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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Graham Abbey returns to join cast of Cymbeline; Ensemble named for The War of 1812


[Press Release] November 29, 2011… As key casting for 2012 nears completion, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival is delighted to announce that GrahamAbbey will return to the company to play Posthumus in Cymbeline. Also returning for the 60th season are Nigel Bennett, DanChameroy, Josh Epstein, Kyle Golemba, Gabrielle Jones, Nora McLellan, Timothy D. Stickney, Brian Tree and Geoffrey Tyler.

The following actors will make up the ensemble of The War of 1812: Paul Braunstein, Greg Campbell, Richard Alan Campbell, Mac Fyfe, Jacob James, Linda Prystawska and Michaela Washburn.

They join the following actors, previously announced for the 2012 season: Sean Arbuckle, John Beale, Richard Binsley, Kyle Blair, James Blendick, Skye Brandon, Andrew Broderick, Ben Carlson, Juan Chioran, Laura Condlln, Naomi Costain, Cynthia Dale, Deborah Hay, Randy Hughson, Peter Hutt, Robin Hutton, Bethany Jillard, Aaron Krohn, Ian Lake, Daniel MacIvor, Tom McCamus, Yanna McIntosh, Seana McKenna, Rick Miller, Alon Nashman, Stephen Patterson, Lucy Peacock, Erica Peck, Christopher Plummer, Gareth Potter, Cara Ricketts, Tom Rooney, Steve Ross, Andrea Runge, Tyrone Savage, Mike Shara, E.B. Smith, Ken James Stewart, John Vickery, Amy Wallis, Geraint Wyn Davies and Kevin Yee.

Graham Abbey
Graham Abbey, who will also play Aigisthos in Elektra, first joined the Festival company as a child actor in 1982 and returned as a leading player in the late 1990s. He played the title roles in Henry V, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Henry VIII, and was featured in other key Shakespearean roles, including Ferdinand in The Tempest, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Prince Hal in Henry IV (Parts 1 and 2),  Jaques in As You Like It, and Tullus Aufidius in Coriolanus. His other roles at Stratford include Happy in Death of a Salesman, Algernon Montford in the four-act version of The Importance of Being Earnest, D’Artagnan in The Three Musketeers and Warwick in The Lark. Mr. Abbey has a number of film and television credits and won a Dora Award for his portrayal of Prince-Don-Squeeze-the-Charming in Ross Petty’s Snow White and the Magnificent Seven.

Nigel Bennett returns for a third season to play Caius Lucius in Cymbeline. Seen this past season as Doctor Caius in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Lord Hastings in Richard III, Mr. Bennett made his Stratford debut in 2010 as Bill Jukes in Peter Pan and Brown in King of Thieves. A Gemini Award-winning actor, Mr. Bennett has extensive film and television credits, including The Border, Lexx, Forever Knight, At the Hotel, Psi Factor, Strike, Murder at 1600, The Skulls, Narrow Margin, Murdoch Mysteries, The Kennedys, Counterstrike and The Sea Wolf. His stage credits include, among others, That Face for Nightwood Theatre, Medea for MTC/Mirvish, Scrooge, Art, Closer, Hamlet, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Retreat from Moscow, A Few Good Men, The Price, The Goat, The Sound of Music, Blue/Orange and Betrayal for the Neptune Theatre and The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole for Wyndham’s Theatre in the West End.

Brian Tree will also join the company of Cymbeline, playing Pisanio. His Stratford credits over 22 years include Dubois in The Misanthrope, Adam in As You Like It, Old Shepherd/Archidamus in The Winter’s Tale, Humphrey Wasp in Bartholomew Fair, Erronius in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Costard in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Touchstone in As You Like It, Stephano in The Tempest, Joxer Daly in Juno and the Paycock, Mr. Dussel in The Diary of Anne Frank, Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, Dolly Spanker in London Assurance, Oswald in King Lear, which also toured to New York’s Lincoln Center, Caversham in An Ideal Husband, Holofernes in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and many others. In addition to his work on the stage, Mr. Tree has appeared in Billable Hours, La Femme Nikita, Traders, Forever Knight, Street Legal and eight productions of A Taste of Shakespeare.

Cymbeline will also feature Tom McCamus as Iachimo, Cara Ricketts as Imogen and Geraint Wyn Davies as Cymbeline, with Ian Lake as Arviragus, Yanna McIntosh as the Queen, Mike Shara as Cloten, E.B. Smith as Guiderius and John Vickery as Belarius.

Production support for Cymbeline is generously provided by Barbara and John Schubert and Diana Tremain.

Dan Chameroy to play McGrew in Robert Service musical

Dan Chameroy will return for his 11th season to play McGrew in Wanderlust, the new musical about poet Robert Service. This past season he played Ensign Pistol in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Sir Dinadan in Camelot. His other Stratford credits include Polixenes in The Winter’s Tale, William and Charles in As You Like It, Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Martin in Palmer Park, Curly in Oklahoma!, Father Karolyi in Pentacost, Posthumus in Cymbeline and Lancelot in Camelot. Mr. Chameroy’s other credits include Plumbum in Robin Hood at the Elgin Theatre, The Magic Fire and High Society at the Shaw Festival, The Drowsy Chaperone at the Winter Garden and Into the Woods at Canadian Stage. He has a number of film and television credits and is a Dora Award winner for his portrayal of the Beast in Beauty and the Beast at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

Wanderlust will also feature Robin Hutton as Louise and Tom Rooney as Robert Service, with Randy Hughson as Mr. McGee and Lucy Peacock as Mrs. Munsch.

The production sponsor of Wanderlust is CIBC. Production support is generously provided by Martie and Bob Sachs.

Josh Epstein and Nora McLellan join The Matchmaker

Josh Epstein will return for his second season to play Barnaby Tucker in The Matchmaker and Nora McLellan will return to play Flora Van Huysen. Mr. Epstein made his Stratford debut in 2011 in The Grapes of Wrath and Titus Andronicus and as a member of the Birmingham Conservatory. His credits elsewhere include Barfee in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Belfry/Arts Club); Freddy in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Vancouver Playhouse, Jessie and Ovation nominee); Leo in The Producers (Arts Club, Ovation Award); Studies in Motion (Electric Company, Canadian tour); The Drowsy Chaperone (Canadian tour); Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors (Stage West); Death of a Salesman (Theatre Aquarius); The Lord of the Rings (Mirvish Productions); Bard on the Beach (three seasons); and a European tour of his solo show.  Mr. Epstein is a two-time Jessie acting nominee with several TV and film credits and an award-winning playwright and filmmaker.

In three seasons at Stratford, Ms McLellan has taken on such roles as Myrna in King of Thieves, Fräulein Schneider in Cabaret, Athena in The Trojan Women, Aunt Eller in Oklahoma! and Anna Jedlikova in Pentecost. A veteran of 22 seasons at the Shaw Festival, Ms McLellan has also recently appeared in such productions as August: Osage County and The Drowsy Chaperone at the Vancouver Playhouse, For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again at Persephone Theatre and Harvey at Montreal’s Segal Centre. She won a Dora Award for her performance in Music for Contortionist at the Tarragon Theatre and du Maurier World Stage and a Jessie Award for her portrayal of Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The Matchmaker will also feature Tom McCamus as Horace Vandergelder, Seana McKenna as Dolly Levi, Laura Condlln as Irene Molloy, Mike Shara as Cornelius Hackl and Geraint Wyn Davies as Malachi Stack, with Skye Brandon as Ambrose Kemper, Cara Ricketts as Ermengarde and Andrea Runge as Minnie Fay.

Production support for The Matchmaker is generously provided by Jennifer Surridge in memory of Robertson Davies.

42nd Street to feature Kyle Golemba, Gabrielle Jones, Geoffrey Tyler

Kyle Golemba, retuning for his fifth season, will play Andy Lee in 42nd Street. He will be joined by Gabrielle Jones as Maggie and Geoffrey Tyler as Bert Barry. This season Mr. Golemba was seen as Thomas in Jesus Christ Superstar and the Bookkeeper in The Grapes of Wrath. His other credits at Stratford include Gremio in Kiss Me, Kate, A-rab in West Side Story, Evita, Fuente Ovejuna, The Music Man and Cyrano de Bergerac, as well as several understudy performances as Che in Evita and Bill in Kiss Me, Kate. Mr. Golemba also appeared in the Toronto transfer of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. His other credits include Gilbert in Anne of Green Gables for Stage West, Rolf in The Sound of Music for the Neptune Theatre and his all-Canadian cabaret Making Love in a Canoe.

Ms Jones will also play Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance, the play in which she made her Stratford debut, as Billie, in 1994. That same year she also played Daisy and Beetle in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Her other Stratford credits include Hortense in The Boy Friend, Vittoria in The Gondoliers, Maud Dunlop in The Music Man, Lady Anne in Camelot and Lady Montague in Romeo and Juliet. More recently she has been at the Shaw Festival, where, in 12 seasons, her roles have included Mrs. Eynsord-Hill in My Fair Lady, the Countess in The Admirable Crichton, Charlotta in The Cherry Orchard and Mrs. Kramer in One Touch of Venus. Ms Jones enjoyed a long association with the hit musical Mamma Mia!, originating the role of Rosie in the first North American production and U.S. national tour and taking on the role of Donna on tour and in Las Vegas.

After making his Stratford debut in 1992, Mr. Tyler returns for his third season in 2012. He appeared in the Stratford productions of HMS Pinafore, Uncle Vanya, Measure for Measure, Antony and Cleopatra, Gypsy and The Imaginary Invalid. Mr. Tyler’s recent credits elsewhere include Tom Shaw in the Theatre Orangeville production of Ned Durango, Sam in Sitting Pretty for Showboat Festival and the Balladeer in Assassins for Talk Is Free Theatre. He also was a member of the ensemble in Des McAnuff’s production of The Who’s Tommy at the Shaftesbury Theatre in the U.K.

42nd Street will also feature Sean Arbuckle as Julian Marsh, Kyle Blair as Billy Lawlor and Cynthia Dale as Dorothy Brock, with Naomi Costain as Anytime Annie.

The production co-sponsors of 42nd Street are The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company and Union Gas.

Timothy D. Stickney joins cast of Henry V

Timothy D. Stickney, returning for his fourth season, will take on the role of Exeter in Henry V. This past season he was seen as Corporal Nim in The Merry Wives of Windsor and the Sea Captain in Twelfth Night. His other Stratford credits include Sebastian in The Tempest, Thurio in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Banquo in Macbeth, Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Pothinus in Caesar and Cleopatra. His other recent credits include Macbeth at the New York State Theatre Institute, Hamlet for Take Wing and Soar, Oswald in the Public Theater’s 2007 production of King Lear with Kevin Kline, and Escalus in Romeo and Juliet for Central Park’s Delacorte Theater. He is best known on television for playing R.J. Gannon on One Life to Live.

Henry V will feature Aaron Krohn in the title role, with Ben Carlson as Fluellen, Juan Chioran as Montjoy, Deborah Hay as Alice, Lucy Peacock as the Hostess and Tom Rooney as Pistol.

The production sponsor of Henry V is Scotiabank. Production support is generously provided by Claire and Daniel Bernstein, Jane Petersen-Burfield and Family, and Catherine and David Wilkes.

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

Tickets for the 2012 season are now on sale to Members of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and will be available to the general public beginning January 7. To order call 1.800.567.1600 or visit www.stratfordshakespearefestival.com.

The 2012 season features 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.

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