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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Festival announces key casting for 2013

[Press Release]
October 16, 2012… With the 2013 box office opening to Members in just a few weeks, the Stratford Festival is pleased to announce key casting for the 2013 season, featuring the return of many Festival favourites.
Jewelle BlackmanMichelle GirouxJonathan GoadKate HennigDion Johnstone,Jeremy Kushnier, Mike NadajewskiPaul NolanStephen OuimetteSteven SutcliffeSara Topham and Scott Wentworth will be returning to the Festival in 2013, joining current company members Graham AbbeyNigel BennettMichael Blake,James Blendick, Ben CarlsonJacquelyn French, Carmen GrantDeborah Hay,Randy HughsonLuke Humphrey, Peter Hutt, Keely Hutton, Bethany Jillard,Gabrielle JonesIan LakeTom McCamusSeana McKennaLucy PeacockChick Reid, Tom RooneySteve RossStephen RussellMike SharaJennifer Stewart,Brian Tree and Geraint Wyn Davies.
Also joining the company are newcomers Daniel BriereNehassaiu deGannesKira GuloienHannah Miller, Andre Morin and Robert Markus. As previously announced,Brian BedfordBrian Dennehy and Martha Henry will also return in leading roles.
“At the heart of the Festival stand extraordinary artists,” says Antoni Cimolino, who will take over as Artistic Director on November 1. “I am immensely proud of the company we have assembled for the 2013 season, bringing together some of our finest actors as well as some exceptionally promising newcomers. We look forward to working with them to present the most exciting stories ever told.”
Daniel Briere and Sara Topham to play Romeo and Juliet
ROMEO AND JULIET | DIRECTED BY TIM CARROLL | FESTIVAL THEATREPREVIEWS START MAY 1 | OPENS MAY 27 | CLOSES OCTOBER 19PRODUCTION SPONSOR: SUN LIFE FINANCIALPRODUCTION SUPPORT: M. VAILE FAINER


Daniel Briere and Sara Topham will play the title characters in Tim Carroll’s production of Romeo and Juliet. They will be joined by Nehassaiu deGannes as Lady Capulet,Jonathan Goad as Mercutio, Kate Hennig as the Nurse, Tom McCamus as Friar Laurence and Scott Wentworth as Capulet.
Daniel Briere will make his Stratford debut as Romeo. A graduate of the National Theatre School, Mr. Briere has played such roles as Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew and Paris in Romeo and Juliet at Calgary’s Shakespeare in the Park, Borachio in Much Ado About Nothing at Driftwood Theatre, Number One in Lebenstraum at the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre and Art in The Mail Order Bride at the Blyth Festival.
Sara Topham will return for her 13th season to play Juliet. After her Stratford and Broadway turn as Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest, Ms Topham returned to Stratford in 2010 to play Wendy in Peter Pan and La Présidente de Tourvel in Dangerous Liaisons, followed by Olivia in Twelfth Night and Célimène in The Misanthrope in 2011. This past year has seen her in leading roles at the Hartford Stage Company, McCarter Theater Center and Shakespeare Theater Company.  Other key Stratford credits include Miss Mabel Chiltern in An Ideal Husband, Jessica in The Merchant of Venice, Grace Harkaway in London Assurance, Cordelia in King Lear and Rosalind in As You Like It.
Fiddler on the Roof to feature Kate Hennig and Scott Wentworth
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF | DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY DONNA FEORE | FESTIVAL THEATREPREVIEWS START APRIL 23 | OPENS MAY 28 | CLOSES OCTOBER 20PRODUCTION CO-SPONSOR: UNION GAS LIMITEDPRODUCTION SUPPORT: THE HARKINS FAMILY IN MEMORY OF SUSAN HARKINS
Kate Hennig and Scott Wentworth will take the leading roles of Golde and Tevye in Donna Feore’s production of Fiddler on the RoofJacquelyn French has been cast as Hodel, Keely Hutton as Chava, Gabrielle Jones as Yente, Andre Morin as Motel, Mike Nadajewski as Perchik, Paul Nolan as Fyedka and Jennifer Stewart as Tzeitel.
Kate Hennig, who is returning for her fourth season at Stratford, is well remembered for playing the dance teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson, in Broadway’s Billy Elliot: The Musical, a role she also played in Toronto, winning a Dora Award for her performance. Most recently she was seen as Emma Goldman in this season’s Shaw Festival hit, Ragtime, as well as in A Man and Some Women. She was also in the wildly popular première of Margaret Atwood’sThe Penelopiad, co-produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Arts Centre. Ms Hennig was last in the Stratford company in 1991, playing Mrs. Mullin inCarousel, Ursula in Much Ado About Nothing and the Player Queen in Hamlet. She can currently be seen playing Adele Witham in Bomb Girls on Global Television.
Scott Wentworth, who marks his 18th season in 2013, was last seen at Stratford in 2008, playing Commander Fernán Gómez de Guzmán in Fuente Ovejuna and Claudius inHamlet. His musical credits at Stratford include playing Clifford Bradshaw in the 1987 production of Cabaret and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls in both 1990 and 2004 – a role he is currently reprising at the Segal Centre in Montreal. His other Stratford credits include the title roles in MacbethRichard IIIHenry IV Part 1 and The Merchant of Venice, Iago in Othello, David Cutrere in Orpheus Descending and Theseus in Phèdre. Mr. Wentworth has also written a number of musicals in collaboration with his wife, Marion Adler, including Enter the Guardsman, which was nominated for an Olivier Award for best musical in 1997.
Musketeers Graham Abbey, Jonathan Goad, Mike Shara joined by Luke Humphrey as D’Artagnan
THE THREE MUSKETEERS | DIRECTED BY MILES POTTER | FESTIVAL THEATREPREVIEWS START MAY 18 | OPENS JUNE 1 | CLOSES OCTOBER 19
Graham AbbeyJonathan Goad and Mike Shara headline Miles Potter’s production ofThe Three Musketeers, with Luke Humphrey playing D’Artagnan. They will be joined byMichael Blake as Count de Rochefort, Nehassaiu deGannes as the Queen of France,Deborah Hay as Milady de Winter, Bethany Jillard as Constance Bonacieux andSteven Sutcliffe as Cardinal Richelieu.
Graham Abbey, who will play Athos, returned to the Festival in 2012 for the first time since 2006 to play Posthumus in Cymbeline and Aigisthos in Elektra. His extensive television career includes the series lead, Gray Jackson, in The Border, Glen Martin in Degrassi and George Thomey in Republic of Doyle. His Stratford credits include Henry V, Macbeth, Romeo and Henry VIII, as well as Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Happy in Death of a Salesman and D’Artagnan in the 2000 production of The Three Musketeers.
Jonathan Goad will play Porthos. Mr. Goad was last seen at Stratford in 2009, playing Quarlous in Bartholomew Fair, Mark Antony in Julius Caesar and Hippolytus in Phèdre. In 11 Stratford seasons, his credits have included Harold Hill in The Music Man, Iago inOthello, Angelo in Measure for Measure, Theseus and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the title role in Pericles. Mr. Goad can also be seen on CBC TV, where he plays Christian Doyle in Republic of Doyle.
Luke Humphrey made his Stratford debut in 2011, appearing in The Tempest and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. This season he played Michael Williams in Henry V. He will also be remembered as the shirtless tango dancer in Much Ado About Nothing. His other credits include Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at Highland Hall Theatre, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Leontes in The Winter’s Tale at the Stella Adler Studio.
Mike Shara will return for his fifth season at Stratford to play Aramis. Mr. Shara is currently playing Cloten in Cymbeline and Cornelius Hackl in The Matchmaker. His Stratford highlights include Teddy in The Homecoming, Orsino in Twelfth Night, 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 Little Mosque on the PrairieQueer as Folk and Due South.
Tom McCamus to play the Merchant
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE | DIRECTED BY ANTONI CIMOLINO | FESTIVAL THEATREPREVIEWS START JULY 30 | OPENS AUGUST 15 | CLOSES OCTOBER 18PRODUCTION SPONSOR: SCOTIABANKPRODUCTION SUPPORT: CATHERINE & DAVID WILKES; JANE PETERSEN-BURFIELD & FAMILY; BARBARA & JOHN SCHUBERT


Tom McCamus will once again collaborate with Antoni Cimolino in next season’s The Merchant of Venice, in which he will play Antonio. Mr. McCamus gave a searing performance as Iachimo in Mr. Cimolino’s production of Cymbeline this year and beautifully portrayed Jim Casy in 2011’s The Grapes of Wrath and Justice Overdo in 2009’s Bartholomew Fair. His portrayal of Horace Vandergelder in The Matchmakercontinues to delight audiences. In his 12 seasons at Stratford, Mr. McCamus has played a vast number of leading roles including Captain Hook in Peter Pan, Le Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons, Master Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, King Arthur inCamelot, Vladimir in Waiting for Godot and Edmund Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey into Night.
As previously announced, Brian Bedford will play Shylock. They will be joined byMichelle Giroux as Portia, Jonathan Goad as Gratiano and Hannah Miller as Jessica.
Stellar cast for Blithe Spirit features Ben Carlson, Michelle Giroux, Seana McKenna and Sara Topham
BLITHE SPIRIT | DIRECTED BY BRIAN BEDFORD | AVON THEATREPREVIEWS START MAY 16 | OPENS JUNE 1 | CLOSES OCTOBER 20PRODUCTION SUPPORT: JOHN H. WHITESIDE; NONA MACDONALD HEASLIPPRODUCTION SUPPORT FOR THE AVON THEATRE 2013 SEASON: THE BIRMINGHAM FAMILY
Brian Bedford will direct a stellar ensemble in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, with Ben Carlson as Charles Condomine; Michelle Giroux as Elvira, the ghost of Charles’s deceased wife; Seana McKenna as the medium, Madame Arcati; and Sara Topham as Charles’s second wife, Ruth. They will be joined by James Blendick as Dr. Bradman andChick Reid as Mrs. Bradman. Mr. Bedford worked with Mr. Carlson and Ms Topham most recently in the Oscar Wilde comedy The Importance of Being Earnest in 2009.
Ben Carlson, currently playing Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing and Captain Fluellen in Henry V, returns for his sixth season at Stratford. Highlights of his time here include Feste in Twelfth Night, Alceste in The Misanthrope, Touchstone in As You Like It, Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, John Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest, Brutus in Julius Caesar and the title role in Hamlet. He has worked throughout Canada and the U.S., and spent 12 seasons at the Shaw Festival, where he is well remembered for his marathonMan and SupermanThe Return of the Prodigal and All My Sons, among other performances.
Michelle Giroux will celebrate her 10th season at Stratford in 2013. She was last here in 2007, when she played Jean Louise in the celebrated production of To Kill a Mockingbirdand Julia in A Delicate Balance. Her Stratford credits also include Queen Isabella inEdward II, Katerina in The Brothers Karamazov, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Daphne in Present Laughter, Olivia in Twelfth Night and Gwendolen in the 2000 production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
After her hilarious turn as Dolly Levi in The MatchmakerSeana McKenna will return for her 22nd season to play Madame Arcati. Stratford audiences will also remember Ms McKenna’s lighter side from such performances as Amanda Prynne in Private Lives, Monica Reed in Present Laughter, Dotty Otley in Noises Off and Lady Gay Spanker inLondon Assurance. Her other Stratford credits include her remarkable portrayals of Richard III in 2011 and Clytemestra in this season’s Elektra, as well as moving portrayals of Medea, Andromache and Phèdre. 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, which was produced at Stratford in 2007 and 2011.
Newcomer Robert Markus to play Tommy
TOMMY | DIRECTED BY DES McANUFF | CHOREOGRAPHED BY WAYNE CILENTO | AVON THEATREPREVIEWS START MAY 4 | OPENS MAY 30 | CLOSES OCTOBER 19PRODUCTION SUPPORT: RICHARD ROONEY & LAURA DINNER
Newcomer Robert Markus will play the title role in Des McAnuff’s production of Tommy. Mr. Markus graduated from the University of Alberta’s acting program in 2010. His credits include Gabe in Next to Normal at the Citadel Theatre and Theatre Calgary, Riff Raff inThe Rocky Horror Show and Young Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, also at the Citadel, and Angelo in The Comedy of Errors at the Freewill Shakespeare Festival.
He will be joined by Jewelle Blackman as the Gypsy, Kira Guloien as Mrs. Walker,Jeremy Kushnier as Captain Walker, Paul Nolan as Cousin Kevin and Steve Ross as Uncle Ernie.
Dion Johnstone takes title role in Othellowith Graham Abbey as Iago and Bethany Jillard as Desdemona
OTHELLO | DIRECTED BY CHRIS ABRAHAM | AVON THEATREPREVIEWS START AUGUST 4 | OPENS AUGUST 14 | CLOSES OCTOBER 19PRODUCTION SPONSOR: BMO FINANCIAL GROUPPRODUCTION SUPPORT: LARRY ENKIN & FAMILY IN MEMORY OF SHARON ENKIN;MARTIE & BOB SACHS
Dion Johnstone will return to Stratford to take on the title role in Chris Abraham’s production of Othello, with Graham Abbey playing Iago and Bethany Jillard as Desdemona. They will be joined by Deborah Hay as Emilia, Peter Hutt as Brabantio,Mike Shara as Roderigo and Brian Tree as Gratiano.
Dion Johnstone comes to the role of Othello at the Festival, having turned in a number of memorable classical performances here, including Aaron in Titus Andronicus, Caliban inThe Tempest, opposite Christopher Plummer’s Prospero, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macduff in Des McAnuff’s production of Macbeth, Edmund in King Lear, Iachimo in the 2004 production of Cymbeline and Orestes in the 2003 productions of The Flies and Electra. He has a vast television career as well, most recently including Harold Kalb in The Listener, Tyrone Evans in King and Barnaby Howe in Flashpoint.
Bethany Jillard made her Stratford debut in 2010 as Cécile Volante in Dangerous Liaisons and has since shone in both classical and contemporary roles as Lady Anne inRichard III, Young Kate and Tanya in The Little Years, Hero in Much Ado About Nothingand Catherine in Henry V. Her other credits include Miss Julie in the MTC Warehouse production of After Miss Julie, the title role in My Name is Rachel Corrie at Theatre Panik and Brooke in How It Works at Tarragon. She won the Equity Emerging Theatre Artist Award in 2010.
Seana McKenna plays Elizabeth to Lucy Peacock’s Mary Stuart
MARY STUART | DIRECTED BY ANTONI CIMOLINO | TOM PATTERSON THEATREPREVIEWS START MAY 3 | OPENS MAY 31 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 21PRODUCTION SUPPORT: DR. M.L. MYERS & DR. W.P. HAYMAN; ALICE & TIM THORNTON; DIANA TREMAIN; DR. DENNIS & DOROTHEA HACKER
Lucy Peacock will take on the title role in Antoni Cimolino’s production of Mary Stuartopposite Seana McKenna as Elizabeth.
It will feature Ben Carlson as Lord Burleigh, Geraint Wyn Davies as the Earl of Leicester and, as previously announced, Brian Dennehy as the Earl of Shrewsbury. James Blendick will play Amias Paulet, Peter Hutt will play Count Aubespine, Ian Lake will play Mortimer and Brian Tree will play Melvil.
Lucy Peacock celebrated her 25th season and 60th production with the Festival this season, playing the Hostess in Henry V and Mrs. Munsch in the new musical Wanderlust– as well as producing and starring in the cabaret series Late Night with Lucy. Last season she also combined musical theatre and Shakespeare, playing Morgan le Fey in Camelotand the delightfully scheming Mistress Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Her career at Stratford has been studded with brilliant performances, including Nana in For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, Audrey in As You Like It, Masha in Three Sisters, Emilia in Othello, the title roles in The Duchess of Malfi and Hello, Dolly!, and a tour-de-force performance of all of the characters in The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead.
After his stirring portrayal of King Cymbeline, Geraint Wyn Davies will again collaborate with Mr. Cimolino, playing the key role of the Earl of Leicester in Mary Stuart. Mr. Wyn Davies will celebrate his 10th season at Stratford in 2013. He began his Stratford adventure in 1986, playing Pericles and Antipholus of Syracuse in The Boys from Syracuse. Since then he has played a number of major roles, including Stephano in The Tempest, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the title roles in Julius Caesar andHenry V, Polonius in Hamlet, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady and Dylan Thomas in the one-man show Do Not Go Gentle. His stage career has taken him throughout Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. and he has dozens of film and television credits, including key roles inRepublic of DoyleReGenesis24Slings and ArrowsAirwolfForever Knight andAmerican Psycho II.
Measure for Measure to feature Carmen Grant, Stephen Ouimette,
Tom Rooney, Geraint Wyn Davies
MEASURE FOR MEASURE | DIRECTED BY MARTHA HENRY | TOM PATTERSON THEATREPREVIEWS START MAY 18 | OPENS MAY 29 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 21PRODUCTION SPONSOR: RBCPRODUCTION SUPPORT: KARON BALES & CHARLES BEALL
Martha Henry’s production of Measure for Measure will feature Carmen Grant as Isabella, Stephen Ouimette as Lucio, Tom Rooney as Angelo, and Geraint Wyn Davies as Duke Vincentio, with Randy Hughson as Pompey, Peter Hutt as Escalus andStephen Russell as Provost.
Carmen Grant made her Stratford debut in 2010, after completing her first year at the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre, where she played such roles as Mrs. Higgins in Pygmalion, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Goneril in King Lear. At the Festival she has appeared in Much Ado About NothingThe MatchmakerTitus Andronicus and Richard III. She received a Dora nomination for her portrayal of the title role in The Miracle Worker at YPT and won the Rising Star Award for playing Ruth in the ATP production of Zadie’s Shoes.
Stephen 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. Ouimette and Mr. Dennehy had performed together at Stratford in 2011’s outstanding productions of The Homecoming and Twelfth Night. Mr. Ouimette was also featured in the West End and Broadway productions of La Bete and is well-known for his portrayal of Oliver Welles in the television series Slings and Arrows. He has spent 18 seasons entertaining Stratford audiences with such performances as 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 productions, including Timon of Athens in 2004, and has played the title roles in Hamlet,King JohnAmadeus and Richard III, as well as many other leading roles.
Tom Rooney will return for his sixth Stratford season, after delighting audiences as Robert Service in the 2012 première of Wanderlust and as Ensign Pistol in Henry V. Since joining the company in 2008, Mr. Rooney has fast become a favourite on the Festival stage, with his richly drawn portrayals of Malvolio in Twelfth Night and Master Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor. He gave standout performances in 2009 as the Porter inMacbeth, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Cassius in Julius Caesar.  In addition to playing the Narrator in 2010’s For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, Mr. Rooney played Duke Frederick and Duke Senior in As You Like It and Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale.
Stephen Ouimette and Tom Rooney lead cast of Waiting for Godot
WAITING FOR GODOT | DIRECTED BY JENNIFER TARVER | TOM PATTERSON THEATREPREVIEWS START JUNE 13 | OPENS JUNE 27 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 20PRODUCTION SUPPORT: SYLVIA D. CHROMINSKA
Jennifer Tarver’s production of Waiting for Godot will feature Stephen Ouimette as Estragon and Tom Rooney as Vladimir. As previously announced, Brian Dennehy will play Pozzo. Randy Hughson will play Lucky.
Lucy Peacock stars in Judith Thompson’s The Thrill
THE THRILL | DIRECTED BY DEAN GABOURIE | STUDIO THEATREPREVIEWS START JULY 28 | OPENS AUGUST 13 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 22
Lucy Peacock will play the leading role of Elora in the world première of Judith Thompson’s The Thrill, which was commissioned by the Festival and will be directed byDean Gabourie. She will be joined by Nigel Bennett as Julian.
Luke Humphrey to take Shakespeare from Martha Henry
TAKING SHAKESPEARE | DIRECTED BY DIANA LEBLANC | STUDIO THEATREPREVIEWS START JULY 13 | OPENS JULY 30 | CLOSES SEPTEMBER 22PRODUCTION SUPPORT: DR. NANCY EPSTEIN & DR. DAVID GOLDBLOOM
As previously announced, Martha Henry will play the Prof in John Murrell’s new playTaking Shakespeare, directed by Diana LeblancLuke Humphrey has been cast as the student, Murph.
Tickets for the 2013 season will go on sale to Members of the Stratford Festival on November 11 and to the public on January 5. The 2012 season concludes on October 28, with tickets still available for Much Ado About Nothing42nd StreetThe MatchmakerThe Pirates of Penzance and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. To purchase tickets, contact the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit www.stratfordfestival.ca.
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