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Thursday, 2 May 2013

Shakespeare as Shakespeare would have done it: Romeo and Juliet starts previews


[Media Release] May 1, 2013

One of Britain’s leading directors, Tim Carroll, returns to the Stratford Festival to present the most famous love story ever told. Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy of star-crossed lovers who risk everything to be together, begins previews on Wednesday, May 1, at the Festival Theatre.

A founding member of The Factory and Associate Director at Shakespeare’s Globe in London from 1999 to 2005, Mr. Carroll has had a prolific career in theatre. He recently directed Mark Rylance – the Globe’s first Artistic Director – in Globe productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night, and in 2010, he made his Stratford debut as director of the wildly popular Peter Pan.

“It is an incredible honour to be asked to do Shakespeare on the amazingly beautiful stage of the Festival Theatre,” Mr. Carroll says. “I think of the truly great theatre artists who designed and built this theatre, and who have worked on it over the last 60 years, and now here I am doing one of the big ones on that stage. If that doesn’t excite you, it’s time to check you still have a pulse.”

In its tenth Stratford production, the classic story will be performed in Original Practices, a style of performance that evokes the manner in which Shakespeare’s plays were originally staged in the Elizabethan era.

“I have staged Romeo and Juliet as though it were indeed an afternoon performance in an Elizabethan playhouse,” says Mr. Carroll. “The light will not change to suit the scenes, any more than the scenery will move to reflect new settings. We will know where we are, what time of day it is, and everything else from the starting point of Shakespeare’s theatre: the actors and the words they speak.”

The title roles will be played by Stratford newcomer Daniel Briere and Festival favourite Sara Topham. The cast also features Nehassaiu deGannes as Lady Capulet, Jonathan Goad as Mercutio, Kate Hennig as the Nurse, Tom McCamus as Friar Laurence and Scott Wentworth as Capulet.The production’s artistic team includes Set Designer Douglas Paraschuk, Costume Designer Carolyn M. Smith, Lighting Designer Kevin Fraser, Composer Claudio Vena, Sound Designer Jim Neil, Movement Coach Shona Morris and Fight Director John Stead.

In a playbill that explores communities in conflict, Romeo and Juliet is a particularly apt choice. “I have assembled a season with a particular focus on examining how we reach across our differences to find our common humanity, and few plays do this better than Romeo and Juliet,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. “Although written over 400 years ago, it’s a story that remains incredibly pertinent today and one that, I think, matters so much to young people. It speaks to them; it speaks to their experience of the world. I’m thrilled to have Tim back to open our 2013 season with this beautifully imagined interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic play.”

Romeo and Juliet 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.

Themes related to Romeo and Juliet will be explored through several Forum events, including: Ancient Grudges and New Mutinies, in which John de Chastelain, the former Chief of the Defence Staff and former ambassador to the U.S, reflects on the Prince of Verona’s role as peacekeeper in Romeo and Juliet and relates it to his own experiences; Original Pronunciation, with Tim Carroll, in which the director explores the implications of how Shakespeare’s text was originally pronounced; and Sex and Love in Verona, Venice and Vienna, a talk by Stanley Wells, Honorary President, Life Trustee and former Chairman of the Shakespeare
Birthplace Trust and general editor of the Oxford and Penguin Shakespeares.

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, including the appearance of John de Chastelain, is generously provided in memory of Dr. W. Philip Hayman.

Romeo and Juliet is sponsored by Sun Life Financial. Production support is generously provided by Claire & Daniel Bernstein and M. Vaile Fainer.

Stratford Direct, the new daily return private bus service between Toronto and Stratford, begins 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 Juliet, Fiddler on the Roof; The Three Musketeers, The Merchant of Venice, Tommy, Blithe Spirit, Othello, Measure for Measure, Mary Stuart, Waiting for Godot, Taking Shakespeare, and The Thrill, along with more than 150 events at The Forum.

Cast (in alphabetical order)
Montague……………………………………. Wayne Best
Escalus………………………………………. Michael Blake
Benvolio…………………………………….. Skye Brandon
Romeo………………………………………. Daniel Briere
Musician - Percussion…………………….… David Campion
Lady Capulet………………………………... Nehassaiu deGannes
Gregory……………………………………... Victor Ertmanis
Citizen of Verona…………………………… Sara Farb
Citizen of Verona…………………………… Jacquelyn French
Citizen of Verona…………………………… Barbara Fulton
Mercutio…………………………………….. Jonathan Goad
Musician - Recorder/Flute…………….….… Ian Harper
Citizen of Verona…………………………… Valerie Hawkins
Nurse………………………………………... Kate Hennig
Lady Montague……………………………... Gabrielle Jones
Abraham/Apothecary……………………….. Robert King
Balthasar………………………………….…. Andrew Lawrie
Friar John…………………………………… Roy Lewis
Musician - Violin………………………….... Mel Martin
Friar Laurence………………………….…… Tom McCamus
Musician - Lute…………………………....... Terry McKenna
Petruchio……………………………………. AndrĂ© Morin
Old Capulet…………………………………. Sam Moses
Peter………………………………………… Mike Nadajewski
Citizen of Verona…………………………… Andrew Robinson
Citizen of Verona…………………………… Sabryn Rock
Sampson…………………………………….. Brad Rudy
Tybalt……………………………………….. Tyrone Savage
Juliet……………………………………….... Sara Topham
Capulet……………………………………… Scott Wentworth
Paris……………………………………….… Antoine Yared
Artistic Credits
Director……………………………….…..… Tim Carroll
Set Designer……………………………….... Douglas Paraschuk
Costume Designer…………………….…….. Carolyn M. Smith
Lighting Designer……………………….….. Kevin Fraser
Composer…………………………………… Claudio Vena
Sound Designer……………………………... Jim Neil
Movement…………………………………... Shona Morris
Fight Director………………………………. John Stead
Producer………………………………….… David Auster
Casting Director……………………………. Beth Russell
Creative Planning Director……………….… Jason Miller
Associate Fight Director……………………. Geoff Scovell
Assistant Director…………………………... Ken Schwartz
Second Assistant Director………………….. Graham Abbey
Assistant Set Designer……………………… Brandon Kleiman
Assistant Costume Designer………………... Alyssa Prigioniero
Assistant Lighting Designer………………… Tristan Tidswell
Assistant Fight Directors……………………. Anita Nittoly, Kostas Tourlentes
Fight Captain………………………………... Wayne Best
Movement/Vocal Captain…………………... Barbara Fulton
Stage Manager………………………………. Bona Duncan
Assistant Stage Managers…………………… Bruno Gonsalves, Margaret Palmer,
Crystal Skinner
Production Assistant………………………… Linsey Callaghan
Production Stage Manager………………….. Margaret Palmer
Technical Director………………………….. Jeff Scollon
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