The Watershed opens floodgates on environmental politics

Tanja Jacobs, a former director at George Brown College, plays multiple roles in The Watershed

Hit the floodlights, because Tarragon Theatre is beginning its fall 2016 season with The Watershed.

Written by playwright Annabel Soutar, the play documents her family’s life as they navigate the murky waters of Canada’s capitalistic mentality on water conservation.

The docudrama opened on Sept. 28, nearly a year since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged $2.65 billion to support developing countries combating the effects of climate change.

The Watershed very accurately captures how we’re coping with concurrent complications around issues most people think are urgent,” said Tanja Jacobs. Jacobs portrays critical figures in the play, including author Maude Barlow and Premier Kathleen Wynne and nine-year old Hazel.

A veteran of the theatre, Jacobs has acted and directed many stage projects in Toronto, including one through the George Brown theatre school.

“I love working with young emerging actors and actresses. They are almost always incredibly committed, open to learning and curious,” Jacobs said, reflecting on her experience directing at George Brown.

Jacobs knows there is a lot of anxiety about entering the business, and that actors are always aware that there may be others better fitted to work the role. However, Jacobs urges George Brown students to invest in the belief that they are each unique.

“Students should make themselves a necessary part of the theatre ecology by being who you actually are – rather than trying to be what you think people want,” Jacobs said.

After The Watershed, Jacobs will return full-time to her MFA work at York University. Her thesis will involve directing Twelfth Night at Shakespeare in High Park next summer.

The Watershed runs until Oct. 30. Tickets can be purchased in advance online from the Tarragon Theatre webpage.


The Watershed opens floodgates on environmental politics