Jordan Tannahill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jordan Tannahill
Born May 19, 1988
Occupation playwright, film and theatre director
Nationality Canadian
Notable works Concord Floral, rihannaboi95, Late Company
Notable awards Dora Mavor Moore Award, Governor General's Award for English-language drama

Jordan Tannahill is a Canadian playwright, filmmaker, and theatre director.

Tannahill writes and directs performances for theatres, galleries, and found spaces. His work often contains elements of magic realism and explores themes of queer identity, youth subculture, and suburbia.[1] For instance, in his play Concord Floral, a loose adaptation of Giovanni Boccaccio's 14th century allegory The Decameron, ten adolescents flee to an abandoned greenhouse when a mysterious plague is visited upon their suburban neighbourhood.[2] Tannahill's play rihannaboi95, on the other hand, follows the dramatic fallout of a queer teenager's lip-synching video going viral, and was staged via live streaming.[3]

A number of Tannahill's early theatrical works were created with, and sometimes featured performances by, non-traditional collaborators including night-shift workers (The Art of Catching Pigeons by Torchlight, 2009),[4] frat boys (Takes Two Men To Make A Brother, 2009),[5] preteens (Insurgency, 2010),[6] and employees of Toronto's famed discount emporium Honest Ed's (Honesty, 2012).[7]

Tannahill's production of Sheila Heti's play All Our Happy Days Are Stupid, which he directed and produced with frequent collaborator Erin Brubacher, premiered in 2014 at his storefront theatre Videofag, more than a decade after Heti first began the script. Heti's struggle to write the play is one of the central plot-lines in her bestselling novel How Should a Person Be?.[8] The production, nominated for four 2014 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, was remounted at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre and The Kitchen in New York City in 2015.

As a filmmaker, Tannahill's work has been presented in galleries and festivals across Canada and internationally, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto International Film Festival, and the British Film Institute[9]

In the field of dance, Tannahill choreographed and performed with Christopher House in Marienbad for the Toronto Dance Theatre in 2016[10] and choreographed House in the 2014 solo Rough House, also for the Toronto Dance Theatre.[11] In 2015 Tannahill wrote the text for The Dietrich Group's This Is a Costume Drama, which premiered at Harbourfront Centre's World Stage.[12]

From 2012 - 2016 Tannahill was the co-proprietor of Videofag with William Christopher Ellis, an alternative arts space operated out of a defunct barbershop in Toronto's Kensington Market.[13][14]

His non-fiction book Theatre of the Unimpressed: In Search of Vital Drama, was published in 2015 by Coach House Books[15] and was called "essential reading for anybody interested in the state of contemporary theatre and performance" by The Globe and Mail[16]

Tannahill has been described in the press as 'the future of Canadian theatre' (NOW Magazine),[17] 'the hottest name in Canadian theatre' (Montreal Gazette),[18] and 'the posterchild of a new generation for whom 'interdiscplinary' is not a buzzword but a way of life' (The Globe and Mail).[19]


  • Botticelli in the Fire (2016)
  • Sunday in Sodom (2016)
  • Concord Floral (2014)
  • Late Company (2013)
  • rihannaboi95 (2013)
  • Peter Fechter: 59 Minutes (2013)
  • Feral Child (2012)
  • Post Eden (2010)
  • Get Yourself Home Skyler James (2010)




Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays, a published compilation of Tannahill's plays Get Yourself Home Skyler James, Peter Fechter: 59 Minutes and rihannaboi95, won the Governor General's Award for English-language drama at the 2014 Governor General's Awards.[21]

His play Concord Floral was shortlisted for the Governor General's award in 2016, won the 2015 Dora Mavor Moore Award for 'Outstanding New Play' and the 2015 Carol Bolt Award'.[22]

In 2014 Tannahill was named one of the 'Canadian Artists of the Year' by The Globe and Mail,[23] selected as one of the Canadian art world's 30 Under 30 by ARTINFO,[24] received the John Hirsch Prize for directing, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre's inaugural Emerging Queer Artist Award,[25] and the Toronto Arts Foundation's Emerging Artist Award. In 2013 Tannahill won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for his play rihannaboi95.[26] His play Late Company won the 2013 Herman Voaden Playwriting Competition,[27] the 2013 Best Production Award at the SummerWorks Performance Festival, the 2012 Uprising Playwriting Competition,[28] and the 2012 Enbridge Emerging playRites Award.[29]


  1. ^ "Signs of good things to come". January 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Former Thornhill greenhouse inspires Toronto play". Vaughan Citizen via MSN News, November 14, 2012.
  3. ^ "Artistic Fusion: Suburban Beast and ‘rihannaboi95′". Canada Arts Connect, July 3, 2013.
  4. ^ "SummerWorks 2009: The Graveyard Shift". Torontoist, August 8, 2009.
  5. ^ "Takes Two Men To Make a Brother at The Harbourfront Centre". The Harbourfront Centre, February 6, 2009.
  6. ^ "Biting Into Rhubarb: Part Two". Torontoist, February 19, 2010.
  7. ^ "Honesty". NOW Toronto Magazine, October 22, 2012.
  8. ^ "How Sheila Heti’s long-abandoned play went from her bottom drawer to a Toronto stage". June 17, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Festival History". Inside Out Film and Video Festival.
  10. ^ "Marienbad Enigmantic but Compelling". May 27, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Toronto Dance Theatre's On Display". Toronto Dance Theatre.
  12. ^ "The Dietrich Group's This Is a Costume Drama". Harbourfront Centre.
  13. ^ "Videofags: A new queer art space in Kensington - ready to blow your mind". fab, October 17, 2012.
  14. ^ "Video fags: Couple creates queer Kensington salon". Xtra!, October 16, 2012.
  15. ^ "The 50 most anticipated books of 2015 (the first half, anyway)". The Globe and Mail, January 2, 2015.
  16. ^ "Jordan Tannahill’s Theatre of the Unimpressed is essential reading for anybody interested in contemporary theatre". The Globe and Mail, June 12, 2015.
  17. ^ "Winter Stage Preview: Jordan Tannahill". January 14, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Pop Tart: Playwright Tannahill, National Theatre School put on Total Liquidation". October 21, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Meet The Globe's Canadian artist of the year, plus seven other top talents". The Globe and Mail. December 24, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Iqalummiut star in gritty modern tale". Nunatsiaq News, July 4, 2011.
  21. ^ "Thomas King wins Governor General’s award for fiction". The Globe and Mail, November 18, 2014.
  22. ^ "2015 Dora Mava Moore award winners: the complete list". The Globe and Mail. Jun 22, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Meet The Globe's Canadian artist of the year, plus seven other top talents". The Globe and Mail. Dec 24, 2014. 
  24. ^ "ARTINFO Canada's 30 Under 30 2014". 
  25. ^ Dupuis, Christopher (June 16, 2014). "Jordan Tannahill named Buddies' Queer Emerging Artist". Xtra!. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  26. ^ "A Cinderella story at theatre's Dora Awards". BlogTO. June 25, 2013. 
  27. ^ "The 2013 Herman Voaden Playwriting Competition". Queen's University.
  28. ^ "Uprising Playwrighting Competition". Downstage Performance Society.
  29. ^ "10 must-see performances at SummerWorks 2013". The Globe and Mail. August 7, 2013. 

External links[edit]