News of the The Stratford Festival 2017 cast and photos were announced today.
“The diversity of the playbill calls for many different types of performance – we have classics from four centuries, a Greek tragedy, a family show, a Golden Age musical, an operetta and new work that incorporates indigenous ritual, puppetry and traditional Punjabi song.
“These productions call for actors with vastly different skillsets and points of view, who will work together organically in the company,” said Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino in a release issued by the Festival.
The Stratford Festival 2017 season promises to be exciting. Below are photos and casting information.
Romeo and Juliet
Opens June 1
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Scott Wentworth
Two teenagers – Antoine Yared’s Romeo and Sara Farb’s Juliet – fall headlong in love, defying the long-standing hatred between their families. Shakespeare’s beloved tale of star-crossed lovers also features Seana McKenna as the Nurse, with Marion Adler as Lady Capulet, Wayne Best as Friar Laurence, Evan Buliung as Mercutio and Randy Hughson as Capulet.
Guys and Dolls
Opens May 30
A musical fable of Broadway
Based on a story and characters of Damon Runyon
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling
Directed and choreographed by Donna Feore
Hailed as the perfect show, Guys and Dolls features four of musical theatre’s most coveted roles. Good old reliable Nathan (Detroit) will be played by Sean Arbuckle, and Miss Adelaide, the “average unmarried female,” by Blythe Wilson. Evan Buliung, as Sky Masterson, will be winging it to Havana with Alexis Gordon’s Sarah Brown, hoping to make her go “ding, dong, ding, dong, ding.”
Opens May 29
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Martha Henry
Shakespeare’s comedy features Sarah Afful and Michael Blake as the shipwrecked twins, Viola and Sebastian, Rod Beattie as Malvolio, Brent Carver as Feste, Lucy Peacock as Maria, Geraint Wyn Davies as Sir Toby Belch and Tom Rooney as Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
E.B. Smith will opine, “If music be the food of love, play on” as his Orsino contemplates the reclusive Olivia, played by Shannon Taylor.
Opens Aug. 17
Directed by Chris Abraham
After this season’s hilarious run of The Hypochondriac, Molière’s smackdown of medical charlatans, the Festival will present his famous satire of religious hypocrisy, Tartuffe. Donning the hair shirt to play the title role is Tom Rooney.
The cast also features Graham Abbey as Orgon, Maev Beaty as Elmire, Michael Blake as Cleante, Rosemary Dunsmore as Mme Pernelle and Anusree Roy as Dorine.
Opens June 3
By Robert Louis Stevenson
Directed by Mitchell Cushman
Thomas Mitchell Barnet plays Jim Hawkins, a young teen who embarks on a high-seas adventure with fiction’s most memorable pirate, Long John Silver, played with peg-legged swagger by Juan Chioran.
Opens May 31
Book and Lyrics by W.S. Gilbert
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Directed by Lezlie Wade
Choreographed by Kerry Gage
Josephine, “the lass that loved a sailor” in the wildly popular Gilbert and Sullivan operetta HMS Pinafore, will be played by Jennifer Rider-Shaw, and making his Stratford debut as her beloved Ralph Rackstraw is Mark Uhre.
They will be joined in this riotous comedy by Lisa Horner as Little Buttercup, Laurie Murdoch as Sir Joseph Porter and Steve Ross as Captain Corcoran.
The School for Scandal
Opens June 3
By Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Directed by Antoni Cimolino
Geraint Wyn Davies and Shannon Taylor
Geraint Wyn Davies and Joseph Ziegler lead an impressive cast in the hilarious comedy of manners The School for Scandal.
Mr. Wyn Davies plays Sir Peter Teazle, a wealthy gentleman with a beautiful young wife, Lady Teazle, played by Shannon Taylor, and a much-desired ward, Maria, played by Monice Peter.
Led by the chatter of Lady Sneerwell, played by Maev Beaty, and Mrs. Candour, played by Brigit Wilson, tongues wag over both women and their involvement with Charles Surface, played by Sébastien Heins, and Joseph Surface, played by Tyrone Savage, brothers who are not what they seem, as their uncle Sir Oliver Surface – Mr. Ziegler – and his friend Rowley – Brent Carver – learn in the nick of time.
TOM PATTERSON THEATRE
Timon of Athens
Opens June 2
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Stephen Ouimette
Joseph Ziegler and Tim Campbell reunite at the Tom Patterson after their triumphant performances in All My Sons.
In 2017, Mr. Ziegler will play Timon and Mr. Campbell will play Alcibiades in Shakespeare’s tale of philanthropy and misanthropy. They are joined by Ben Carlson, as Apemantus, and Michael Spencer Davis, as Flavius.
Opens June 15
By Thomas Middleton
Directed by Jackie Maxwell
It was the perfect crime – until she got away with it.
This suspense-filled tragedy about a woman who seeks to have her fiancé murdered features Mikaela Davies as Beatrice-Joanna and Ben Carlson as her accomplice – and ultimate nemesis – De Flores. Written by contemporaries of Shakespeare, this gripping thriller also features Cyrus Lane as Alsemero, Beatrice-Joanna’s beloved.
Opens June 16
A new version by Anne Carson
Directed by Jillian Keiley
Awakening savage frenzy in the women of Thebes, the god of wine, ecstasy and fertility lays bare the duality of our natures: that each of us, no matter how civilized, has a wild beast within.
This contemporary version of Euripides’ famous tragedy features Lucy Peacock as Agave and Mac Fyfe as Dionysos, with Graham Abbey as Teiresias and Gordon S. Miller as Pentheus.
Also in the cast are Sarah Afful, Nigel Bennett, Jasmine Chen, Laura Condlln, Rosemary Dunsmore, Brad Hodder, André Morin, E.B. Smith, Quelemia Sparrow, Diana Tso and Bahia Watson.
The Madwoman of Chaillot
Opens August 18
By Jean Giraudoux
Directed by Donna Feore
If oil were found beneath the streets of Paris, how would the spirit of civilization fare against the demands of corporate greed?
Seana McKenna stars as Aurélie, The Madwoman of Chaillot, in this classic 20th-century comedy in which culture battles capitalism. It features Wayne Best as The Prospector, Ben Carlson as The President, Yanna McIntosh as Josephine, The Madwoman of Concorde and Scott Wentworth as The Ragman.
The Virgin Trial
Opens June 27
By Kate Hennig
Directed by Alan Dilworth
The much-anticipated second installment of Kate Hennig’s exploration of Elizabeth I has its world première next summer, featuring Bahia Watson in the lead role of Bess.
The story follows the young princess as she navigates a labyrinth of political and sexual intrigue on her journey to assume the crown. The production features Nigel Bennett as Ted, Laura Condlln as Ashley, Sara Farb returning to the role of Mary, Brad Hodder as Thom, Yanna McIntosh as Eleanor and André Morin as Parry.
The Breathing Hole
Opens August 18
By Colleen Murphy
Directed by Reneltta Arluk
Jani Lauzon will make her Stratford debut as Aga in The Breathing Hole, featuring Randy Hughson as Sir John Franklin.
This epic new play was commissioned by the Festival for Canada 150 from playwright Colleen Murphy, who last week won her second Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. It follows the adventures of a polar bear and the humans he encounters in a 500-year saga that begins at the time of First Contact and concludes in a future ravaged by climate change.
Also in the cast are Thomas Mitchell Barnet, Yolanda Bonnell, Miali Buscemi, Juan Chioran, Sarah Dodd, Deidre Gillard-Rowlings, Bruce Hunter, Jamie Mac, Katelyn McCulloch and Gordon Patrick White.
The Komagata Maru Incident
Opens August 19
By Sharon Pollock
Directed by Keira Loughran
Quelemia Sparrow will play T.S. in this newly reimagined version of The Komagata Maru Incident, which will feature Punjabi-inspired vocals by singer Kiran Ahluwalia.
Set in 1914 Vancouver, in a Chinese brothel, the production explores the costs of Canada’s early exclusionary immigration policies on the lives of ethnically diverse Canadians struggling to assert their place in the Canadian mosaic.
Also in the cast are Jasmine Chen, Tyrone Savage and Diana Tso.
Be sure to visit this website, Stratford Festival Reviews, for all the reviews.
Tickets for the 2017 season will go on sale to the public on January 6.
Photos by Lynda Churilla