Dear Jordan Tannahill (Or, Wisdom, Love, and a Reply to Hitler)

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51f55976662e782d-PostEden1Dear Jordan,

I write to you not in a spirit of critique or challenge, not specifically about your most recent play (Concord Floral, which was terrific), but because I have thoughts I feel the need to air in the conversational space between us, with its exceptional acoustics, and I don’t want to wait for our next brunch.

Your work as a playwright has been justly celebrated of late. You’re now the youngest-ever winner of the Governor General’s Award for Drama. Various ideas about, reasons for your work’s value have been floated. Many of them are grounded in the political. Your theatre creations are read and marketed as complex articulations of queer identity in the digital age; as “of our moment” instances of inter-disciplinary/mixed-media performance art; as temperature-takings of life in the contemporary suburbs.

None of these readings of your work are wrong. They’re apt enough descriptions of its surfaces. But they don’t capture why your offerings on these themes and in these forms are so distinguished from the many others of similar description that exist right now.

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