Press Release | Mary Stuart extended for a fourth time

August 23, 2013… The Stratford Festival is extending Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino’s production of Mary Stuart for an unprecedented fourth time.

The production, described as “electrifyingly entertaining and intellectually exciting” by the Toronto Star’s Richard Ouzounian and “edge-of-your-seat suspenseful” by The Globe and Mail’s J. Kelly Nestruck, features Seana McKenna as Elizabeth I and Lucy Peacock as Mary Stuart, with Ben Carlson as Lord Burleigh, Brian Dennehy as the Earl of Shrewsbury and Geraint Wyn Davies as the Earl of Leicester.

Mary Stuart is striking for the clarity of its storytelling, the constant intensity of its dramatic stakes and, especially, for the evenhanded excellence of Lucy Peacock and Seana McKenna in the leading roles,” says Chris Jones in the Chicago Tribune. “This is one for the memory books, with two remarkable actresses at the peak of their powers,” says Postmedia’s Jamie Portman.

With the run entirely sold out despite three previous extensions, the Festival is delighted to offer eager theatre-goers four more opportunities to see the smash hit of the season.

Tickets for the following performances will go on sale to Members of the Stratford Festival on Tuesday, August 27, and to the general public on Wednesday, August, 28:

  • Wednesday, October 16, at 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 17, at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, October 18, at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 19, at 8 p.m.

The play, by Friedrich Schiller, newly adapted by Peter Oswald, follows a period in the life of Mary Stuart, when the former Queen of Scots has been imprisoned in England because her very existence poses a political and personal risk to her Protestant cousin, Elizabeth I. As Elizabeth hesitates over decreeing her rival’s fate, Mary pleads for a face-to-face meeting, and we see how religion can become a tool in the hands of cynical politicians who are willing to sacrifice lives in the supposed interests of the state.

The final performance of The Forum event Dear Mary, Dear Elizabeth will be held on August 31 at 11 a.m. in the Studio Theatre. It features Ms McKenna and Ms Peacock reading the letters of Mary Stuart and Elizabeth I, introduced and contextualized by Dr. Ted McGee.

Mary Stuart is co-sponsored by PwC. Production support for Mary Stuart is generously provided by Dr. Dennis & Dorothea Hacker, Dr. M.L. Myers and the late Dr. W.P. Hayman, Alice & Tim Thornton and Diana Tremain. Support for the 2013 season of the Tom Patterson Theatre is generously provided by Richard Rooney and Laura Dinner.

The Stratford Festival’s 2013 season runs until October 20, featuring Romeo and JulietFiddler on the RoofThe Three MusketeersThe Merchant of VeniceTommyBlithe SpiritOthelloMeasure for MeasureMary StuartWaiting for Godot and two new Canadian plays, Taking Shakespeare and The Thrill, along with more than 150 Forum events.

To purchase tickets for Mary Stuart and all of the 2013 season productions, call the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit www.stratfordfestival.ca.

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Mary Stuart extended for third time | Six performances in October added in response to sold-out run

July 23, 2013… With every performance virtually sold out, the Stratford Festival’s production of Mary Stuart, directed by Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, is being extended for a third time this season. Already one of the most highly attended productions in the Festival’s history, Mary Stuart will now run for an additional two weeks in October.

“It gives me immense pleasure to see a work by an 18th-century German playwright capture the public’s imagination in such a big way,” says Mr. Cimolino. “This play has so much to say about our world today and it’s great to see audiences recognize and connect to that.”

The following additional performances of Mary Stuart will go on sale to Members of the Stratford Festival at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 23, and to the general public at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24:

  • Wednesday, October 2, at 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 3, at 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 5, at 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 9, at 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 10, at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, October 11, at 8 p.m.

“In my 22 years with the Festival, I have never seen a show consistently sell out to this extent,” says Executive Director Anita Gaffney. “Mary Stuart tickets have been in demand since advance ticket sales began. In March we added two performances to the schedule. Then last month we added an additional week of performances for all three productions at the Tom Patterson Theatre – Mary Stuart, Measure for Measure and Waiting for Godot. Now we’re at it again!

“This compelling production of Mary Stuart features two of Canada’s finest actors, Seana McKenna and Lucy Peacock, and is directed by Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, who was at the helm of last season’s Cymbeline and 2009’s Bartholomew Fair – two other rarely produced works that thrilled audiences and played to near capacity houses.”

Mary Stuart features Seana McKenna as Elizabeth I and Lucy Peacock as Mary Stuart, with Ben Carlson as Lord Burleigh, Brian Dennehy as the Earl of Shrewsbury and Geraint Wyn Davies as the Earl of Leicester.

It also features James Blendick as Amias Paulet, Patricia Collins as Hanna Kennedy, Peter Hutt as Aubespine, Ian Lake as Mortimer, E.B. Smith as Bellievre and Brian Tree as Melvil, with Nigel Bennett as the Sheriff, Brad Hodder as O’Kelly, Josue Laboucane as the Page, Robert Persichini as the Earl of Kent, Christopher Prentice as Drury and Dylan Trowbridge as William Davison.

Production support for Mary Stuart is generously provided by Dr. Dennis & Dorothea Hacker, Dr. M.L. Myers & the late Dr. W.P. Hayman, Alice & Tim Thornton and Diana Tremain. The production co-sponsor is PwC. Support for the 2013 season of the Tom Patterson Theatre is generously provided by Richard Rooney and Laura Dinner.

The Stratford Festival’s 2013 season runs until October 20, featuring Romeo and JulietFiddler on the RoofThe Three MusketeersThe Merchant of VeniceTommyBlithe SpiritOthelloMeasure for MeasureMary StuartWaiting for Godot and two new Canadian plays, Taking Shakespeare and The Thrill, along with more than 150 Forum events.

To purchase tickets for Mary Stuart and all of the 2013 season productions, call the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit www.stratfordfestival.ca.

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Media icons take part in the Festival’s July “Forum Foray”

July 4, 2013… The Stratford Festival is gearing up for its second “Forum Foray,” another supercharged week of fresh new performances, film screenings, provocative panels and talks by A-list guests. Following the season’s theme of community, many of this month’s events explore the idea of storytelling – at the heart of all drama – and its role in defining, challenging and changing communities. Offering more than a dozen exciting events, the Foray runs July 9 through 14.

Highlights of the week include: The Kind of Life It’s Been, in which acclaimed broadcaster Lloyd Robertson, in an interview with CTV National News correspondent Seamus O’Regan, looks at the stories that have shaped and changed his life, and his role in sharing those stories with the world; To 1982 and Back, in which award-winning broadcaster and best-selling author, Jian Ghomeshi, uses his book, 1982, to talk about growing up as a reluctant outsider in suburban Toronto and finding his way into the mainstream; and a Storytelling Workshop with First Nations storyteller James Adams, improvisational comedian Joanne O’Sullivan and actor and journalist Barbara Budd.

The Foray also includes The Playwright’s Crucible, an exhilarating performance in which Canadian playwright Carmen Aguirre inspires a director and five top-rate actors, including Festival favourite Stephen Ouimette, to create a new play right in front of the audience; a panel of Canadian playwrights, including Carmen Aguirre, Sky Gilbert and Djanet Sears discussing the drive to write and the theatrical forum in The Power of the Pen; and the second instalment of Geraint Wyn Davies Presents… “Wordplay”, in which he and members of the company will present Cardenio, Shakespeare’s “lost play”.

Also of note: a screening of An Unlikely Obsession: Churchill and the Jews; author Barbara Kyle on Elizabeth and Mary, Rival Queens; a panel discussion with directors Chris Abraham, Tim Carroll, Antoni Cimolino and Martha Henry; and Marlis Schweitzer on Fiddler on the Roof and the 1960s Generation Gap.

The week’s schedule of events includes:

TUESDAY, JULY 9

Geraint Wyn Davies Presents… “Wordplay”: Cardenio  

Studio Theatre, 8 p.m.

Members of the company join host Geraint Wyn Davies for a dramatic reading of Shakespeare’s “lost play”. Based on an episode in Cervantes’Don QuixoteCardenio is a thrilling story of a friendship betrayed, disguise, dishonour and deceit played out in the heat and dust of Andalusia in 17th-century Spain.

Admission: $25.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 10

Storytelling Workshop  

Factory163, 163 King Street, 10 a.m.

First Nations storyteller James Adams, improvisational comedian Joanne O’Sullivan and actor and journalist Barbara Budd share thoughts, traditions and approaches to finding the universal myths of your own life.

Admission: $50. (Pre-registration is required.)

Barbara Kyle: Elizabeth and Mary, Rival Queens: A Study of Leadership Lost and Won
Festival Theatre lobby, 11 a.m.
Barbara Kyle, author of the recently published Blood Between Queens, will sign books following her talk.

Admission: Free.

An Unlikely Obsession: Churchill and the Jews  

University of Waterloo Stratford Campus, 125 St. Patrick Street, 5:30 p.m.

A screening of a powerful documentary examining a neglected aspect of one of world history’s most renowned leaders: Winston Churchill’s relationship to Jews and Jewish issues. Drawing on a treasure trove of interviews, the film explores the origins, implications and results of this world leader’s commitment to his generation’s most vulnerable people. Join director Barry Avrich and producer Michael Levine for a discussion following the screening.

Admission: $20.

THURSDAY, JULY 11

Fiddler on the Roof: Song and Dance

Festival Theatre Lobby, 10:30 a.m.
Find out what it’s like to be in a musical at the Stratford Festival. Company members Matthew Armet and Julia Juhas teach a song and dance from Fiddler on the Roof. No observers, please.

Admission: $30.

The Playwright’s Crucible  

Studio Theatre, 11 p.m.

With only a script outline and character descriptions, Canadian playwright Carmen Aguirre inspires director Varrick Grimes and five top-rate actors, Laura Condlln, André Morin, Stephen Ouimette, Anand Rajaram and Kaitlyn Riordan, to create a new play right in front of your eyes. Created by Joanne O’Sullivan.

Admission: $20.

FRIDAY, JULY 12

Marlis Schweitzer: Breaking with Tradition: Fiddler on the Roof and the 1960s Generation Gap
Festival Theatre lobby, Friday, July 12, at 11 a.m.
Talk by Marlis Schweitzer, associate professor of theatre at York University.

Admission: Free.

Jian Ghomeshi: To 1982 and Back
Studio Theatre, 5:30 p.m.
Jian Ghomeshi, the host and co-creator of CBC’s cultural-affairs program Q, uses his national bestseller, 1982, as a jumping-off point, as he shares hilarious and poignant anecdotes and insights of his journey from outside to inside: growing up Persian in Thornhill to being an award-winning, internationally renowned media personality.

Admission: $20.

SATURDAY, JULY 13

The Kind of Life It’s Been  

Tom Patterson Theatre, 10 a.m.

Stratford-born broadcaster Lloyd Robertson speaks to CTV National News correspondent Seamus O’Regan, one journalist to another, about his life behind the headlines and the world as he sees it now.

Admission: $20.

The Power of the Pen  

Festival Theatre Lobby, 5:30 p.m.

Some of Canada’s most political and prolific playwrights, including Carmen Aguirre (The Refugee Hotel, Something Fierce – winner of 2012 Canada Reads), Sky Gilbert (Ban This Show, The Emotionalists) and Djanet Sears (Harlem Duet, The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God), discuss the drive to write and the theatrical forum.

Admission: $10.

SUNDAY, JULY 14

Reform It Altogether: Directing Shakespeare Today
Studio Theatre, Sunday, July 14, at 11 a.m.
A panel discussion with directors Chris Abraham, Tim Carroll, Antoni Cimolino and Martha Henry. Chair: Communications Director David Prosser.

Admission: $10.

Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream  

University of Waterloo Stratford Campus, 125 St. Patrick Street, 8 p.m.

Based on Neal Gabler’s best-selling book An Empire of Their Own, this award-winning feature-length documentary tells the story of the men who founded Hollywood. All were immigrants, or children of immigrants, who wanted to reinvent themselves as Americans. In the process, they reinvented America. Join co-creator Stuart Samuels for a post-screening chat.

Admission: $20.

ONGOING FORUM ACTIVITIES

Late Night with Lucy – Back by popular demand!  

Fridays, July 5 and 19, August 9 and 23, at 11:30 p.m.

Join Lucy Peacock for her second series of after-hours cabarets with special guest performers from the acting company and from behind the scenes.

Admission: $25.

Table Talk

Paul D. Fleck Marquee, Festival Theatre, 11:30 a.m.

Buffet lunch followed by a talk on one of this season’s productions. Must book 48 hours in advance.

Admission: $37.

July 9: Mary Stuart led by David G. John – SOLD OUT

July 11: Blithe Spirit led by Alexander Leggatt

July 19: Measure for Measure led by Graham Roebuck

July 25: Fiddler on the Roof led by Bill Rudman

Tales Under the Tent
Festival Theatre Grounds, Wednesdays, July 10 to August 21, from 1 to 1:30 p.m.
Gather under the tent for family fun! Stratford Public Library staff provide stories and activities related to the play on stage at the Festival Theatre that afternoon. Look for the tent on the Festival Theatre grounds between the Discovery Centre and Upper Queen’s Park. Suitable for families with children ages 6 to 12. Cancelled in the event of rain.

Admission: Free.

Star Talks

Festival Theatre lobby and Tom Patterson Theatre stage, directly following performances

Toronto Star theatre critic Richard Ouzounian interviews the stars, following matinée performances in July and August.

July 7: Graham Abbey, Jonathan Goad, Luke Humphrey and Mike Shara (The Three Musketeers, Festival Theatre lobby)

Admission: Free.

Festival Exhibition

104 Downie Street, Wednesdays through Sundays, June 5 to October 20

Explore Present and Past Productions of Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice. A vast selection of costumes, props and artefacts from our Archives are displayed in a beautiful museum-style venue, with talks with Festival artists on:

July 6: Susan Coyne

July 20: Carmen Grant and Tom Rooney

July 27: Sara Topham

Cost included in admission to the Exhibition.

Festival Theatre Tours

Festival Theatre, Wednesday to Sunday, June 5 to October 20, at 9:15 and 9:30 a.m.

Take this one-hour walking tour to see and hear about the magic of the theatre. Our knowledgeable guides will share stories and information about both the current and past seasons.

Admission: $8 per person; $6 students and seniors.

For tickets, contact the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit stratfordfestival.ca.

The third and final “Forum Foray” is scheduled for August 9 to 18. Through debates, talks, concerts, comedy nights, hands-on workshops and more, The Forum offers theatregoers more ways to discover and examine the themes running through this season’s productions.

For those unable to attend, 15 of the over 150 Forum events will be available via Livestream: http://new.livestream.com/stratfordfestival.

Support for the inaugural season of The Forum is generously provided by Kelly and Michael Meighen and the Province of Ontario, in partnership with the University of Waterloo, with media sponsorship provided by The Walrus. Support for the Speakers Series is generously provided in memory of Dr. W. Philip Hayman.

The Festival’s new Toronto bus service Stratford Direct is now available twice daily on performance days for only $20 return. Reservations can be made through the box office.

Support for Stratford Direct is generously provided by The Peter Cundill Foundation.

The Stratford Festival’s 2013 season runs until October 20, featuring Romeo and JulietFiddler on the RoofThe Three MusketeersThe Merchant of VeniceTommyBlithe SpiritOthelloMeasure for MeasureMary StuartWaiting for Godot and two new Canadian plays, Taking Shakespeare and The Thrill, along with more than 150 Forum events.

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Friedrich Schiller’s political thriller Mary Stuart starts previews

May 3, 2013… Examining the power struggle between two legendary monarchs, Mary Stuart offers a timely exploration of the often dangerous relationship between religion and politics. Directed by the Festival’s Artistic Director, Antoni Cimolino, Friedrich Schiller’s gripping historical drama, in a new version by Peter Oswald, begins previews on Friday, May 3, at the Tom Patterson Theatre.

For the first time since 2005’s Fallen Angels, two of the Festival’s most celebrated leading women – Seana McKenna and Lucy Peacock – will be sharing the stage. Ms Peacock will play the title role opposite Ms McKenna as Elizabeth I. The cast also features Ben Carlson as Lord Burleigh, Brian Dennehy as the Earl of Shrewsbury and Geraint Wyn Davies as the Earl of Leicester.

This will be the first production directed by Mr. Cimolino since taking over as Artistic Director this season. A celebrated director, he has been at the helm of many of the Festival’s most successful productions, including last year’s hauntingly beautiful Cymbeline. Mary Stuart promises to be a highlight of this season as well, with a quarter of the performances already sold out.

“I have selected a season that I hope will touch both the hearts and minds of our audiences, not only engaging them emotionally but also provoking discussion and debate,” says Mr. Cimolino. “A story about religious extremism, fanatics willing to die for their God, gender politics and a society struggling to find its way to democracy, Mary Stuart serves as a bridge that connects the England of 1587 with the German states of 1800 and with any monotheistic nation in 2013.”

Mary Stuart, former Queen of Scots, is imprisoned in England because her very existence poses a political and personal risk to her Protestant cousin, Elizabeth I. As Elizabeth hesitates over decreeing her rival’s fate, Mary pleads for a face-to-face meeting, and we see how religion can become a tool in the hands of cynical politicians who are willing to sacrifice lives in the supposed interests of the state.

“It’s a great enlightenment play,” says Mr. Cimolino. “I think the point Schiller is trying to make is that it is human to become intolerant – and even to take a force for good, like religion, and twist it. It’s not that you doubt the belief of the people who believe; you just doubt the aims of the people who are telling them who their enemies are and what to do.”

The production’s artistic team includes Designer Eo Sharp, Lighting Designer Steven Hawkins, Sound Designer Todd Charlton, Movement Coach Shona Morris and Fight Director John Stead.

Mary Stuart Forum Highlights 

The Forum, the new festival within the Festival, is a series of activities and events designed to make a visit to Stratford an immersive, all-encompassing cultural experience. Through debates, talks, concerts, comedy nights, hands-on workshops and more, The Forum will offer theatregoers more ways to discover and examine the themes running through this season’s productions.

Mary Stuart will be explored through several Forum events, including: Dear Mary, Dear Elizabeth, in which cast members Seana McKenna and Lucy Peacock present readings of real-life letters between the rival queens Elizabeth and Mary; Ascent of Women: A Remarkable Story of World-Wide Change, in which Sally Armstrong, journalist, author and three-time winner of the Amnesty International Media Award and a Member of the Order of Canada, discusses her latest book, Ascent of Women; and Elizabeth and Mary, Rival Queens: A Study of Leadership Lost and Won, a talk and book signing by Barbara Kyle, author of Blood Between Queens, published in May 2013.

The Forum also includes events led by key cast members of Mary Stuart: Geraint Wyn Davies Presents… “Wordplay”: Becket, in which members of the company join Geraint Wyn Davies for a reading of Becket, Jean Anouilh’s historical drama about an earlier conflict in British history, and Late Night with Lucy, an after-hours cabaret with host Lucy Peacock and special guest performers.

Support for the inaugural season of The Forum is generously provided by Kelly and Michael Meighen and the Province of Ontario, in partnership with the University of Waterloo, with media sponsorship provided by The Walrus. Support for the Speakers Series is generously provided in memory of Dr. W. Philip Hayman.

Mary Stuart officially opens on May 31 and runs until September 21. For tickets, contact the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit www.stratfordfestival.ca.

Production support for Mary Stuart is generously provided by Dr. Dennis & Dorothea Hacker, Drs. M.L. Myers & the late W.P. Hayman, Alice & Tim Thornton and Diana Tremain.

Support for the 2013 season of the Tom Patterson Theatre is generously provided by Richard Rooney and Laura Dinner.

Stratford Direct, the new daily return private bus service between Toronto and Stratford, began May 1. Departing once daily from May 1 to 25 and October 1 to 20 and twice daily from May 27 to September 29 (on performance days only), the round trip costs only $20.

Support for Stratford Direct is generously provided by The Peter Cundill Foundation.

The Stratford Festival’s 2013 season runs until October 20, featuring Romeo and JulietFiddler on the RoofThe Three MusketeersThe Merchant of VeniceTommyBlithe SpiritOthelloMeasure for MeasureMary StuartWaiting for Godot and two new Canadian plays, Taking Shakespeare and The Thrill, along with more than 150 Forum events.

Cast (in alphabetical order)

Ensemble……………………………….        Sarah Afful

Officer #1/Sheriff………………………       Nigel Bennett

Amias Paulet……………………………        James Blendick

Ensemble……………………………….        Susie Burnett

Lord Burleigh…………………………..       Ben Carlson

Hanna Kennedy………………………..        Patricia Collins

Earl of Shrewsbury…………………….        Brian Dennehy

Ensemble……………………………….        Carmen Grant

O’Kelly…………………………………       Brad Hodder

Aubespine………………………………       Peter Hutt

Ensemble……………………………….        Ruby Joy

Officer #2/Page…………………………       Josue Laboucane

Mortimer………………………………..       Ian Lake

Elizabeth………………………………..       Seana McKenna

Mary Stuart……………………………..       Lucy Peacock

Earl of Kent…………………………….       Robert Persichini

Drury……………………………………       Christopher Prentice

Understudy……………………………..       Stephen Russell

Bellievre………………………………..        E.B. Smith

Ensemble……………………………….        Dorcas Sowunmi

Melvil……………………………………       Brian Tree

William Davison………………………..       Dylan Trowbridge

Earl of Leicester…………………………       Geraint Wyn Davies

Artistic Credits

Director…………………………………       Antoni Cimolino

Designer…………………………………       Eo Sharp

Lighting Designer………………………       Steven Hawkins

Sound Designer…………………………       Todd Charlton

Movement………………………………       Shona Morris

Fight Director…………………………..       John Stead

Producer…………………………………       David Auster

Casting Director………………………..        Beth Russell

Creative Planning Director……………..       Jason Miller

Assistant Director………………………       Birgit Schreyer Duarte

Assistant Set Designer………………….       Patrice Strate

Assistant Costume Designer……………       Kimberly Catton

Assistant Lighting Designer……………       Sarah Mansikka

Assistant Fight Directors……………….       Geoff Scovell, Anita Nittoly

Stage Manager………………………….       Anne Murphy

Assistant Stage Manager……………….       Holly Korhonen, Kristopher Weber

Apprentice Stage Manager……………..       Kenilee Kehler

Production Assistant……………………        Heather Bellingham

Production Stage Manager……………..       Janine Ralph

Technical Director………………………        Sean Hirtle

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Celebrate the birthday Bard with an amazing deal!

Shakespeare’s 449th birthday is nearly upon us! On April 23 we’re celebrating the Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon with the launch of The Forum – a.k.a. the Shakespeare Slam – at Toronto’s Koerner Hall. Join us for an evening of irreverent and provocative entertainment featuring the outstanding talents of Adam Gopnik, Torquil Campbell and Rufus Wainwright. Ticket information and other details are available here.

As part of our birthday celebration, we’ll also have an amazing ticket offer for some of the Festival’s 2013 Shakespeare plays!

2013-FB-BdayBard Get A or B seats for any May or June performance of Romeo and Juliet or Measure for Measure for the cost of a C seat – that’s just $49! But you’ll have to hurry – this great offer is only available from April 23 at 12:01 a.m. until April 24 at midnight, and only using Stratford Social Ticketing on the Festival’s Facebook page.

What can you expect from Romeo and Juliet and Measure for Measure?

Director and Shakespeare aficionado Tim Carroll joins us this season to direct the most powerful love story ever told, Romeo and Juliet.  Mr. Carroll’s extensive work on original practice at the Globe theatre in London has been widely praised by critics and fans alike, and we’re thrilled to have him back at the Festival this season directing a period production of Romeo and Juliet (he also directed Peter Pan in 2010). Festival favourite Sara Topham will play Juliet alongside a new face this season, Daniel Briere as Romeo.

Learn more about Daniel in this exclusive interview!

Martha Henry makes her directorial return this season with Measure for Measure. Ms Henry’s film noir-inspired version of Measure will explore Shakespeare’s “problem” play in the world of 1940s Vienna. Measure’s star-studded cast includes Tom Rooney as Angelo, Stephen Ouimette as Lucio, Geraint Wyn Davies as Duke Vincentio and Carmen Grant in her break-out role as Isabella.

Read more about this year’s production of Measure for Measure.

To celebrate the birthday Bard with $49 tickets…

*Promotion not available on previously purchased tickets or in conjunction with any other offer. Offer is only redeemable through Stratford Social Ticketing on the Festival’s Facebook page and cannot be used to purchase A+ tickets. May expire without notice. Some conditions apply.

Two performances of Mary Stuart added to 2013 schedule

March 26, 2013… The Stratford Festival is taking action to meet growing demand for what is shaping up to be one of the season’s hottest tickets, Mary Stuart, with a quarter of performances already sold out.

Matinee performances of Mary Stuart have been added to the 2013 schedule on August 27 and September 20. Tickets are available online and through the box office.

“This rarely performed play explores the fascinating relationship between two iconic figures from history – Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth I – and features two of Canada’s finest actors, Seana McKenna and Lucy Peacock,” says Executive Director Anita Gaffney. “It is the first production directed by Antoni Cimolino since he took over as Artistic Director. His production of Cymbeline was one of the highlights of last season – and we had to schedule additional performances of it as well.

“Antoni has assembled a playbill that connects through themes of ‘community’ and in Mary Stuart we are swept away by the political and religious forces that envelop this world. It will be interesting to see this play alongside some other selections in the season that expose these same forces, such as Measure for Measure, Othello and The Three Musketeers.”

Mary Stuart features Ms Peacock in the title role and Ms McKenna as Elizabeth I. Joining them are Ben Carlson as Lord Burleigh, Brian Dennehy as the Earl of Shrewsbury and Geraint Wyn Davies as the Earl of Leicester.

The play, by Friedrich Schiller, follows a period in the life of Mary Stuart, when the former Queen of Scots has been imprisoned in England because her very existence poses a political and personal risk to her Protestant cousin, Elizabeth I. As Elizabeth hesitates over decreeing her rival’s fate, Mary pleads for a face-to-face meeting, and we see how religion can become a tool in the hands of cynical politicians who are willing to sacrifice lives in the supposed interests of the state.

A number of events relating to Mary Stuart are being presented at the Festival’s new Forum, a series of thought-provoking and entertaining events planned to enrich the play-going experience. They include:

  • Dear Mary, Dear Elizabeth, in which Ms McKenna and Ms Peacock present readings of the letters of Mary Stuart and Elizabeth I, introduced and contextualized by Dr. Ted McGee. In the Studio Theatre on June 28 at 5:30 p.m., July 26 at 11 a.m., and August 31 at 11 a.m. $15.
  • Table Talk, a buffet lunch followed by a talk on Mary Stuart by David G. John of the University of Waterloo. In the Paul D. Fleck Marquee on July 9 at 11:30 a.m. $37, with a cash bar.
  • The Power of Women / Women in Power, a panel featuring author, playwright and activist Susan G. Cole, scholar Margaret Jane Kidnie and others. In the Studio Theatre Annex on August 18, 5:30 p.m. $10.

The 2013 season begins on April 23 and runs until October 20, featuring Romeo and JulietFiddler on the RoofThe Three MusketeersThe Merchant of VeniceTommyBlithe SpiritOthelloMeasure for MeasureMary StuartWaiting for Godot and two new Canadian plays, Taking Shakespeare and The Thrill. To order tickets, call 1.800.567.1600 or visit www.stratfordfestival.ca.

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