have been working on the creation process with real teenagers and to be able to speak with them on these issues like exclusion and conformity and bullying. I think on a smaller scale exclusion speaks to everybody. We have all been placed in that role in some point.”

Tickets are $27 for students at theatrejunction.com.

For more information about Concord Floral, visit theatrejunction.com

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