Film of Des McAnuff’s Twelfth Night to première at Cineplex theatres on March 10

January 30, 2012… The Stratford Shakespeare Festival and Melbar Entertainment Group are pleased to announce the cinematic release of Twelfth Night, directed for the stage by Des McAnuff, and produced and directed for film by Barry Avrich.

This joyous play, filled with music and song, will première in select Cineplex Entertainment theatres across Canada on March 10 at 12:45 p.m. local time with an encore performance on March 21 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at participating theatre box offices and online at www.cineplex.com/events or through the Cineplex mobile site m.cineplex.com.

The production features Stephen Ouimette as Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Brian Dennehy as Sir Toby Belch, Ben Carlson as Feste, Trent Pardy as Sebastian, Cara Ricketts as Maria, Tom Rooney as Malvolio, Andrea Runge as Viola, Mike Shara as Orsino, and Sara Topham as Olivia.

Mr. McAnuff’s production of Twelfth Night thrilled Festival audiences during the 2011 season and was one of the most successful Shakespeare productions of his tenure so far as Artistic Director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. It features an eclectic score reflecting the history of rock and roll, composed by Michael Roth and Mr. McAnuff.

“Films are important to us not just because they preserve great performances for posterity,” says Mr. McAnuff. “They enable us to extend the Festival experience far beyond Stratford itself. Last season’s production of Twelfth Night was a huge hit with our patrons, and now we can share this comedic and musical feast with a much wider audience, spreading the joy of live theatre across the country.”

“Since 2008 we have filmed three of our productions for release through Cineplex and have been thrilled with the response from audiences,” says General Director Antoni Cimolino. “It has been most rewarding to be part of Cineplex’s commitment to share classical theatre, ballet and opera with Canadians who might otherwise not be able to attend such performances.”

Twelfth Night is the story of Viola, a young woman shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria, who adopts a male disguise to enter the service of Duke Orsino, only to find herself part of a triangle of unrequited love. Meanwhile in the household of Orsino’s love interest, the Countess Olivia, Sir Toby Belch and his unruly companions trick Olivia’s strict and disapproving steward, Malvolio, into believing that she loves him.

“This film is a virtual kaleidoscope of colour, music and performance,” says Mr. Avrich, who also produced the Festival’s recent films of The Tempest and Caesar and Cleopatra. “Des McAnuff takes Shakespeare and gives it the musical inspiration of The Beatles and the theatricality of Cirque du Soleil.”

“Cineplex Entertainment is celebrating 100 years of movie memories in 2012,” says Pat Marshall, Vice President Communications and Investor Relations for Cineplex Entertainment. “We are so proud to add Twelfth Night and all the other incredible Stratford Festival productions to the entertainment we offer our theatre guests across Canada. Not everyone can make it to Stratford so capturing these live productions on film, and playing them on our big screens, makes it the next best thing to actually being there.”

Production sponsors include the Slaight Family Foundation, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership, Violet Productions and Richard Rooney.

Support for the original stage production was provided by Scotiabank Group, Dr. M.L. Myers and Dr. W.P. Hayman.

The music of Twelfth Night has been released on CD and is also available for download on CD Baby. The CD, along with DVDs of The Tempest and Caesar and Cleopatra, are available to purchase through the Festival’s website: stratfordshakespearefestival.com.

This year, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival celebrates its 60th season, with 14 productions presented from April 12 to October 28:  Much Ado About Nothing42nd StreetThe MatchmakerHenry VYou’re a Good Man, Charlie BrownThe Pirates of PenzanceA Word or TwoCymbelineWanderlustElektraMacHomerThe Best BrothersHirsch; and The War of 1812. .

Participating theatres

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Coquitlam

SilverCity Coquitlam and VIP Cinemas, 170 Schoolhouse Street

Kamloops

Cineplex Odeon Aberdeen Mall Cinemas, 700-1320 Trans Canada Highway

Langley

Colossus Langley Cinemas, 20090 91A Avenue

Nanaimo

Galaxy Cinemas Nanaimo, 213-4750 Rutherford Road

Powell River

Max Cameron Theatre, 5400 Marine Avenue

Prince George

Famous Players 6 Cinemas, 172-1600 Fifth Avenue

Richmond

SilverCity Riverport Cinemas, 14211 Entertainment Way

Sechelt

Raven’s Cry Theatre, 5559 Sunshine Coast Highway

Vancouver

Scotiabank Theatre Vancouver, 900 Burrard Street

Victoria

SilverCity Victoria Cinemas, 3130 Tillicum Road

ALBERTA

Calgary

Scotiabank Theatre Chinook, 6455 Macleod Trail SW

Edmonton

Cineplex Odeon South Edmonton Cinemas, 1525-99th Street NW

Scotiabank Theatre Edmonton, 8882-170 Street

Lethbridge

Galaxy Cinemas Lethbridge, 501-1st Avenue SW

Red Deer

Galaxy Cinemas Red Deer, 357-37400 Highway #2

MANITOBA

Winnipeg

SilverCity Polo Park Cinemas, 817 St. James Street

SASKATCHEWAN

Moose Jaw

Galaxy Cinemas Moose Jaw, 1235 Main Street N

Regina

Galaxy Cinemas Regina, 420 McCarthy Boulevard N

Saskatoon

Galaxy Cinemas Saskatoon, 347 2nd Avenue

ONTARIO

Ajax

Cineplex Odeon Ajax Cinemas, 248 Kingston Road

Ancaster

SilverCity Ancaster Cinemas, 771 Golf Links Road

Barrie

Galaxy Cinemas Barrie, 72 Commerce Park Drive

Belleville

Galaxy Cinemas Belleville, 160 Bell Boulevard

Bracebridge

Rene M. Caisse, 100 Clearbrook Trl.

Brampton

SilverCity Brampton Cinemas, 50 Great Lakes Drive

Brantford

Galaxy Cinemas Brantford, 300 King George Road

Brockville

Galaxy Cinemas Brockville, 2399 Parkedale Avenue

Burlington

SilverCity Burlington Cinemas, 1250 Brant Street

Chatham

Galaxy Cinemas Chatham, 760 St Clair Street

Collingwood

Galaxy Cinemas Collingwood, 6 Mountain Road

Cornwall

Galaxy Cinemas Cornwall, 1325 Second Street E

Guelph

Galaxy Cinemas Guelph, 485 Woodlawn Road W

Kingston

Cineplex Odeon Gardiners Road Cinemas, 626 Gardiners Road

London

Cineplex Odeon Westmount and VIP Cinemas, 755 Wonderland Road S

SilverCity London Cinemas, 1680 Richmond Street

Midland

Galaxy Cinemas Midland, 9226 County Road 93

Mississauga

Coliseum Mississauga Cinemas, 309 Rathburn Road W

Newmarket

SilverCity Newmarket Cinemas and XSCAPE Entertainment Centre, 18151 Yonge Street

Niagara Falls

Cineplex Odeon Niagara Square Cinemas, 7555 Montrose Road

North Bay

Galaxy Cinemas North Bay, 300 Lakeshore Drive

Oakville

SilverCity Oakville and VIP Cinemas, 3531 Wyecroft Road

Orangeville

Galaxy Cinemas Orangeville, 85 Fifth Avenue

Orillia

Galaxy Cinemas Orillia, 865 West Ridge Boulevard

Oshawa

Cineplex Odeon Oshawa Cinemas, 1351 Grandview Street N

Ottawa

Cineplex Odeon South Keys Cinemas, 2214 Bank Street

Coliseum Ottawa Cinemas, 3090 Carling Avenue

SilverCity Gloucester Cinemas, 2385 City Park Drive

Owen Sound

Galaxy Cinemas Owen Sound, 1020 10th Street

Peterborough

Galaxy Cinemas Peterborough, 320 Water Street

Picton

The Regent Theatre, 224 Main Street

Port Hope

Capitol Theatre, 20 Queen Street

Richmond Hill

SilverCity Richmond Hill Cinemas, 8725 Yonge Street

Sarnia

Famous Players Lambton 9 Cinemas, 1450 London Road

Sault Ste. Marie

Galaxy Cinemas Sault Ste. Marie, 293 Bay Street

Sudbury

SilverCity Sudbury Cinemas, 355 Barrydowne Road

Thunder Bay

SilverCity Thunder Bay Cinemas, 850 North May Street

Toronto

Cineplex Odeon Queensway Cinemas, 1025 The Queensway

Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Cinemas, 4861 Yonge Street

Cineplex Odeon Varsity and VIP Cinemas, 55 Bloor Street W

Coliseum Scarborough Cinemas, 300 Borough Drive

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, 259 Richmond Street W

SilverCity Fairview Mall Cinemas, 1800 Sheppard Avenue E

SilverCity Yonge-Eglinton Cinemas, 2300 Yonge Street

Waterloo

Galaxy Cinemas Waterloo, 550 King Street N

Windsor

Cineplex Odeon Devonshire Mall Cinemas, 3100 Howard Avenue

QUEBEC

Brossard

Cineplex Odeon Brossard Cinemas, 9350 boul. Leduc

Kirkland

Coliseum Kirkland Cinemas, 3200 rue Jean Yves

Montreal

Cineplex Odeon Cavendish Mall Cinemas, 5800 boul. Cavendish

Scotiabank Theatre Montreal, 977 rue Ste-Catherine O

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Press Release: Twelfth Night going from stage to screen

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival is delighted to announce the filming of the 2011 production of Twelfth Night, directed by Artistic Director Des McAnuff. The production will be screened exclusively at Cineplex and participating theatres across Canada in 2012.

The film will be produced and directed by Barry Avrich, who also produced the Festival’s films of Caesar and Cleopatra in 2008 and The Tempest in 2010.

“The nature of theatre is such that we practise our craft in the eternal present. After a production closes it lives only in our memory, but this is a rare opportunity to capture it in a more enduring medium,” says Mr. McAnuff.  “Twelfth Night has had an exuberant response from student and adult audiences all season long. In fact we had to add a performance to help meet the demand for tickets. I’m absolutely delighted that it will be the third production filmed during my tenure.”

“In the past few years we have developed a strong relationship with Cineplex, releasing filmed versions of our productions of Caesar and Cleopatra, The Tempest and now Twelfth Night,” says General Director Antoni Cimolino. “These screenings give people across Canada a taste of what we do here in Stratford and an opportunity to see some of this country’s finest artists at work.”

“This stunning production beautifully filled the stage with an unyielding energy that makes the transfer from stage to screen a natural rebirth,” says Mr. Avrich.

“Cineplex audiences overwhelmingly embraced both previous Stratford productions,” said Pat Marshall, Vice-President Communications and Investor Relations, Cineplex Entertainment.  “We are so pleased to once again feature this great Canadian institution and share Twelfth Night with our audiences across Canada.”

Twelfth Night features Brian Dennehy as Sir Toby Belch, Stephen Ouimette as Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Tom Rooney as Malvolio, Andrea Runge as Viola and Sara Topham as Olivia, with Ben Carlson as Feste, Trent Pardy as Sebastian, Cara Ricketts as Maria and Mike Shara as Orsino.

Production sponsors include Violet Productions, Richard Rooney and the Slaight Family Foundation.

The music of Twelfth Night, written by Mr. McAnuff and Michael Roth, has been released on CD and is also available for download on CD Baby.

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s 2011 season runs until November 6, featuring Camelot, Twelfth Night, The Misanthrope, The Grapes of Wrath, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Homecoming.

Press Release: Festival casts title roles for Henry V, Cymbeline, Elektra, The Best Brothers, Charlie Brown

As casting progresses for 2012, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival is delighted to announce that the following actors will return for the 60th season: Sean Arbuckle, Richard Binsley, Skye Brandon, Laura Condlln, Naomi Costain, Randy Hughson, Peter Hutt, Robin Hutton, Bethany Jillard, Aaron Krohn, Ian Lake, Yanna McIntosh, Stephen Patterson, Gareth Potter, Cara Ricketts, Steve Ross, Andrea Runge, Tyrone Savage, E.B. Smith, John Vickery, and Geraint Wyn Davies. Joining the acting company in 2012 are: John Beale, Andrew Broderick, Daniel MacIvor, Erica Peck, Ken James Stewart, Amy Wallis and Kevin Yee.

As previously announced, Kyle Blair, James Blendick, Ben Carlson, Juan Chioran, Cynthia Dale, Deborah Hay, Tom McCamus, Seana McKenna, Lucy Peacock, Tom Rooney and Mike Shara are also key players in the 2012 season.

Aaron Krohn to play Henry V

After making a memorable Stratford debut as Lenny in The Homecoming, Aaron Krohn will return in 2012 to play the title role in Henry V, directed by Artistic Director Des McAnuff. Mr. Krohn’s New York credits include The Farnsworth Invention, also directed by Mr. McAnuff, the Tom Stoppard works The Invention of Love and The Coast of Utopia and Shakespeare’s Henry IV. He was also a member of the ensemble in the Broadway production of Julius Caesar featuring Denzel Washington and Colm Feore. Mr. Krohn is well known for his voice acting in a number of popular anime productions, most notably Neon Genesis Evangelion.

As previously announced, Ben Carlson has been cast as Fluellen, Juan Chioran as Montjoy, Deborah Hay as Alice, Lucy Peacock as the Hostess and Tom Rooney as Pistol.

Geraint Wyn Davies to play Cymbeline

Geraint Wyn Davies, featured this year as Falstaff and King Arthur, will return for the 60th season to play the title role in Cymbeline, directed by General Director Antoni Cimolino. In eight seasons at Stratford, Mr. Wyn Davies has played a number of major roles, including Stephano in The Tempest, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the title roles in Julius Caesar, Henry V and Pericles, Polonius in Hamlet, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady and Dylan Thomas in the one-man show Do Not Go Gentle. His stage career has taken him throughout Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. and he has dozens of film and television credits, including key roles in Republic of Doyle, ReGenesis, 24, Slings and Arrows, Airwolf, Forever Knight and American Psycho II.

Ian Lake will mark his fifth season with the Festival playing Arviragus in Cymbeline. This season Mr. Lake was seen as Joey in The Homecoming and the Second Officer in Twelfth Night. A graduate of the Birmingham Conservatory, Mr. Lake has played a number of key roles at Stratford, including Silvius in As You Like It, Florizel in The Winter’s Tale, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Cara Ricketts marks her fourth season at Stratford playing Imogen in Cymbeline. This season Ms Ricketts was seen as Ruth in The Homecoming and Maria in Twelfth Night. Her other Stratford credits include Perdita in The Winter’s Tale, Portia in Julius Caesar and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ms Ricketts has worked extensively in Toronto theatre as well as in film and TV.

After making his Stratford debut in 2011, Birmingham Conservatory member E.B. Smith will return to play Guiderius in Cymbeline. This season he played the Marquess of Dorset in Richard III and Alarbus in Titus Andronicus. Mr. Smith’s credits include Seyton in Macbeth and Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet for Chicago Shakespeare Theater, as well as work at the Cleveland Play House and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.

John Vickery, seen in the title role of Titus Andronicus this season, will play Belarius in Cymbeline. This year he also played the Camp Proprietor and the Officer in Mr. Cimolino’s production of The Grapes of Wrath. Returning for his fifth season at Stratford, Mr. Vickery has appeared as Antonio in The Tempest, the Duke in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Ross in Macbeth, Comte de Guiche in Cyrano, Victor in Zastrozzi, Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, Holofernes in Love’s Labour’s Lost and Lucius Septimius in Caesar and Cleopatra. His Broadway credits include the original Scar in The Lion King, The Real Thing, The Sisters Rosensweig and Macbeth.

As previously announced, Tom McCamus will play Iachimo in Cymbeline, in addition to Horace Vandergelder in The Matchmaker. Mike Shara will play Cloten, as well as Cornelius Hackl in The Matchmaker.

Yanna McIntosh to play Elektra

Yanna McIntosh will return for her eighth season to take on the title role in Elektra, directed by Thomas Moschopoulos, and to play the Queen in Cymbeline. This season she was seen as Queen Elizabeth in Richard III and Grace in The Little Years. Other Stratford credits include Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Lady Macbeth, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Helen in The Trojan Women and Mme. Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons. Ms McIntosh is a Dora and Gemini Award-winning actor, whose Toronto credits include Condoleeza Rice in Stuff Happens and the title roles in Mary Stuart, Hedda Gabler, and Belle.

Peter Hutt will play the Old Man in Elektra, after a season in which he was featured as Oronte in The Misanthrope and Muley and the Contractor in The Grapes of Wrath. In 12 seasons at Stratford, Mr. Hutt has been seen in such roles as Alonzo and Calilban in The Tempest, Antonio in The Merchant of Venice, Macduff in Macbeth, William Shakespeare in Elizabeth Rex and Marcus Andronicus in Titus Andronicus.

The role of Chrysothemis in Elektra will be played by Laura Condlln and the role of Orestes will be played by Ian Lake. As previously announced, the role of Clytemestra will be played by Seana McKenna.

John Beale, Daniel MacIvor take on The Best Brothers

Daniel MacIvor’s new two-hander, The Best Brothers, will feature the playwright as Hamilton and John Beale as Kyle. The production will be directed by Dean Gabourie. Mr. Beale, who played Nurk in the world première of Mr. MacIvor’s play Bingo, comes to Stratford from his home base in Halifax, where his recent credits include Peggy and Manuel in The Peggy Show, Owen in Girl in the Goldfish Bowl, Wendell in Home, Swinburne in Brightest Red to Blue and Reverend John Hale in The Crucible, for which he received a Merrit Award.

Mr. MacIvor joins the Festival acting company for the first time in 2012. One of Canada’s leading playwrights, Mr. MacIvor is a recipient of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, and has won several awards for his plays and films. He has written and performed in a number of solo shows, including House, Here Lies Henry, Monster and Cul de Sac. Most recently he directed the première of his play Bingo! for Forerunner Theatre in Halifax.

Key roles cast for The Matchmaker

Laura Condlln will return for her 11th season to play Irene Molloy in The Matchmaker, directed by Chris Abraham. Ms Condlln, a graduate of the Birmingham Conservatory, is currently playing Mistress Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor and also appeared in Richard III. Other highlights of her Stratford career include Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan, Polly in King of Thieves and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Geraint Wyn Davies will play Malachi Stack, in addition to the title role in Cymbeline.

Skye Brandon will return for his fourth season to play Ambrose Kemper in The Matchmaker. Mr. Brandon made his Stratford debut in 2009, when, as a member of the Birmingham Conservatory, he played Haggis and the Puppet Assistant in Bartholomew Fair, and Cinna in Julius Caesar. In 2010 he was seen as Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Dennis in As You Like It. This season he played the Duke of Norfolk in Richard III and Bassianus in Titus Andronicus.

Returning for a fourth season at Stratford, Andrea Runge will play Minnie Fay. A graduate of the Birmingham Conservatory, Ms. Runge has taken on a number of key roles at the Festival, including Viola in Twelfth Night and Anne Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Rosalind in As You Like It and Cecily Cardew in The Importance of Being Earnest.

Cara Ricketts will play Ermengarde, in addition to her role as Imogen in Cymbeline.

As previously announced, Tom McCamus will play Horace Vandergelder, Seana McKenna will play Dolly Levi and Mike Shara will play Cornelius Hackl.

Robin Hutton, Randy Hughson join cast of Wanderlust

Robin Hutton will return to the Festival for her fourth season to play the leading role of Louise in the new musical Wanderlust, opposite Tom Rooney’s Robert Service (as previously announced). The production will be directed by Morris Panych. Ms Hutton’s Stratford credits include Irene Molloy in Hello, Dolly!, Cinderella’s Stepmother in Into the Woods, and Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof.

Randy Hughson will celebrate his fifth season at Stratford playing Mr. McGee in Wanderlust. He was seen this season as Uncle John in The Grapes of Wrath and the Host of the Garter Inn in The Merry Wives of Windsor. His other Stratford credits include Antigonus and Time in The Winter’s Tale, Corin in As You Like It and Senex in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

As previously announced, Lucy Peacock will play Mrs. Munsch.

Three principals cast for Much Ado About Nothing

Richard Binsley, a company member in the 1980s, will return for the 60th season to play Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Christopher Newton. Mr. Binsley has worked at theatres across Canada and played Harry in both the Broadway and Toronto productions of Mamma Mia!. His recent stage credits include Bill in Having Hope at Home and Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie at the Globe Theatre, La Fontaine in Molière and Reinhard Wilke in Democracy at Tarragon Theatre.

Bethany Jillard will return for her third season to play Hero in Much Ado About Nothing. After making her Stratford debut playing Cécile Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons in 2010, Ms Jillard was seen this season as Lady Anne in Richard III and Young Kate and Tanya in The Little Years. Her other credits include Miss Julie in After Miss Julie at the MTC Warehouse, My Name is Rachel Corrie at Theatre PANIK and Brooke in How It Works at Tarragon Theatre.

Gareth Potter will play Don John, after taking on the title role in Hosanna and the Earl of Richmond in Richard III this year. His eight seasons at Stratford have included such roles as Ferdinand in The Tempest, Proteus in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Malcolm in Macbeth, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Nathaniel in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Edgar in King Lear, Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice, Pierrot in Don Juan and Cromwell in Henry VIII. Mr. Potter is a graduate of the Birmingham Conservatory.

Birmingham Conservatory member Tyrone Savage will return to play Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing. Mr. Savage made his Stratford debut this season playing Floyd in The Grapes of Wrath. His film and TV credits include Wind at My Back, Instant Star, American Pie: Beta House, Stoked and Goosebumps.

As previously announced, Ben Carlson will play Benedick and Deborah Hay will play Beatrice. The production will also feature James Blendick as Leonato and Juan Chioran as Don Pedro.

Full cast named for Charlie Brown

Stephen Patterson will return for his third season to play Snoopy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, directed by Donna Feore. Seen this season in Jesus Christ Superstar and Camelot, Mr. Patterson made his Stratford debut in 2010 in As You Like It. Mr. Patterson played Marius in Les Misérables on Broadway and the U.S. national tour. His other credits include Laurie in Little Women (first U.S. national tour), Bobby Strong in Urinetown for Canadian Stage, Bob in White Christmas for the Manitoba Theatre Centre and Neptune Theatre, Freddy in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for Drayton and the North American Tour, and, also for Drayton, Che in Evita, Chris in Miss Saigon, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jeff in Brigadoon.

The role of Lucy will be played by Erica Peck. A vocal student of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ms Peck played Mary Maguire in the Really Useful Group/Mirvish production of The Boys in the Photograph. Her other recent credits include Scaramouche in the Mirvish production of We Will Rock You, Penny Pingleton in the C.F.T. production of Hairspray, and Julia in The Wedding Singer at Stage West.

Ken James Stewart will take on the title role in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Mr. Stewart comes to Stratford from the Shaw Festival, where he has spent five seasons playing such roles as Mr. Pinsky in The President, Hegarty in Drama at Inish – A Comedy, the Student in One Touch of Venus and Jake in Serious Money.

Andrew Broderick will take on the role of Schroeder. A finalist in the second season of Canadian Idol, Mr. Broderick has played Gilbert in Hairspray, for both Rainbow Stage and the Charlottetown Festival. His other credits include Motown Gold at Stage West, The Producers at Stage West Calgary and Dreamgirls at The Grand Theatre.

Amy Wallis will make her Stratford debut as Sally. Twice nominated for Jessie Richardson Awards, Ms Wallis was seen most recently at Drayton, playing Willie Cagney in Cagney! and the Snow Fairy in Robin Hood. She played the title role in Anne of Green Gables at the Charlottetown Festival from 2006 to 2009, and during that same period played Belle in Beauty at the Beast at the Arts Club Theatre Festival on the country’s other coast.

Kevin Yee, currently on Broadway in Mary Poppins, will play Linus. His other credits include the Chicago and second national touring productions of Wicked, the Canadian production of Mamma Mia!, and Livent’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Key roles cast for The Pirates of Penzance and 42nd Street

Sean Arbuckle will play the Pirate King in the 2012 production of The Pirates of Penzance, directed by Ethan McSweeny. Seen this season as William Catesby in Richard III and Saturninus in Titus Andronicus, Mr. Arbuckle played Clifford Bradshaw in the 2008 production of Cabaret. Mr. Arbuckle’s credits in 10 seasons at Stratford include Tuzenbach in Three Sisters, Camillo in The Winter’s Tale, Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice, Nick in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Dazzle in London Assurance and Théramène in Phèdre. He has performed extensively in New York, both on and off-Broadway, and has a number of film and TV credits to his name, including Anything But Love, Law & Order and Sex and the City.

Amy Wallis will play the leading role of Mabel Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance, in addition to playing Sally in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

The production will also feature Steve Ross as the Sergeant of Police. Seen this year as John Rugby in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Noah in The Grapes of Wrath and Clitandre in The Misanthrope, Mr. Ross is also well remembered by audiences for his musical performances in Kiss Me, Kate, Evita, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha and Camelot. His other credits over eight seasons at Stratford include Ragueneau in Cyrano de Bergerac, Dromio of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors and Mr. Gilmer in To Kill a Mockingbird.

As previously announced, Kyle Blair will play Frederic.

Sean Arbuckle has also been cast as Julian Marsh in 42nd Street. He will be joined by Noami Costain, who will play Anytime Annie. Ms Costain is returning for her seventh season, having appeared in Kiss Me, Kate, Evita, Cabaret, My One and Only, Oklahoma!, Don Juan, Oliver!, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Gigi, The Threepenny Opera and My Fair Lady.

As previously announced, Kyle Blair will play Billy Lawlor and Cynthia Dale will play Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street.

Funding for the 2012 season has been provided by the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund.

Dress Rehearsal ~ As You Like It

As You Like It From left: Brent Carver as Jaques, Ben Carlson as Touchstone, Cara Ricketts as Celia, Paul Nolan as Orlando and Andrea Runge as Rosalind Photo by: Andrew Eccles

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare

April 30 to October 31 – Opens June 7

Last week the company was invited to the dress rehearsal of As You Like It, and I must say it was a real treat to have the opportunity to watch this show. Having grown up in Stratford, I have watched a number of productions at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, the first of which was a production of As You Like It – which for me, like many others, was a life-changing experience.

Walking into the Festival Theatre is an experience itself, and I am in awe every time I enter that theatre. So when I went in to watch the 2010 production of As You Like It, directed by our Artistic Director, Des McAnuff, I thought I knew what I was going to see. But even so, I didn’t expect it to be quite so gorgeous. This production is set in the 1920s, a beautiful period with stunning clothing and eye-popping surrealist art.

As You Like It takes place in two different realms. The first is that of the court, where a coup has just taken place. Duke Senior has been usurped by his brother, Duke Frederick, and banished from the court. Frederick then also banishes his niece Rosalind, who decides the best thing to do is disguise herself as a man before she enters the Forest of Arden (which is of course the second realm). To make a long story short, Rosalind and Orlando (who was smitten with her even before they entered the forest) fall in love, as do three other couples. In the end they all get married, and all is restored.

One aspect of this show that really stands out is its music. The Festival has had a number of composers write music for past productions of As You Like It, the last time being in 2005, when the Barenaked Ladies supplied the score. This time we have a descendant of Duke Ellington as the composer of the songs ¬– and what wonderful music he has created! Other music for this production was created by Michael Roth who was musical director on Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. The tunes have a twenties feel to them and make you want to Charleston along with the cast. Once the songs started, I didn’t want them to stop.

The cast is as talented as the design is beautiful. Several members are from this season’s Conservatory class, including two favourites from last season: Paul Nolan (who played Tony in West Side Story) and Andrea Runge (Cecily from The Importance of Being Earnest). Playing beside them is a fine mix of others who have delighted us before at Stratford, including Ben Carlson and Brian Tree and the return of Brent Carver.

As You Like It runs from April 30 through October 31, opening June 7.

Cast (in alphabetical order)

First Forest Lord………………………………………………………………… Sean Arbuckle
Phoebe………………………………………………………………………………….. Dalal Badr
First Page……………………………………………………………………… Jewelle Blackman
Dennis………………………………………………………………………………. Skye Brandon
Touchstone…………………………………………………………………………… Ben Carlson
Jaques………………………………………………………………………………… Brent Carver
Charles / William…………………………………………………………………… Dan Chameroy
Ensemble……………………………………………………………………………… Victor Dolhai
Oliver Martext……………………………………………………………………… Victor Ertmanis
Le Beau………………………………………………………………………………… Xuan Fraser
Musician…………………………………………………………………………………. Ian Harper
Ensemble……………………………………………………………………………… Alana Hawley
Corin………………………………………………………………………………… Randy Hughson
Ensemble………………………………………………………………………………. Robin Hutton
Silvius………………………………………………………………………………………. Ian Lake
Hymen…………………………………………………………………………………….. Roy Lewis
Musician………………………………………………………………………….. George Meanwell
Understudy……………………………………………………………………………. Ginette Mohr
Amiens…………………………………………………………………………….. Mike Nadajewski
Hisperia……………………………………………………………………………… Nathalie Nadon
Orlando……………………………………………………………………………………. Paul Nolan
Fourth Forest Lord…………………………………………………………….. Stephen Patterson
Audrey………………………………………………………………………………… Lucy Peacock
Second Forest Lord………………………………………………………….. Christopher Prentice
Jaques de Boys…………………………………………………………………… Jonathan Purdon
Celia……………………………………………………………………………………. Cara Ricketts
Duke Frederick / Duke Senior………………………………………………………… Tom Rooney
Rosalind……………………………………………………………………………….. Andrea Runge
Oliver……………………………………………………………………………………… Mike Shara
Adam………………………………………………………………………………………. Brian Tree
Second Page……………………………………………………………….. Abigail Winter-Culliford

Artistic team

Director……………………………………………………………………………….. Des McAnuff
Scenic Designer…………………………………………………………………….. Debra Hanson
Costume Designer………………………………………………………………….. Dana Osborne
Lighting Designer………………………………………………………………….. Michael Walton
Composer, Original Songs…………………………………………………………. Justin Ellington
Composer, Musical Director…………………………………………………………. Michael Roth