Concord floral is a play written by playwright Jordan Tannahill in which ten teens are taking shelter while fleeing the plague-stricken abandoned greenhouse in Vaughan. It is a million-square-foot abandoned house where neighborhood kids often hangout named Concord Floral. The play is artfully constructed to follow the aftermath of the discovery of a dead body of a teenage girl, whereby the main characters try to pretend they didnt see what they saw as words of the dead teen spread across the community like a plague. Concord Floral is an actual commercial abandoned greenhouse in the suburb of the north of Toronto, where several teens usually gather to pass the time and party. The playwright Jordan Tannahill and directors Cara Spooner and Erin Brubacher developed the play with various teenage casts and staged in Canadian Stage.
Although the play references the Decameron, a 14th-century tale collection that tells about some teenagers who flee Florence for an abandoned medieval ruins during the invasion of the black plague, it takes a very modern look at the teens in Toronto suburbs. It is written like a documentary play with short, sharp scenes of dialogue that mix up with a burst of direct testimonial. The point of view circulates between the ten teens, seven teenage girls and three males engulfed in a plague-inspired atmosphere. The ten casts are all in university, high school or in-between. The sound and the mysterious lights on the stage are intriguing however acting is left unpolished. The decision to cast actual teens in a play that is scripted come with its pros and cons. Some of the cast especially the main characters acting was excellent while others were more limited.
In a way, the roughness of their performance appealed the show in a way. The play is meant for teenagers, a sleek production with fresh theatre school graduates would not bring the feel of real teenagers on stage with the already hair-raising atmosphere. The teens wear individual mike so they can be audible and brings poise and honesty to their performance. The authenticity results in a more profound feeling of horror while the pictures were taken of the actual actors in their real bedrooms in the lobby of the theatre Centre add to that aesthetic. Bullying is the central theme, and the play sticks to the physical rather than cyber spheres. The cast addresses the audience directly, in a way it is meant for the audience to participate in the productions imaginative world building.
The directors incorporate both realism and stylized scenes while the lighting and sound designers add the intensity. They create several settings with on the grass-covered stage with plastic chairs to represent classrooms and the small-lighted rectangle for bedrooms. The bleachers' seats are indicative of the actual location. The ability to go past stereotypes and forge a believable connection is what makes the play excellent. The writing itself reflects the rhythms and behaviors while exploring their emotional lives and relationships. The narrator kept the plot on the track with the building up of humor, tension, and awkwardness that arises with the plot. The play might have missed a couple of things. However, its imperfection is what makes it authentic that blend with the flaws of teenagers.
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