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Stratford Festival 2019 casting announcement, photos and dates

Maev Beaty, Mike Shara, Ben Carlson and Geraint Wyn Davies will be back on the boards at the Strafored Festival 2019.

Below are the dates and top-line casting news from the festival.

SHAKESPEARE

Othello
May 3 to October 27 | Opening May 27
Directed by Nigel Shawn Williams
Festival Theatre

Michael Blake, currently playing Caliban in “The Tempest,” Cominius in “Coriolanus” and Errico in “Napoli Milionaria!,” will take on the title role. Desdemona will be played by Amelia Sargisson, returning after her impressive Stratford debut as Eve in “Paradise Lost” this year.

Stratford festival 2019, Othello: Michael Blake

Michael Blake. photo: David Cooper

The Merry Wives of Windsor
May 11 to October 26| Opening June 1
Directed by Antoni Cimolino
Festival Theatre

Set in a town not unlike Stratford in the early 1950s, Geraint Wyn Davies returns to the company to take on the lead role of Falstaff.

Wyn Davies is one of a very few classical actors to have played Falstaff in all three of Shakespeare’s plays featuring the character. Just as Queen Elizabeth I is said to have demanded more of Falstaff, leading Shakespeare to write “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” so too Stratford audiences have demanded more opportunities to see Wyn Davies portray the character.

Sophia Walker and Brigit Wilson play the wives. Walker, seen this season as Lady Chiltern in “An Ideal Husband” and Calpurnia in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” will play Mrs. Ford. Wilson, currently playing Amalia in “Napoli Milionaria!” and Valeria in “Coriolanus,” will play Mrs. Page.

Their husbands will be played by Graham Abbey as Mr. Ford and Michael Blake as Mr. Page. Joining them in the delightful role of Miss Quickly is Lucy Peacock, with Sarah Dodd as the Hostess of The Garter.

The Merry Wives of Windsor, Stratford Festival 2019, Brigit Wilson, Sophia Walker,

Brigit Wilson, Sophia Walker, Geraint Wyn Davies (on magazine cover).
photo: David Cooper

Henry VIII
May 8 to October 12 | Opening May 29
Directed by Martha Henry

Jonathan Goad takes on the title role. Katherine of Aragon will be played by Irene Poole.

WORLD PREMIERE

Mother’s Daughter
By Kate Hennig
Directed by Alan Dilworth

The production will feature Irene Poole as Catalina and Maria Vacratsis as Susan.

MUSICALS

Billy Elliot the Musical
April 16 to November 3 | Opening May 28
Book and Lyrics by Lee Hall
Music by Elton John
Directed and Choreographed by Donna Feore
Festival Theatre

Dan Chameroy, who played Miss Trunchbull in the North American tour of “Matilda The Musical” and is currently thrilling audiences as Frank N. Furter in “The Rocky Horror Show,” returns to play Dad.

Audience favourite Blythe Wilson, who played Mrs. Banks in the Broadway production of “Mary Poppins,” in addition to Miss Adelaide in 2017’s “Guys and Dolls” and Eulalie MacKecknie Shinn in this year’s “The Music Man,” will play Mrs. Wilkinson, Billy’s teacher.

They’ll be joined by Marion Adler as Grandma, Robert Markus as Tony and Steve Ross as George.

Nolen Dubuc, a young powerhouse performer from B.C., is heading across the country to join the company as the lead. Dubuc has amassed a long list of dance and vocal awards, as well as a number of theatrical credits, including Chip in “Beauty and the Beast” and John Bechdel in “Fun Home,” both at the Arts Club Theatre Company. He won a Joey Award for his debut, playing Michael Banks in “Mary Poppins” at Theatre Under the Stars.

Billy Elliot, the stratford festival 2019, Nolen Dubuc

Nolen Dubuc. photo: David Cooper

Little Shop of Horrors
April 29 to November 2 | Opening May 31
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken
Based on the film by Roger Corman, Screenplay by Charles Griffith
Directed and Choreographed by Donna Feore

Dan Chameroy will pivot from the transsexual Transylvanian doctor, Frank N. Furter, to the sadomasochistic dentist that Audrey II finds oh so delicious. Steve Ross, currently delighting audiences as Mayor Shinn in “The Music Man” and the Narrator in “The Rocky Horror Show,” will play Seymour’s boss, Mr. Mushnik.

Gabi Epstein, making her Stratford debut, as Audrey. André Morin, currently playing Ariel to Martha Henry’s Prospero in “The Tempest,” will play Seymour. Morin made his debut as Motel in Deore’s smash hit “Fiddler on the Roof” in 2013.

André Morin, Little Shop of Horrors, stratford festival 2019

André Morin. photo: David Cooper

OTHER PRODUCTIONS

Birds of a Kind
July 30 to October 13 | Opening August 14
By Wajdi Mouawad
English translation by Linda Gaboriau
Directed by Antoni Cimolino
English-language Première
Studio Theatre

Alon Nashman and Sarah Orenstein return to Stratford to take on the lead roles. Nashman played Hirsch in the 2012 production of the same name, inspired by the life of former Stratford Festival Artistic Director John Hirsch. Orenstein will return for her sixth Stratford season, having played such roles as the White Queen in 2014’s “Alice Through the Looking-Glass,” Penfield in 2015’s “Possible Worlds” and Queen Elizabeth in 2016’s “Shakespeare in Love.”

The Crucible
August 1 to October 25 | Opening August 16
By Arthur Miller
Directed by Jonathan Goad
The Avon Theatre

Tim Campbell, seen this season as Sir Robert Chiltern in “An Ideal Husband,” Heck Tate in “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Marullus in “Julius Caesar,” will return for his 11th season to play John Proctor in “The Crucible.”

He will be joined by Scott Wentworth, as Reverend Parris.

The Front Page
July 30 to October 25 | Opening August 15
By Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur
A new adaptation by Michael Healey
Directed by Graham Abbey
Festival Theatre

Ben Carlson, whose fine comic and dramatic skills have given Stratford audiences memorable roles including Petruchio in “The Taming of the Shrew,” plays the lead role Hildy Johnson.

Maev Beaty will play Penelope Burns, the editor of Hildy’s paper. Beaty has established herself as a leading member of the company in just four seasons. Her roles at Stratford have included Goneril in 2014’s “King Lear,” Kate in 2015’s “The Last Wife,” Sorrel in 2016’s “Bunny” and Elmire in 2017’s “Tartuffe.”

Nathan the Wise
May 25 to October 11 | Opening June 15
By Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
In a version by Edward Kemp
Directed by Birgit Schreyer Duarte
Studio Theatre

Casting is in progress with Sarah Orenstein taking on the role of Daya

The Neverending Story
May 16 to November 3 | Opening June 15
By Michael Ende
Adapted for the stage by David S. Craig
Directed by Jillian Keiley
The Avon Theatre

Qasim Khan will play Atreyu. Khan will be returning for his third season, after playing Adam in “Paradise Lost” and Antipholus of Ephesus in “The Comedy of Errors this season.” Bastian will be played by Jake Runeckles, who has just joined the Festival as a member of the Birmingham Conservatory.

Filled with spectacle and wondrous other-worldly creatures, this beautiful play will also feature Tim Campbell, Laura Condlln and Kim Horsman.

Private Lives
April 24 to October 26 | Opening May 30
By Noël Coward
Directed by Carey Perloff
The Avon Theatre

The wit of Noël Coward is at its cheekiest in “Private Lives,” an uproarious romantic comedy featuring the glorious quartet of Lucy Peacock as Amanda, Geraint Wyn Davies as Elyot, Mike Shara as Victor and Sophia Walker as Sybil, with Sarah Dodd as Louise, the maid.

Details, Details:
Tickets for the 2019 season go on sale to members beginning November 11 and to the public on January 4, 2019, online, and January 5 in person or by calling the box office at 1.800.567.1600.
Visit stratfordfestival.ca for further details

   

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Stratford Festival 2019 casting announcement, photos and dates

Keith Tomasek
16 October 2018
News and Rumors

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