MEDIA ADVISORY | Coming events in Toronto, Detroit, Montreal

October 3, 2012… The Stratford Shakespeare Festival will be hosting or participating in a number of events over the coming weeks, including the following:

Wednesday, October 10
Twelfth Night screenings
Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East, Toronto

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival will be doing two screenings of the 2011 film of Twelfth Night, directed by Des McAnuff, featuring Ben Carlson, Brian Dennehy and Stephen Ouimette. An afternoon screening is for invited students and teachers from the Regent Park area. It will be preceded by a workshop with two actors from the production, Cara Ricketts and Mike Shara, and followed by a question and answer period. An evening screening will be open to the public and will also be followed by a Q&A with Cara Ricketts and Mike Shara.


11:30 a.m. Pre-film workshop for students with Cara Ricketts, Mike Shara and Andrea Jackson

12:30 p.m. Screening of Twelfth Night for students from schools in the Regent Park area.

3:15 p.m. Post-film Q&A with Cara Ricketts and Mike Shara

7 p.m. Public screening of Twelfth Night

9:45 p.m. Post-film Q&A with Cara Ricketts and Mike Shara

Sunday, October 14, at 3:30 p.m.
Stratford Presents: Twelfth Night
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Film Theater

The Festival presents a screening of the 2011 production of Twelfth Night, directed by Des McAnuff, featuring Ben Carlson, Brian Dennehy and Stephen Ouimette.

Tickets and information:

Thursday, October 25, at 5:30 p.m.
McGill Shakespeare Lecture
Leacock Building, Room 232, McGill University, Montreal

Lucy Peacock will deliver an address titled Work, Prayer, Carnival: My Journey with Shakespeare. Introduction by Prof. Paul Yachnin.

Sunday, November 11, at 2 p.m.
Stratford Presents: The Tempest
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Film Theater

The Festival presents a screening of the 2010 production of The Tempest, directed by Des McAnuff, featuring Christopher Plummer as Prospero.

Tickets and information:



Come fall in love with Cymbeline | 3 performances added

by Christi Rutledge

One of the last plays Shakespeare penned before his passing was Cymbeline, a stunning romance filled with dense, rich language and seemingly impossible twists of fate. It has a little bit of everything in it— love, war, dreams, betrayal and, most enchantingly, resolution and forgiveness. There is something magical about the final works of a playwright, and Shakespeare certainly gave us magic in Cymbeline, which feels beautifully personal.

In case you haven’t had a chance to see Cymbeline yet, here’s a sneak peek:

This production, helmed by our General Director and Artistic Director designate, Antoni Cimolino, has captivated audiences since it began previews. Critics, Shakespeare lovers and newbies have all raved about it. Most recently, New York Times theatre critic Charles Isherwood wrote this glowing review of our Shakespeare productions, including Cymbeline.

Come and escape into a Shakespearean dream with us! Cymbeline is a gorgeous play that should not be missed – especially when the cast features Cara Ricketts, Graham Abbey, Tom McCamus, Geraint Wyn Davies, Nigel Bennett, IanLake, Yanna McIntosh, Mike Shara, E.B. Smith, Brian Tree and John Vickery.

Because most performances are sold out or nearly sold out, we’ve added three more shows to Cymbeline’s run: October 3 at 2:00 p.m., October 5 at 2:00 p.m. and October 6 at 8:00 p.m. These seats won’t last, so book yours now to experience this spectacular production!

Photo credits: Foreground: Yanna McIntosh as the Queen, Geraint Wyn Davies (centre) as Cymbeline and Mike Shara as Cloten with Brad Hodder and Naomi Wright (background) in Cymbeline. Photo by David Hou.

ADVISORY | Festival adds two new Cymbeline performances

June 13, 2012… The Stratford Shakespeare Festival is adding two new performances of Shakespeare’s romance Cymbeline, to meet demand for this production, which has received overwhelmingly positive response from critics and audiences since it began previews on May 10.

The two additional shows will be held on the following days:

  • Saturday, September 8 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 29 at 8 p.m.

Directed by General Director Antoni Cimolino Cymbeline tells the story of Innogen, the remarkable daughter of King Cymbeline of Britain, who has married against her father’s wishes. Banished by Cymbeline, Innogen’s “poor but worthy” husband, Posthumus, finds refuge in Italy, where the villainous Iachimo tricks him into believing that his new wife has been unfaithful. Flying into a jealous rage, Posthumus orders his servant, Pisanio, to kill Innogen; instead, however, Pisanio helps Innogen undertake a harrowing journey to reunite with her husband and win back his love.

The play features Graham Abbey as Posthumus, Tom McCamus as Iachimo, Cara Ricketts as Innogen and Geraint Wyn Davies as King Cymbeline, with Nigel Bennett as Caius Lucius, Ian Lake as Arviragus, Yanna McIntosh as the Queen, Mike Shara as Cloten, E.B Smith as Guiderius, Brian Tree as Pisanio and John Vickery as Belarius.

Tickets are on sale now.  To order contact the Box Office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit


Festival officially launches 60th season on Monday

May 25, 2012… The Stratford Shakespeare Festival launches its 60th season on Monday, May 28, with a gala performance of Much Ado About Nothing. This is the final season under the artistic directorship of Des McAnuff, and one that promises an array of wonderful theatre for every taste and age group.

“The 60th season is representative of Stratford in all its glory,” says Mr. McAnuff, who is directing Henry V and Christopher Plummer’s A Word or Two, both of which open later in the season. “Embodying Stratford’s hallmark marriage of tradition and innovation, the Cplaybill ranges from the very roots of drama to some of the finest playwrights working in Canada today. Shakespearean comedy, history and romance are complemented by a hilarious contemporary pastiche of Shakespearean tragedy, while the season’s varied musical theatre repertoire acknowledges our own era’s great contribution to the western dramatic tradition. Meanwhile, the strength of our acting company is being showcased not only in Stratford but also on Broadway, with the Tony-nominated Jesus Christ Superstar.”

“As we celebrate our Festival’s 60th season, the glorious heritage of our past provides us with a clear signpost to the way ahead,” says General Director Antoni Cimolino. “Our pioneering artists and those who supported them sought to create in Stratford nothing less than the finest classical theatre in the world. Thanks to their vision and determination, the adventure that began in 1953 with two productions in a tent is now North America’s premier repertory theatre, featuring 14 productions in five venues. That same spirit drives us today as we explore the classics of the past and give birth to the classics of the future.”

Much Ado About Nothing is directed by Christopher Newton, who was a member of the Festival’s acting company from 1966 to 1968. It features Ben Carlson as Benedick and Deborah Hay as Beatrice.

Five other productions will open during the week: 42nd Street, directed by Gary Griffin and featuring Sean Arbuckle as Julian Marsh, Kyle Blair as Billy Lawlor, Cynthia Dale as Dorothy Brock, and Jennifer Rider-Shaw as Peggy Sawyer; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, directed by Donna Feore, featuring Stephen Patterson as Snoopy, Erica Peck as Lucy and Ken James Stewart as Charlie Brown; Cymbeline, directed by Antoni Cimolino, featuring Graham Abbey as Posthumus, Tom McCamus as Iachimo, Cara Ricketts as Innogen, and Geraint Wyn Davies as Cymbeline; The Pirates of Penzance, directed by Ethan McSweeny, featuring Sean Arbuckle as the Pirate King, Kyle Blair as Frederic, C. David Johnson as the Major General, and Amy Wallis as Mabel Stanley; and The Matchmaker, directed by Chris Abraham, featuring Tom McCamus as Horace Vandergelder and Seana McKenna as Dolly Levi.

The 60th season will feature a number of special events, including Christopher Plummer’s one-man show A Word or Two, which will run from July 25 to August 26. Most Rare Visions: 60 Years of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival is an exhibition of Festival artifacts, including rare footage of our pioneers, at a new space kitty-corner to the Avon Theatre, at 104 Downie Street. A symposium, Interpreting Shakespeare Across Settings and Media, featuring Colm Feore, Norman Lloyd, Dr. Katherine Lowe and the Festival’s Director of Archives, Dr. Francesca Marini, will be held on June 2. A dramatic reading of Edward Bond’s Bingo, about an aging William Shakespeare, will be held on June 15, with the playwright on hand for a Q&A with the audience. Lucy Peacock will hold a number of cabarets – Late Night with Lucy – in the new Studio Annex, in July and August, featuring music and conversation. The Celebrated Writers Series returns with Stephen Marche, author of How Shakespeare Changed Everything; Richard McCoy, author of Faith in Shakespeare; Michael Ondaatje, author of The Cat’s Table; and Margaret Atwood, author of In Other Worlds. Master voice and Shakespeare teacher Patsy Rodenberg will present three special events from July 18 to 22, to mark 60 years of the Festival’s extensive actor training activities. The Festival will launch a special 60th season book on June 2, Stratford: Behind the Scenes, which will available through the Theatre Store. These special events are all in addition to the Festival’s usual enrichment activities.

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s 2012 season runs until October 28, featuring Much Ado About Nothing; 42nd Street; The Matchmaker; Henry V; You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; The Pirates of Penzance; A Word or Two; Cymbeline; Wanderlust; Elektra; MacHomer; The Best Brothers; Hirsch and The War of 1812.

Opening Week Itinerary

Sunday, May 27
Garden Party
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Festival Theatre lobby and gardens

Monday, May 28
Gala Opening of Much Ado About Nothing
Festival Theatre, 55 Queen Street, Stratford
6:30 p.m. Pipe Band parades to front of theatre and performs
7:00 p.m. Red Carpet arrivals
7:30 p.m. Performance of Much Ado About Nothing begins
10:10 p.m. Performance concludes

Tuesday, May 29
11:30 a.m. Book Launch – Festival Lobby
The Adventures of Adrian and Tiddlywinks by the late John Sullivan Hayes, former Producer of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Opening of 42nd Street
Festival Theatre
8:00 p.m. Performance begins
10:20 p.m. Performance concludes

Wednesday, May 30
Opening of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
8 p.m. Avon Theatre
9:55 p.m. Performance concludes

Thursday, May 31
Opening of Cymbeline
8 p.m. Tom Patterson Theatre
11 p.m. Performance concludes

Friday, June 1
Opening of The Pirates of Penzance
8 p.m. Avon Theatre
10:35 p.m. Performance concludes

Saturday, June 2
10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Symposium, Studio Theatre (please contact Andrea Smitko to reserve tickets)
1:00 to 1:45 p.m. Book Launch – Stratford: Behind the Scenes. Rehearsal Hall 3, Studio Theatre.
Opening of The Matchmaker
8 p.m. Festival Theatre
10:40 p.m. Performance concludes


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 or through the Cineplex mobile site

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:

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



SilverCity Coquitlam and VIP Cinemas, 170 Schoolhouse Street


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


Colossus Langley Cinemas, 20090 91A Avenue


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


SilverCity Riverport Cinemas, 14211 Entertainment Way


Raven’s Cry Theatre, 5559 Sunshine Coast Highway


Scotiabank Theatre Vancouver, 900 Burrard Street


SilverCity Victoria Cinemas, 3130 Tillicum Road



Scotiabank Theatre Chinook, 6455 Macleod Trail SW


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

Scotiabank Theatre Edmonton, 8882-170 Street


Galaxy Cinemas Lethbridge, 501-1st Avenue SW

Red Deer

Galaxy Cinemas Red Deer, 357-37400 Highway #2



SilverCity Polo Park Cinemas, 817 St. James Street


Moose Jaw

Galaxy Cinemas Moose Jaw, 1235 Main Street N


Galaxy Cinemas Regina, 420 McCarthy Boulevard N


Galaxy Cinemas Saskatoon, 347 2nd Avenue



Cineplex Odeon Ajax Cinemas, 248 Kingston Road


SilverCity Ancaster Cinemas, 771 Golf Links Road


Galaxy Cinemas Barrie, 72 Commerce Park Drive


Galaxy Cinemas Belleville, 160 Bell Boulevard


Rene M. Caisse, 100 Clearbrook Trl.


SilverCity Brampton Cinemas, 50 Great Lakes Drive


Galaxy Cinemas Brantford, 300 King George Road


Galaxy Cinemas Brockville, 2399 Parkedale Avenue


SilverCity Burlington Cinemas, 1250 Brant Street


Galaxy Cinemas Chatham, 760 St Clair Street


Galaxy Cinemas Collingwood, 6 Mountain Road


Galaxy Cinemas Cornwall, 1325 Second Street E


Galaxy Cinemas Guelph, 485 Woodlawn Road W


Cineplex Odeon Gardiners Road Cinemas, 626 Gardiners Road


Cineplex Odeon Westmount and VIP Cinemas, 755 Wonderland Road S

SilverCity London Cinemas, 1680 Richmond Street


Galaxy Cinemas Midland, 9226 County Road 93


Coliseum Mississauga Cinemas, 309 Rathburn Road W


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


SilverCity Oakville and VIP Cinemas, 3531 Wyecroft Road


Galaxy Cinemas Orangeville, 85 Fifth Avenue


Galaxy Cinemas Orillia, 865 West Ridge Boulevard


Cineplex Odeon Oshawa Cinemas, 1351 Grandview Street N


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


Galaxy Cinemas Peterborough, 320 Water Street


The Regent Theatre, 224 Main Street

Port Hope

Capitol Theatre, 20 Queen Street

Richmond Hill

SilverCity Richmond Hill Cinemas, 8725 Yonge Street


Famous Players Lambton 9 Cinemas, 1450 London Road

Sault Ste. Marie

Galaxy Cinemas Sault Ste. Marie, 293 Bay Street


SilverCity Sudbury Cinemas, 355 Barrydowne Road

Thunder Bay

SilverCity Thunder Bay Cinemas, 850 North May Street


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


Galaxy Cinemas Waterloo, 550 King Street N


Cineplex Odeon Devonshire Mall Cinemas, 3100 Howard Avenue



Cineplex Odeon Brossard Cinemas, 9350 boul. Leduc


Coliseum Kirkland Cinemas, 3200 rue Jean Yves


Cineplex Odeon Cavendish Mall Cinemas, 5800 boul. Cavendish

Scotiabank Theatre Montreal, 977 rue Ste-Catherine O


2012 Shakespeare Overview

By Aaron Kropf

As we all know by now, 2012 marks the Diamond 60th Season of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. In this milestone year of celebration, the Festival brings you three plays that reveal very different facets of Shakespeare’s genius – a comedy, a history and a romance – together with a hilarious comic take on one of his most popular tragedies. Let’s have a quick look at each of the Shakespeare shows on our 2012 playbill, starting with the one that opens first.

MacHomer is Shakespeare with a difference, pairing one of his best-known plays with one of the 20th century’s most recognizable families. Actor and comedian Rick Miller has entertained audiences around the globe with this mashup of Macbeth and – wait for it – The Simpsons. Now, I know many of you are asking: why would the Stratford Shakespeare Festival present a send-up of Shakespeare? Well, for two reasons: first, MacHomer is brilliantly entertaining in its own right, and second, it’s a great way of introducing Shakespeare to new audiences. Younger folks whose only experience of these plays has come from reading them in school will discover the amazing world of Shakespeare in performance – via a popular-culture phenomenon they’re already comfortable with. MacHomer runs at the Studio Theatre early in the season, from May 2 to May 26, with its official opening May 5.

The show featured in this season’s gala opening is Much Ado About Nothing. Directed by Christopher Newton (former Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival), this high comedy contains some of Shakespeare’s best-loved characters and some of his most glorious wit. If you haven’t already read the article on Much Ado’s “merry war” of words in our November issue of SceneNotes, be sure to take a look at it here. With a fantastic cast led by real-life husband and wife Ben Carlson and Deborah Hay as Benedick and Beatrice, this is one production you won’t want to miss. Much Ado About Nothing runs at the Festival Theatre from April 26 to October 27, opening May 28.

Next to open is the romance Cymbeline, directed by Stratford Shakespeare Festival General Director Antoni Cimolino. Being produced for only the fourth time in the Festival’s history, this beautifully moving play has a cast that includes Cara Ricketts as Imogen and Geraint Wyn Davies in the title role. Don’t miss your chance to see this rarely performed masterpiece – who knows when the opportunity will come again? Cymbeline plays at the Tom Patterson Theatre from May 10 to September 30, opening May 31.

Finally, to round out our 60th season celebration, we’re presenting the epic drama Henry V – which will open at the Festival Theatre on the anniversary of our very first performance in 1953. This is a play with special significance for Stratford: when we first presented it in 1956 (our last season in the original tent), Christopher Plummer played the title role and the production became a legend in Canadian theatrical history. Aaron Krohn, who won such critical acclaim in 2011 for his performance as Lenny in The Homecoming, will play Henry this time round, in a production directed by our Artistic Director, Des McAnuff. Henry V runs June 24 to September 29, opening July 13. Here’s a video that will tell you a little more about the show:

We hope you’ll join us in 2012: it promises to be a stellar 60th season!

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.