Pat­terns

The award-win­ning sub­ur­ban gothic thriller Con­cord Flo­ral of­fers a show­case for new, young ac­tors to get to play ac­tual teenagers.

The Coast - - ARTS - BY TARA THORNE

same for Hal­stead as work­ing with pro­fes­sion­als, but she is keep­ing a closer eye. “As a di­rec­tor, you’re al­ways watch­ing your cast to see where they’re at emo­tion­ally. Con­tent in the show can be trig­ger­ing emo­tion­ally,” she says. “Pro ac­tors have more ex­pe­ri­ence do­ing that, and if they’re go­ing to take the show they have their own ex­pe­ri­ences they’re gonna mine, but these kids don’t have those fil­ters yet.”

Con­cord Flo­ral is not a straight-ahead drama, it con­tains fan­tas­ti­cal el­e­ments of­ten found in Tan­nahill’s work—char­ac­ters in­clude the green­house it­self, a couch and a fox; the body that may or may not be in­side starts call­ing the lost phone’s owner. It’s been staged on as­tro­turf and in­side a for­mer Sta­ples. The Hal­i­fax pro­duc­tion will be per­formed on a bare stage.

“The play moves very quickly—it flows in and out, in many ways it’s a cho­ral piece,” says Hal­stead. “There’s chunks that are mono­logues or scenes but there are whole chunks where they’re talk­ing to­gether—it’s part of why the piece works so ef­fec­tively, they have to be aware of each other phys­i­cally and vo­cally and emo­tion­ally. The piece has to flow through. I can’t re­ally imag­ine do­ing this piece with a set per se—we shift from re­al­ity to past to present to imag­i­na­tion seam­lessly, so how do you do that?”

En­trust­ing a dense, rich, lay­ered work to a group of young ama­teurs may seem like an artis­tic gam­ble, but it’s of­fered sur­pris­ingly ten­der mo­ments less likely to hap­pen among more sea­soned per­form­ers.

“At one point we’re in the mid­dle of a scene and I’m wor­ried about the kid who’s play­ing this right now, and I turn and I’ve got two other kids stand­ing on stage with tears com­ing down their eyes,” says Hal­stead. “Which means what we’re do­ing in the work is work­ing.”

of­ten you think about the past; the at­ten­tion you give to your loved ones when you see them; how much you en­joy the things you have right now; what books

EMILY PETTET

Aylin Sozdin­ler, Ella Buck­ler and Mai To get real inCon­cord Flo­ral.

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