Second annual Shakespeare Slam features Paul Gross, Steven Page, Hawksley Workman | Toronto event offers an evening of music and spirited debate

March 10, 2014Paul Gross, Steven Page and Hawksley Workman are headlining the Stratford Festival Forum’s Shakespeare Slam on Wednesday, April 23, at Toronto’s Koerner Hall. This celebration marking Shakespeare’s 450th birthday will be hosted by Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, and will showcase the Festival’s 2014 season theme of Madness: Minds Pushed to the Edge.

Two teams of spirited debaters will square off on whether madness is inherent in the artistic process. On the one side are actor Paul Gross, famed for his portrayal of Slings and Arrows’ mentally overwrought artistic director Geoffrey Tennant, and Lisa Brown, founder and executive/artistic director of Workman Arts, which celebrates and promotes the work of artists living with mental-health and addiction issues.

Opposing them are Juno Award-winning musician, Festival composer and renowned troubadour Steven Page and the Festival’s resident Rhodes Scholar, the hilarious and erudite David Goldbloom, who, in addition to being past chair of the Festival’s Board, is the senior medical advisor for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and the chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Once they’ve hashed things over, the music begins! Hawksley Workman takes centre stage with his own brand of musical performance that is certain to leave you wanting more – which you’ll be able to find in Stratford, September 11 to 20, when he presents his Bacchae-inspired cabaret The God That Comes at the Forum.

Steven Page will also offer up one of his exuberant musical performances, featuring songs combining humour and pathos in a memorable exploration of the evening’s theme.

The event culminates in a truly joyous grand finale, featuring Slam headliners and members of the Festival company.

Tickets for the Shakespeare Slam go on sale March 11. They are priced from $39 to $54, with a student price of $29. To purchase, call the Stratford Festival box office at 1.800.567.1600. Tickets are also available through Koerner Hall.

The Shakespeare Slam serves as the launch of the Stratford Festival Forum, which will present more than 200 events this season, including featured speakers Margaret Trudeau, Jian Ghomeshi, Muhammad Robert Heft and Camille Paglia, as well as concerts, comedy shows, screenings and performance showcases exploring the playbill and the theme of Minds Pushed to the Edge.

The Stratford Festival Forum is very pleased to welcome Bell Let’s Talk as a new partner and the Host Sponsor for the Shakespeare Slam as well as selected Forum events that focus on mental health throughout the 2014 season.

Sustaining support for the Forum is generously provided by Kelly & Michael Meighen and the T.R. Meighen Foundation.

Support for the 2014 Forum is generously provided by Nandita & Julian Wise.

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Press Release | Stratford Festival extends two Shakespeares | Venue set for Peter Sellars’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

February 24, 2014… The 2014 season is off to a strong start, with brisk advance ticket sales. To meet demand, the Stratford Festival is adding performances of Antony and Cleopatra and A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Chamber Play.

“It is encouraging to see such strong endorsement at our box office this early in the season,” says Executive Director Anita Gaffney. “And we’re delighted that the first shows we’ve had to extend are two of our Shakespeare offerings – very fitting as we mark the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth this year.”

“We have presented Antony and Cleopatra just four other times in our history,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. “Audience members who have been eagerly awaiting a Stratford Festival production of this title will be justly rewarded. We could not hope for two more passionate and charismatic actors to play the title roles than Geraint Wyn Davies and Yanna McIntosh.

“The demand for Peter Sellars’s re-imagined Dream also speaks to the fact that our audiences are actively seeking out Shakespeare productions that they cannot see anywhere else. The Chamber Dream promises to delight and challenge theatregoers with a new take on a Shakespearean favourite.”

In this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream four actors – Sarah Afful, Dion Johnstone, Trish Lindström and Mike Nadajewski – will explore the multiple worlds of Shakespeare’s play. It will reflect on Shakespeare’s intertwining of pagan and Christian spirituality and venture into the inner realms of the play’s supernatural elements.

Community-based venue confirmed

for A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Chamber Play

The Festival has confirmed that A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Chamber Play will be staged in Stratford’s Masonic Concert Hall, located downtown, at 15 Church Street, across from the library and court house.

“The Masons were very quick to support our use of the venue, and we give them our thanks,” says Ms Gaffney. “They have agreed to complete a number of renovations to make the building accessible, including adding a ramp and accessible washroom, renovations that will be of great benefit to the community and all those who wish to use the facility in the future.”

The idea of presenting the show in a non-traditional venue was central to the vision of director Peter Sellars. He feels that the venue’s location in a combined commercial-residential neighbourhood makes it a perfect choice and he is delighted that the Masons are enthusiastic about making improvements to the building for its future use.

Performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Chamber Play, directed by Peter Sellars, have been added as follows:

  • Friday, August 1, at 2 p.m.
  • Friday, August 8, at 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 14, at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, August 22, at 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 28, at 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 11, at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, September 19, at 2 p.m.

The following performances of Antony and Cleopatra, directed by Gary Griffin, have been added:

  • Friday, August 22, at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, August 29, at 2 p.m.
  • Friday, September 5, at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 13, at 8 p.m.

Tickets for these additional performances will go on sale to the public at 9 a.m. on February 26, with advance sales to Members of the Stratford Festival beginning at the same time on February 25. Call the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit www.stratfordfestival.ca to purchase.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Chamber Play is sponsored by BMO Financial Group.

Production support for Antony and Cleopatra is generously provided by M.E.H. Foundation. Support for the 2014 season of the Tom Patterson Theatre is generously provided by Richard Rooney & Laura Dinner.

The 2014 season of the Stratford Festival runs from April 21 to October 12, featuring King Lear; Crazy for You; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Beaux’ Stratagem; Man of La Mancha; Alice Through the Looking-Glass; Hay Fever; King John; Mother Courage and Her Children; Antony and Cleopatra; Christina, The Girl King; A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Chamber Play; and more than 150 events in the Stratford Festival Forum.

Press Release: Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction welcomes new participants for 2014 session

February 14, 2014… The Stratford Festival welcomes five new directors to the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction, along with three directors returning to the program for a second year.

New to the workshop are Christine Brubaker, Jessica Carmichael, Brett Christopher, Krista Jackson and Rona Waddington. Returning for a second season are Kevin Bennett, Mitchell Cushman and Birgit Schreyer Duarte.

The workshop, now in its fifth year, is intended for directors in the early and middle stages of their careers who have had some experience working with the classics, but not at a theatre of the complexity and scope of the Festival.

Participants will serve as assistant directors and are given the opportunity to showcase their work by presenting a classical piece of their own choosing to an invited audience later in the season. They will also participate in classes in text, voice, movement and other disciplines held by the Festival’s Coaching Department.

“I am delighted with the quality of the participants this year,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. “They come from across Canada and have diverse backgrounds. What unites them is their love for theatre and a record of early accomplishments, which promises much for the future. I welcome them to Stratford.”

The workshop is overseen by Mr. Cimolino and Theatre Training Consultant David Latham. Associate Producer Bonnie Green is the coordinator of the program.

The Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction is generously supported by Johanna Metcalf, the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation and The Philip and Berthe Morton Foundation. The workshop is sponsored by the RBC Emerging Artist Project.

Participants’ Biographies

Kevin Bennett

Second season: Assistant director of King John. Stratford: The Three Musketeers (assistant director), Macbeth (Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction Directors’ Workshop Presentation). Vancouver: Directing: Measure for Measure (Pacific Theatre); King Lear, Hamlet (The Honest Fishmongers); Fallout, Treasure Island (Studio 58); The Loudest Silence, 7 Stories (Templeton Secondary School); Cold Comfort, The Woman in Black (Yogurt Theatre); The Priory (United Players of Vancouver); Macbeth, Pet Stories (Limbo Circus Theatre); To Sea, or Not to Sea (Burnaby Summer Theatre); Paper Boats (Walking Fish Festival). Assistant director: She Stoops to Conquer (Arts Club); Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing (Bard on the Beach); NiX (The Only Animal, Cultural Olympiad); The Merchant of Venice, Heptademic, The Winter’s Tale, Lot’s Wife (Studio 58). Training: Graduate of Studio 58; RADA’s How to Rehearse directing course.

Christine Brubaker

Stratford debut: Assistant director of Alice Through the Looking-Glass. Elsewhere: An award-winning actor, director and teacher, Christine has performed nationally and internationally. She just completed a season in the National Arts Centre’s acting ensemble: Tartuffe, The Sound of Music and Enron. Acting: Fear of Flight (Artistic Fraud); The Vaudevilles of Chekhov (NAC); The Penelopiad (Dora Award) and The Danish Play (Nightwood Theatre); The Comedy of Errors (Canadian Stage); The Trials of John Demjanjuk (Theatre Asylum); The Babysitter (Theatre Direct – Dora Award); Schoolhouse (Festival Players PEC). Directing: Much Ado About Nothing (Nightwood Theatre); Madhouse Variations and Doc Wuthergloom’s Haunted Medicine Show (Eldritch Theatre – resident director); Elle (Lab Cab). Assistant Director: Cinderella (YPT), Measure for Measure (Ryerson), Metamorphoses (NAC). Training: National Theatre School, University of Waterloo, MFA Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College. Awards: Fox Fellow. Et cetera: Christine is a regular instructor at Humber and Sheridan colleges.

Jessica Carmichael

Stratford debut: Assistant director of Christina, The Girl King. Elsewhere: Selected directing: Good Grief (Weesageechak Festival-26 – Native Earth Performing Arts); girls!girls!girls! (co-director, SummerWorks); The Ghost Sonata – an adaptation (Studio Theatre); Juliet – an adaptation, Skylight (UofA); The Sophocles Project (RADA). Assistant directing: Yellow Moon: The Ballad of Leila and Lee (Studio Theatre); Edward the Second (Jerwood Vanbrugh Studio, U.K.). Has acted with such companies as Theatre Junction, ATP, The Only Animal, Suitcase In Point, Northern Light Theatre. Film/TV: The Reporter, I Think I Do, Heart of the Sun. Recordings: The voice of Tiger Lily on The New Adventures of Peter Pan. Training: MFA in Directing (University of Alberta), MA in Text & Performance Studies (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art/King’s College London), three-year Acting Program (The National Theatre School of Canada). Et cetera: Artistic Associate with Native Earth Performing Arts.

Brett Christopher

Stratford debut: Assistant director of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Elsewhere: Direction: The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, Shakespeare on Love (Theatre by the Bay); The Grandkid, Rat Snake (Theatre Kingston); Munschapalooza (Thousand Islands Playhouse). Performance: Boeing Boeing, The Clockmaker (TIP); Vigil (Theatre Kingston); I Am My Own Wife, Dangerous Liaisons (Segal Theatre); Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare in the Rough); Much Ado About Nothing (Canadian Stage); Family Stories: Belgrade, The Sea (ARC); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It (Theatre by the Bay); The Gladstone Variations, Autoshow (Convergence Theatre); Mary’s Wedding (Theatre & Co.). Training: Queen’s University, George Brown College. Awards: Masques Award and a MECCA Award for his performance in I Am My Own Wife, Segal Centre (Montreal). Et cetera: Brett is the Artistic Producer of Theatre Kingston.

Mitchell Cushman

Second season: Assistant director of The Beaux’ Stratagem. Stratford: Assistant director, The Merchant of Venice. Elsewhere: Directing: Vitals, Terminus, Mr. Marmalade, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Oh the Humanity and Other Good Intentions (Outside the March); New Jerusalem (Harold Green Jewish Theatre); The Last of Romeo and Juliet, Possible Worlds (Talk Is Free Theatre); The Cripple of Inishmaan (Studio Theatre, Edmonton); Oh My Irma (Edmonton Fringe); Seeds (touring director, Crow’s Theatre). Training: MFA in Directing, University of Alberta. Awards: Siminovitch Protégé Award; Dora Award for Outstanding Production (Mr. Marmalade); Toronto Theatre Critics’ Award for Best Director; Ken McDougal Award; SummerWorks Prize for Production (Terminus). Online: www.outsidethemarch.ca. Et cetera: Founding Co-Artistic Director of Outside the March; Associate Artistic Director of Crow’s Theatre; resident artist at Theatre Passe Muraille; faculty member at Act 2 Studio at Ryerson.

Krista Jackson

Stratford debut: Assistant director of Mother Courage and Her Children. Elsewhere: Directing: The Seagull, The Seafarer (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre); Dying to be Thin (Manitoba Theatre for Young People); The Miser of Middlegate (zone41 theatre/Theatre Projects Manitoba); If Men Played Cards as Women Do, Overtones (Shaw Festival); Village Wooing (zone41 theatre). Assistant directing: Hedda Gabler, Misalliance, His Girl Friday (Shaw Festival); The Wizard of Oz (Globe Theatre). Training: Shaw Festival’s Neil Munro Intern Directors Project 2012, Rumble Directors Lab 2013 (Peter Hinton), Ryerson Theatre School. Awards: Gina Wilkinson Prize (2013). Nominated for: John Hirsch Prize (2014), Winnipeg Arts Council’s RBC On the Rise Award (2012). Online: www.zone41.ca. Et cetera: Founding artistic director of zone41 theatre.

Birgit Schreyer Duarte

Second season: Assistant director of King Lear. Stratford: Assistant director, Mary Stuart (2013). Elsewhere: Most recently: Director/translator, Purgatory in Ingleton (Toronto SummerWorks Festival). Upcoming: Assistant director/dramaturge, To a Flame (Swedish/Finnish/Canadian co-production). Director, Little Pea’s Revolution (United Solo, New York); translator, The Test (Company Theatre), Life of Galileo (Small Wooden Shoe); director/translator, Kaspar & the Sea of Houses (SummerWorks); assistant director, The Cosmonaut’s Last Message, intern director, Fernando Krapp Wrote Me This Letter (Canadian Stage). Training: Theatre Ontario Professional Training Program Directing (mentor Josette Bushell-Mingo); University of Toronto (PhD, drama); Munich University (MA, dramaturgy). Awards: SummerWorks Festival Prize for Outstanding Production; nomination, Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize; Government of Canada Research Award. Online: www.birgitschreyerduarte.com. Et cetera: Literary associate, Shaw Festival. Currently: Artistic and dramaturgical consultant, Canadian Stage. Originally from Munich, Germany.

Rona Waddington

Stratford debut: Assistant director of Antony and Cleopatra. Elsewhere: Director: Hamlet (St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival); The Tempest, King Lear (upcoming) (New Open Space Company, Paris); Trying (Centaur Theatre); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Mousetrap, Steel Magnolias (Drayton Entertainment); Dry Streak (Grand Theatre); Apollo of Bellac (Shaw Festival Director’s Project); Oleanna (Sudbury Theatre Centre); Orson’s Shadow (Pilot Group); Chekhov’s The Bear, The SantaLand Diaries, Power Lunch (Lunchbox Theatre); Driving Miss Daisy (Port Stanley Festival Theatre); The Godot Cycle (Toronto Fringe); The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (American Conservatory Theatre, MFA program). Assistant Director: Age of Arousal, The Women (Shaw Festival); Night and Day (American Conservatory Theatre). Resident director: The Railway Children (Marquis/Mirvish). Awards: Ottawa Critic’s Circle Award, Best Director, Hamlet, St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival.

Press Release: Chilina Kennedy withdraws from season Natalie Daradich, Robin Hutton step in

February 12, 2014Chilina Kennedy has had to withdraw from the 2014 season for the happiest of reasons: she and her partner, Jacob James, are expecting a baby. She was to play Polly Baker in Crazy for You and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, but she is now unable to undertake two such physically challenging roles. Ms Kennedy remains a valued member of the Festival family, and plans are underway to include her new concert as part of the 2014 Forum.

Natalie Daradich, most recently seen as Glinda in the U.S. tour of Wicked, will take on the role of Polly Baker. Ms Daradich, whose career took her to New York after she graduated from the Sheridan musical theatre program with Ms Kennedy more than a decade ago, will make her Festival debut in Crazy for You.

Robin Hutton will step into the role of Aldonza in Man of La Mancha and is also playing Irene Roth in Crazy for You.  Ms Hutton shone in the key roles of Louise in the 2012 production of Wanderlust, Irene in 2005’s Hello, Dolly! and Tzeitel in 2000’s Fiddler on the Roof, a musical she returned to last season, playing Rifka. Her other Stratford credits include Tommy, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Henry V, As You Like It and The Three Musketeers.

“We are absolutely delighted that Natalie and Robin are able to take on these roles,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. “They are both exceptionally talented performers whom we are privileged to have on our stages. Our audiences have a real treat in store. I’m so happy for Chilina and look forward to welcoming her back to the company in future seasons.”

The first rehearsal for Crazy for You, directed and choreographed by Donna Feore with musical direction by Shelley Hanson, is on Monday, February 17. The production starts previews on April 21 and opens officially on May 27, running until October 12.

Man of La Mancha, directed by Robert McQueen and choreographed by Marc Kimelman with musical direction by Franklin Brasz, goes into rehearsal on March 1. Previews begin May 8 and the production opens on May 29, running until October 11.

The 2014 season of the Stratford Festival runs from April 21 to October 12, featuring King Lear; Crazy for You; two versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Beaux’ Stratagem; Man of La Mancha; Alice Through the Looking-Glass; Hay Fever; King John; Mother Courage and Her Children; Antony and Cleopatra; Christina, The Girl King; and more than 150 events in The Stratford Festival Forum. Tickets are available through the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or online at www.stratfordfestival.ca.

PRESS RELEASE | Colm Feore returns to play King Lear | Festival announces key casting for 2014

October 22, 2013… Colm Feore will be returning to the Stratford Festival for the first time in five years, to play the title role in King Lear. Directed by Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, it is the production that will open the 2014 season. Mr. Feore will also play Archer in Mr. Cimolino’s production of The Beaux’ Stratagem.

COLM FEORE AS KING LEAR.  PHOTO BY DON DIXON.

COLM FEORE AS KING LEAR.
PHOTO BY DON DIXON.

Mr. Feore joins an outstanding group of lead and principal players, including: Graham Abbey, Sarah Afful, Maev Beaty, Evan Buliung, Ben Carlson, Patricia Collins, Cynthia Dale, Sara Farb, Josh Franklin, Jonathan Goad, Martha Henry, Brad Hodder, Bethany Jillard, Dion Johnstone, Chilina Kennedy, Trish Lindström, Tom McCamus, Yanna McIntosh, Seana McKenna, Mike Nadajewski, Stephen Ouimette, Lucy Peacock, Chick Reid, Liisa Repo-Martell, Tom Rooney, Tara Rosling, Steve Ross, Mike Shara, Brian Tree, Scott Wentworth, Geraint Wyn Davies and Jenny Young.

“I am delighted that Colm is able to be with us to take on the commanding role of Lear,” says Mr. Cimolino. “2014 promises to be a thrilling year onstage. We have in our leading roles a number of actors who are at the height of their powers. This extraordinary ensemble will give us moments of both cathartic sadness and giddy joy as we explore the many faces of madness presented through this playbill.”

FESTIVAL THEATRE

SUPPORT FOR THE 2014 SEASON OF THE FESTIVAL THEATRE IS GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY CLAIRE AND DANIEL BERNSTEIN

Stephen Ouimette to play the Fool to Colm Feore’s Lear

KING LEAR | BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE | DIRECTED BY ANTONI CIMOLINO
FESTIVAL THEATRE
PREVIEWS START MAY 5 | OPENS MAY 26 | CLOSES OCTOBER 10
PRODUCTION SPONSOR: SUN LIFE FINANCIAL
PRODUCTION SUPPORT: JANE PETERSEN-BURFIELD & FAMILY, CECIL & LINDA RORABECK,
BARBARA & JOHN SCHUBERT AND CATHERINE & DAVID WILKES

Stephen Ouimette will play the Fool to Colm Feore’s Lear in Antoni Cimolino’s production of King Lear, which will officially open the 2014 Stratford Festival on May 26.

Scott Wentworth, who starred as Tevye, Shylock and Capulet in 2013, will return to play Gloucester. Evan Buliung will play his son, Edgar, and Brad Hodder, his bastard son, Edmund. Jonathan Goad will play the Earl of Kent.

After making her Stratford debut as Shylock’s daughter, Jessica, Sara Farb will take on the role of Cordelia, while Stratford newcomers Maev Beaty and Liisa Repo-Martell will play Goneril and Regan, respectively.

Audiences have been eagerly awaiting Mr. Feore’s return to the Stratford stage since he starred as Macbeth and Cyrano de Bergerac in 2009. In addition to those title roles, he has also played Don Juan, Coriolanus, Hamlet, Romeo and Richard III. In fact, with Lear, he will have played as many title roles at Stratford as the great Christopher Plummer. His talent crosses not only borders but media, with starring roles in film, television and on stage. His television work includes featured roles in The Borgias, Revolution, The Good Wife and Saving Hope, while his film credits include Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, Clint Eastwood’s Changeling and the Oscar-winning film Chicago, which also won the 2003 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture. He will next be seen in Marc Webb’s upcoming sequel to The Amazing Spiderman.

Josh Franklin and Chilina Kennedy take the leads in Crazy for You

 CRAZY FOR YOU | THE NEW GERSHWIN MUSICAL
MUSIC AND LYRICS BY GEORGE GERSHWIN AND IRA GERSHWIN | BOOK BY KEN LUDWIG
DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY DONNA FEORE | FESTIVAL THEATRE
PREVIEWS START APRIL 21 | OPENS MAY 27 | CLOSES OCTOBER 12
PRODUCTION CO-SPONSOR: UNION GAS LIMITED
PRODUCTION SUPPORT: RIKI TUROFSKY & CHARLES PETERSON

Josh Franklin will make his Stratford debut as Bobby Child and Chilina Kennedy will return to Stratford to play Polly Baker in Donna Feore’s production of Crazy for You. Tom Rooney will play Bela Zangler.

Mr. Franklin is currently starring as Billy Crocker in the first national touring production of Kathleen Marshall’s Tony-winning revival of Anything Goes. His previous credits include the Broadway casts of Anything Goes, Ghost, Legally Blonde and Grease as well as in the first national tours of Jersey Boys, Grease, Disney’s On The Record and All Shook Up. Mr. Franklin has also been seen on television in Gossip Girl, The Tony Awards (2007 and 2011) and A Capitol Fourth alongside Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin and the Sesame Street characters.

Ms Kennedy will be back on the Stratford stage for the first time since her Broadway run as Mary Magdelene in the Festival’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar. She made her Stratford debut in 2009 as Maria in West Side Story and quickly became a Festival favourite, delighting audiences as Evita, Lois Lane in Kiss Me, Kate, Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Rose of Sharon in The Grapes of Wrath. Last winter, Ms Kennedy played Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest at the Neptune Theatre, and recently finished a run of the world première of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, in which she originated the role of Phoebe at Hartford Stage and The Old Globe in San Diego. The play was named best new musical of 2012 by The New York Times. This past summer she played the title role in the world première of Evangeline at the Charlottetown Festival.

Stephen Ouimette to play Bottom, with Evan Buliung and Jonathan Goad sharing roles of Titania and Oberon

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM | BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
DIRECTED BY CHRIS ABRAHAM | FESTIVAL THEATRE
PREVIEWS START MAY 16 | OPENS MAY 31 | CLOSES OCTOBER 11
PRODUCTION SPONSOR: BMO FINANCIAL GROUP
PRODUCTION SUPPORT: LARRY ENKIN & FAMILY IN MEMORY OF SHARON ENKIN,
DRS. M.L. MYERS & THE LATE W.P. HAYMAN AND MARTIE & BOB SACHS 

Chris Abraham’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring Stephen Ouimette as Bottom, will be set in a Stratford garden in the context of a wedding at which the couple’s actor friends present their own version of the play in celebration. The concept leads to some unconventional casting, including the sharing of the roles of Titania and Oberon by Evan Buliung and Jonathan Goad, Chick Reid as Puck and Tara Rosling as Lysander. Hermia will be played by Bethany Jillard, Helena by Liisa Repo-Martell, and Demetrius by Mike Shara. Scott Wentworth will play Theseus.

Mr. Ouimette will celebrate his 20th season at Stratford in 2014, after delighting audiences this season as Lucio in Measure for Measure and Estragon in Waiting for Godot. Recent highlights of his time here include Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Canon Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest and Touchstone in As You Like It. He has directed a number of Stratford productions including Timon of Athens in 2004, and has played the title roles in Hamlet, King John, Amadeus and Richard III, as well as many other leading roles. Mr. Ouimette recently gave an acclaimed performance as Harry Hope in The Iceman Cometh at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy.

Mr. Buliung was last seen at Stratford in 2011 as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath and Roger in The Little Years. In his eight Stratford seasons, Mr. Buliung’s highlights include Mac in King of Thieves, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and Edgar in King Lear, a role that he will return to in 2014. His outstanding stage career includes originating the role of Khashoggi in We Will Rock You in Toronto and Aragorn in the world première of Lord of the Rings, for which he earned a Dora nomination. His other credits include Hanks in Farther West and Jamie in Long Day’s Journey into Night at Soulpepper Theatre, Macduff in Macbeth at Chicago Shakespeare, as well as numerous leading roles at the Shaw Festival.

Mr. Goad has taken on the role of Oberon before – in the Festival’s 2004 production. Needless to say he has not yet played Titania. Mr. Goad’s 2013 season featured three major roles: Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Porthos in The Three Musketeers and Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice. His previous Stratford credits include Harold Hill in The Music Man, Mark Antony in Julius Caesar, Hippolytus in Phèdre, Iago in Othello and Angelo in Measure for Measure. He also has numerous film and television credits, including Nikita, Heartland and Rookie Blue, as well as the recurring role of Christian Doyle on Republic of Doyle.

Colm Feore to be joined by Martha Henry, Lucy Peacock, Mike Shara in The Beaux’ Stratagem

THE BEAUX’ STRATAGEM | BY GEORGE FARQUHAR | DIRECTED BY ANTONI CIMOLINO | FESTIVAL THEATRE
PREVIEWS START JULY 31 | OPENS AUGUST 15 | CLOSES OCTOBER 11
PRODUCTION SUPPORT: SYLVIA D. CHROMINSKA, DR. DENNIS & DOROTHEA HACKER AND DIANA TREMAIN

In addition to playing King Lear, Colm Feore will take a comic turn as Archer in Antoni Cimolino’s production of The Beaux’ Stratagem, the first Restoration comedy presented at the Festival since 1995.

He will be joined by Martha Henry as Lady Bountiful, Lucy Peacock as Mrs. Sullen, and Mike Shara as his sidekick Aimwell. Scott Wentworth will play Mr. Sullen and Bethany Jillard, Dorinda.

Ms Henry, one of Canada’s most celebrated artists, will mark her 40th season in 2014. A Companion of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Ms Henry boasts a career without parallel in this country. Since beginning her Stratford adventure in 1962, Ms Henry has played nearly every female leading role in Shakespeare’s canon, and was seen most recently as the Prof in this season’s beloved production of Taking Shakespeare. Other recent acting credits include Queen Margaret in Richard III, Mme de Rosemonde in Dangerous Liaisons, the Countess of Rosillion in All’s Well That Ends Well and Hecuba in The Trojan Women. Ms Henry is also the Director of the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre.

After her stirring portrayal of Mary Stuart this season, Lucy Peacock will once again collaborate with Mr. Cimolino in 2014. In her 27 seasons, Ms Peacock’s career at Stratford has been studded with extraordinary performances, including Elora in the world première of The Thrill this season as well as Nana in For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, Audrey in As You Like It, Masha in Three Sisters and a tour-de-force performance of all of the characters in The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead. Ms Peacock is also well known as both the Creative Director and host of the popular cabaret series Late Night with Lucy. She will next be seen as Arkadina in The Seagull at the Segal Centre this February.

Since joining the company in 2009, Mr. Shara has quickly become a Festival favourite, with such memorable roles as Roderigo in Othello and Aramis in The Three Musketeers this past season, as well as Cornelius Hackl in The Matchmaker, Christian in Cyrano de Bergerac and Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest. Mr. Shara is a veteran of the Shaw Festival and has performed across the country. His television work includes Murdoch Mysteries, Little Mosque on the Prairie and Queer as Folk.

AVON THEATRE

SUPPORT FOR THE 2014 SEASON OF THE AVON THEATRE IS GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY THE BIRMINGHAM FAMILY.

Tom Rooney to play Cervantes in Man of La Mancha with Chilina Kennedy as Aldonza

MAN OF LA MANCHA
WRITTEN BY DALE WASSERMAN | MUSIC BY MITCH LEIGH | LYRICS BY JOE DARION
DIRECTED BY ROBERT McQUEEN | CHOREOGRAPHED BY MARC KIMELMAN
AVON THEATRE
PREVIEWS START MAY 18 | OPENS MAY 29 | CLOSES OCTOBER 11

Tom Rooney, who in just six seasons has become one of the Festival’s best-loved performers, will play Cervantes in Man of La Mancha. Chilina Kennedy will play Aldonza, in addition to her lead role in Crazy for You. Steve Ross, fresh off his star turns as Uncle Ernie in Tommy and Lazar Wolf in Fiddler on the Roof, will play Sancho.

Mr. Rooney is returning for his seventh season after two acclaimed performances this season, as Angelo in Measure for Measure and Vladimir in Waiting for Godot. Festival audiences have been captivated by his richly drawn portrayals of Ensign Pistol in Henry V, Malvolio in Twelfth Night and Master Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Mr. Rooney also has a storied background in musicals, premièring the role of Robert Service in the new Canadian musical Wanderlust in 2012, and starring as Wilbur in both the Broadway and Toronto productions of Hairspray. His remarkable performance in Kristen Thomson’s Someone Else at Crow’s Theatre this past January earned him the Dora Award for Outstanding Performance.

Trish Lindström to play lead in star-studded Alice

SCHULICH CHILDREN’S PLAYS PRESENTS
ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS | BY LEWIS CARROLL
ADAPTED FOR THE STAGE BY JAMES REANEY | DIRECTED BY JILLIAN KEILEY
AVON THEATRE
PREVIEWS START APRIL 30 | OPENS MAY 31 | CLOSES OCTOBER 12

Trish Lindström, last seen at the Festival as Miranda to Christopher Plummer’s Prospero, will return to Stratford to play the title role in Alice Through the Looking-Glass. She will be joined by Cynthia Dale as the Red Queen, Dion Johnstone as the White King, Tom McCamus as the March Hare and Brian Tree as Humpty Dumpty.

In just three seasons at Stratford, Ms Lindström has given many memorable performances in addition to her Miranda, including Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, Louise in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Lucetta in The Two Gentleman of Verona. Her extensive stage career includes Helen in Bloodless: Trial of Burke and Hare at Theatre 20, Catherine Givings in In the Next Room or the vibrator play at Tarragon Theatre and Titania/Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Soulpepper Theatre, as well as Squeaky Fromme in Assassins at TIFT/Birdland and the title role in Mimi at Tarragon, both of which earned her Dora Award nominations.

Hay Fever to feature Lucy Peacock and Cynthia Dale

 HAY FEVER | BY NOËL COWARD | DIRECTED BY ALISA PALMER | AVON THEATRE
PREVIEWS START MAY 28 | OPENS JUNE 19 | CLOSES OCTOBER 11
PRODUCTION SUPPORT: M. VAILE FAINER AND BARBARA & CHIP VALLIS

Lucy Peacock continues her comic bent in 2014 playing Judith Bliss in the sparkling Noël Coward play Hay Fever. Cynthia Dale, last seen as Dorothy Brock in the 2012 hit 42nd Street, will play Myra Arundel.

Throughout her 11 seasons, Ms Dale has played many memorable leading roles including Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Maria in The Sound of Music, Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Guenevere in Camelot, Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew. A true triple sensation, Ms Dale has worked extensively in theatre from Toronto to New York and on screen in countless television and film productions. Her wildly popular cabaret Cynthia Dale in Concert: Outside Looking In was a highlight of the Festival’s inaugural Forum this season.

TOM PATTERSON THEATRE

SUPPORT FOR THE 2014 SEASON OF THE TOM PATTERSON THEATRE IS GENEROUSLY PROVIDED
BY RICHARD ROONEY AND LAURA DINNER

Tom McCamus to play King John with Seana McKenna as Constance

 KING JOHN | BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE | DIRECTED BY TIM CARROLL
TOM PATTERSON THEATRE
PREVIEWS START MAY 21 | OPENS MAY 28 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 20
PRODUCTION SUPPORT: KARON BALES & CHARLES BEALL

Tim Carroll’s production of King John will feature Tom McCamus in the title role and will have him once more sharing the stage with Seana McKenna, who will play Constance. The two were seen together most recently in The Matchmaker and Dangerous Liaisons.

Graham Abbey, after his gripping portrayal of Iago in this season’s Othello, will play the Bastard. Patricia Collins, whose 2013 credits include a heart-rending portrayal of Hanna in The Thrill, will play Queen Eleanor.

A stalwart of the Festival stage, Mr. McCamus has given audiences a string of powerful and memorable performances, most recently including Antonio in The Merchant of Venice, Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet, Iachimo in Cymbeline, Tim Casey in The Grapes of Wrath and Le Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons. His beautifully drawn comedic characters include Horace Vandergelder in The Matchmaker, Captain Hook in Peter Pan and Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor. His career at Stratford stretches back to 1994, when he made his unforgettable debut as Edmund Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey into Night.

Seana McKenna to play Mother Courage; joined by Geraint Wyn Davies and Ben Carlson

MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN | BY BERTOLT BRECHT
DIRECTED BY MARTHA HENRY | TOM PATTERSON THEATRE
PREVIEWS START MAY 15 | OPENS MAY 30 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 21
PRODUCTION SUPPORT: THE HARKINS FAMILY IN MEMORY OF SUSAN HARKINS AND ALICE & TIM THORNTON

Director Martha Henry says there aren’t many actresses who can take on the role of Mother Courage, but we are extremely fortunate to have such an extraordinary talent in Seana McKenna. Ms McKenna will be joined in this production by two other exceptional performers, Geraint Wyn Davies, in the role of the Cook, and Ben Carlson as the Chaplain.

After her gripping portrayal of Elizabeth in this season’s sold-out production of Mary Stuart, Ms McKenna will return for her 23rd season in 2014. Her distinguished career includes searing portrayals of some of dramatic literature’s most tragic figures, including Medea, Andromache, Phèdre, Clytemestra and Richard III. Highly regarded for her remarkable versatility, Ms McKenna has also turned in a number of memorable comedic performances, most recently including the hilarious Madame Arcati in this season’s Blithe Spirit and Dolly Levi in The Matchmaker. She has played every one of Shakespeare’s leading ladies, many of them here at Stratford, as well as his wife, Anne Hathaway, in the one-woman show Shakespeare’s Will.

Mr. Carlson will mark his seventh season at Stratford in 2014, after delighting audiences this season as Lord Burleigh in Mary Stuart and Charles in Blithe Spirit. Highlights of his time at the Festival include Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Fluellen in Henry V, Feste in Twelfth Night, Touchstone in As You Like It, Brutus in Julius Caesar and the title role in Hamlet. He has worked throughout Canada and the United States, and spent 12 seasons at the Shaw Festival, where he is well remembered for his marathon Man and Superman, The Return of the Prodigal and All My Sons, among many other performances.

Geraint Wyn Davies and Yanna McIntosh are Antony and Cleopatra

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA | BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE | DIRECTED BY GARY GRIFFIN
TOM PATTERSON THEATRE
PREVIEWS START AUGUST 3 | OPENS AUGUST 14 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 20
PRODUCTION SUPPORT: M.E.H. FOUNDATION

Geraint Wyn Davies and Yanna McIntosh will once again share the stage, this time as Shakespeare’s great lovers Antony and Cleopatra, under the direction of Gary Griffin. They were last seen together in 2012, as Cymbeline and his Queen, and in 2009, as Julius Caesar and Calphurnia.

The production will also feature Ben Carlson as Octavius and Tom McCamus as Enobarbus.

Mr. Wyn Davies, featured this year as Duke Vincentio in Measure for Measure and the Earl of Leicester in Mary Stuart, as well as in the Forum series Geraint Wyn Davies Presents… “Wordplay,” will return to the Festival for his 11th season. He began his Stratford career in 1986, playing the title role in Pericles and Antipholus of Syracuse in The Boys from Syracuse, and quickly became a true Festival favourite. His most recent triumphs include Cymbeline, Stephano in The Tempest, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Polonius in Hamlet 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 on ReGenesis, Republic of Doyle, 24, Slings and Arrows, Airwolf and Forever Knight.

Returning for her ninth season, Ms McIntosh was last in the company in 2012, with key roles in two of the season’s most highly lauded productions, playing the Queen in Cymbeline and a powerful and highly original Elektra. Her Stratford credits also include Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, Grace in The Little Years, Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Lady Macbeth, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Helen in The Trojan Woman 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. She was recently nominated for the Christopher Plummer Fellowship Award of Excellence.

STUDIO THEATRE

 Newcomer Jenny Young to play Queen Christina
CHRISTINA, THE GIRL KING
BY MICHEL MARC BOUCHARD | TRANSLATED BY LINDA GABORIAU
DIRECTED BY VANESSA PORTEOUS | STUDIO THEATRE
PREVIEWS START JULY 29 | OPENS AUGUST 14 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 21 

Jenny Young will make her Stratford debut as the androgynous, free-thinking monarch in Michel Marc Bouchard’s Christina, The Girl King, translated by Linda Gaboriau and directed by Vanessa Porteous. The production also features Graham Abbey as Count Johan Oxenstierna.

A graduate of Studio 58 in Vancouver, Ms Young was most recently seen in the critically acclaimed satire Proud, at Ottawa’s Great Canadian Theatre Company. Her other stage credits include Frieda in The Clockmaker at the Thousand Islands Playhouse, Rhoda Dunn in The Age of Arousal at the Shaw Festival, Karen in And So It Goes at the Factory Theatre and a Maid in the world première of Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, a co-production between The Royal Shakespeare Company and the Canadian National Arts Centre. She also played Ernestine in The Anger in Ernest & Ernestine at Theatre Columbus, for which she earned a Dora Nomination for Outstanding Performance.

Sarah Afful, Dion Johnstone, Trish Lindström, Mike Nadajewski present the Chamber Dream

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, A CHAMBER PLAY | BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
DIRECTED BY PETER SELLARS
LOCATION STILL TO BE REVEALED
PREVIEWS START JULY 11 | OPENS JULY 24 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 20 

This intimate production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, reimagined by director Peter Sellars, will feature a group of four actors playing all of the roles: Sarah Afful, Dion Johnstone, Trish Lindström and Mike Nadajewski.

Returning for her third season, Ms Afful is a recent graduate of the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre. This season, she played Mariana in Measure for Measure and appeared in Mary Stuart. Her previous Stratford credits include roles in Elektra and The Pirates of Penzance. Ms Afful’s other credits include Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing and Octavia/Iris in Antony and Cleopatra at Bard on the Beach, as well as roles in Macbeth: nach Shakespeare at Theatre Conspiracy/Gas Heart, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at Pound of Flesh/Pacific Theatre and The Eighth Land at PI Theatre. Her film and television career includes roles on Smallville, Caprica, Eureka, The Perfect Score and American Dreams.

Hot off his searing portrayal of Othello, Dion Johnstone will return to participate in Mr. Sellars’s innovative Dream project. Audiences will remember him from another Stratford Dream, the 2009 production in which he played Oberon. His other memorable performances here include Aaron in Titus Andronicus, Caliban in The Tempest, Macduff in Macbeth, Edmund in King Lear and Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird. Mr. Johnstone has a vast television career as well, including roles on Flashpoint, Defiance, The Listener and Stargate SG-1.

Mike Nadajewski will celebrate his fifth season in 2014, after delighting audiences as Peter in Romeo and Juliet and Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof this season. His Stratford highlights include Mordred in Camelot, Mike in Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris and Amiens in As You Like It. He will also be remembered for playing Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar, a role which he reprised on Broadway and at La Jolla Playhouse, and Hero in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which he reprised in a Mirvish production in Toronto. A graduate of the Birmingham Conservatory, Mr. Nadajewski is also the co-founder of Talk Is Free Theatre.

Tickets for the 2014 season will go on sale to Members of the Stratford Festival on November 11, 2013, and to the general public on January 4, 2014. To purchase tickets at that time, visit stratfordfestival.ca or call the box office at 1.800.567.1600.

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