Canadian Stage has announced the company for Shakespeare in High Park.
Award-winning theatre creators Severn Thompson and Liza Balkan will examine themes of patriarchy, feminism, deception, and politics in the wake of #MeToo and call-out culture.
“Measure for Measure,” directed by Severn Thompson, is set in a fictional modern-day Vienna. As a puritanical leader attempts to clean up the city using brute force, citizens revolt and devise a plan to expose the leader as a hypocrite.
The romantic comedy “Much Ado About Nothing,” directed by Liza Balkan, is set in the late 1990s, the era that pre-dates social media and the notion “going viral.” Nevertheless the play is filled with gossip, sexual tension, misunderstandings, and love.
Joanna Yu is the set designer. She has recently designed productions with the Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, and Obsidian Theatre
Rebecca Picherak is the lighting designer. She has recently worked with Canadian Stage as well as the Shaw Festival, Soulpepper, and the National Arts Centre.
Shakespeare in High Park Cast
Emma’s previous work includes Theatre @ York’s carried away on the crest of a wave (Beckett), If We Were Birds (Procne), rochdale (Suzy), The Balcony (Luke) and Guild Festival Theatre’s Pygmalion (Freddy). These worlds have been incredibly stirring and a joy to explore and dream within. Thank you to the incredibly hard working crew, to Severn and Liza for their endless support, heartening vision and their courage to reimagine Shakespeare that reflects our today and inspires questions for our tomorrow.
Can is a Turkish actor who recently graduated from the MFA Acting Program in York University. He thanks his teachers, directors and colleagues for their guidance and support throughout the last two years. Previously he lived in Istanbul where he was trying to live as an actor.
Richard Lam is an actor and musician. Credits include: The Little Prince: Reimagined (Puzzle Piece); Once (Citadel); Lulu v.7 (Buddies/ Red Light District); Peter Pan (Bad Hats/Soulpepper); 15 productions at Soulpepper including Spoon River and Of Human Bondage. Training: BFA in Acting (University of Alberta); Soulpepper Academy. Richard is proud to be a Canadian Actor’s Equity Association Councilor for Ontario, and a member of the Foodsters United Union Drive – visit foodstersunited.ca to learn more. Follow Richard on Instagram: @rickyslams.
For Canadian Stage: Julius Caesar, The Comedy of Errors, Helen Lawrence (Edinburgh, BAM). For the Shaw Festival: Oh, What A Lovely War, Grand Hotel, Saint Joan, Dracula, “Master Harold”…and the Boys. BROADWAY: Baby It’s You!, Ragtime (1st National ), REGIONAL: A Raisin in the Sun, My Children! My Africa!, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Hair, Antigone, The Black Star Line. TELEVISION: NCIS (recurring), Castle, Person of Interest (recurring), Grey’s Anatomy, Chuck, Privileged (series regular). FILM: Berger in Cats Dancing on Jupiter; River of Fundamental directed by Matthew Barney; 36 Saints, Stomp the Yard.
Nora McLellanMistress Overdone, Bernadine, Friar Thomas/Dogberry
Recent work: The Matchmaker (Arts Club Vancouver), A Number (Lunar Stage), Renovations for Six (Foster Festival), Shirley Valentine (Victoria Playhouse), The Birds and the Bees (Blyth Festival), Company (Theatre20), How Do I Love Thee (Canadian Rep), and John (Company Theatre), for which she received a Dora Award for her performance in a principal role. Nora has spent many seasons with the Shaw and Stratford Festival and is a recipient of the Toronto Theatre Critics Award. Nora was also a part of Orphan Black, Killjoys, Cardinal, and most recently, Talent Drivers which can be streamed @cbcgem. Upcoming: Aunt Agnes for Christmas (Foster Festival) Follow Nora on Twitter @McLellanNora.
Christopher is an actor, director, playwright and is the Artistic Director of Human Cargo. Selected acting credits include LULU (red light district/Buddies in Bad Times), A Doll’s House and Noises Off (Soulpepper), Botticelli in the Fire/Sunday in Sodom (Canadian Stage), Hedda Gabler (Necessary Angel/Canadian Stage), Oedipus Rex and The Diary of Anne Frank (Stratford Festival), The Importance of Being Earnest, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Stuff Happens (National Arts Centre). TV credits include: Orphan Black, The Girlfriend Experience, Frankie Drake and Murdoch Mysteries. With Human Cargo, Christopher is currently developing The China Project (with Chinese playwright Zhuang Yi), Le Jardin d’os a project with Doctors Without Borders and Annie Pootoogook: Portrait of an Artist, a collaboration with Inuit theatre artists.
Natasha Mumba was born in Kalulushi, Zambia and has been fortunate to be a part of this amazing theatre community, here in Canada since 2014. Selected Credits; Shaw Festival; The Hound of the Baskervilles, Henry V, Dracula, Middletown, The Adventures of the Black Girl, Alice in Wonderland. Obsidian Theatre; School Girls; Or the African Mean Girls Play. The Citadel; The Untold story of Robin Hood. Tarragon Theatre; Millennial Malcontent. Theatre Kingston; The Mountaintop. Driftwood Theatre Group; Hamlet (Ontario tour). Training: The National Theatre School of Canada.
For Canadian Stage: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Richard Rose. Acting credits include: Grace (Nightwood/Crows), Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Romeo & Juliet, Comedy of Errors (SLSF), Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Citadel), The Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh (Roseneath – Dora nomination, Outstanding Performance). Playwriting credits include: Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells) – Nightwood/Crows Theatre, Dora nomination, Outstanding New Play; That’s Amore! (premiering this summer at Globus Theatre!), Oregano, Ten Creative Ways to Dispose of your Cremains. Upcoming: the North American premiere of Cora Bissett’s production of Emma Donoghue’s ROOM (Grand/Mirvish).
Jamie is thrilled to be returning to High Park for his fourth time, previously acting in productions of Romeo & Juliet, and assistant directing Titus Andronicus. Acting credits include: Risky Phil (YPT. Dora Award Winner, Best Actor), Gas Girls (New Harlem Productions. Dora Award Nomination, Best Actor), title role in Richard III (Metachroma Theatre, META Award nomination, Best Actor) and four seasons with the Stratford Festival. Film/TV credits include: Hudson and Rex (Citytv), Believe Me (Life), Private Eyes (Global), Condor (MGM) and Celeste in the City (ABC). Jamie teaches acting at York U. and University of Toronto, Mississauga. This fall, he will be directing the world premiere of Copy That at Tarragon Theatre. Visit Jamie’s website.
Heath V. Salazar
Heath V. Salazar (they/them) is a Dora Award-winning Latinx performer and writer who works with a focus on projects that give voice to marginalized communities and that celebrate survival and resilience. In both theatre and film, they perform as male, female, and gender variant. Select credits include: Designated Survivor (Netflix), Shove It Down My Throat (Buddies In Bad Times Theatre), The Wolves (Howland Company/Crow’s Theatre), Territorial Tales (Canadian Stage), Chasse-Galerie (Storefront Theatre). They’ve completed a residency in Spoken Word at the Banff Centre of the Arts as well as the Emerging Creators Unit program at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, where they’re currently an Artist in Residence as a part of their 2018/19 season.
Escalus, Sister Francisca/Ursula
Helen Taylor, a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, is a Toronto theatre, television, film and voice actress. She has performed in theatres across Canada, including twelve seasons at the Shaw Festival and a season at Stratford. Favourite roles include Veronica in God of Carnage (Theatre Calgary); Annie in Calendar Girls (Grand Theatre); Molly in Fire (Theatre Passe Muraille) and, for the Shaw Festival, Ms. Biddulph in Serious Money, Sonya in Afterplay and Lulu in Lulu. Television credits include roles on The Strain, Murdoch Mysteries and Anne with an E. Helen received a Dora Mavor Moore Award for her performance of the alcoholic mother in Wrecked for Roseneath Theatre, which toured Toronto high schools.
Emilio is ecstatic to return to High Park to play Claudio and Lucio after a four year stretch at the Stratford Festival. Recently he played Damis in Canadian Stage’s remount of Tartuffe and Andrew/Fabian in Project Humanity’s Towards Youth at the Crow’s Theatre. Emilio is humbled to add Much Ado About Nothing and Measure for Measure to his body of Shakespeare work which includes: Coriolanus, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar and more. Emilio would like to dedicate these shows to the memory of Ian Watson without whom he’d still feel self-conscious and incapable.
Shakespeare in High Park is supersized for July! On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 6:30 to 7:30 PM, audiences can experience added entertainment with backstage tours, the best buskers in the city (Tuesdays only) and fantastic musical acts (Wednesdays only). Also, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in July, children can enjoy free face-painting and other fun interactive activities in our Kid Zone tent.
Shakespeare in High Park
July 4 to September 1
Pay-What-You-Can or reserve a premium spot online
Measure for Measure: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 8 pm
Much Ado About Nothing: Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 8 pm
Reservations held until 7:45 pm