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Shaw Festival Casting for 2017

MEDIA RELEASE

Artistic Director Tim Carroll announces casting for his first season at the Shaw Festival

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON (November 3, 2016) — The Shaw Festival proudly announces casting for Artistic Director Tim Carroll’s first season. The Shaw’s 2017 ensemble is a mix of new faces and Festival favourites – each actor ready to entertain and excite audiences in this season’s 11 productions.

“Whether joining us for one of our post-show chats, discussing a play over a glass of local wine or participating in one of the performances, we want to inspire our audiences to engage with the Festival long after the curtain goes down. And to do that we need exceptional ensemble members,” says Tim Carroll, Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival. “This season brings together some of the finest actors in Canada in some of the most brilliant and challenging roles in theatre.”

The Festival Theatre stage is home to Michael Therriault’s first Festival appearance as he joins Kristi Frank in this season’s charming musical Me and My Girl. Sara Topham debuts at The Shaw alongside Gray Powell in Saint Joan, Mr. Carroll’s inaugural outing as the Festival’s Artistic Director. And rounding out the mainstage casting is Allan Louis, Marla McLean, Cherissa Richards, Natasha Mumba, Ben Sanders and Martin Happer in a stylish modern version of Dracula.

Tom McCamus returns to the Shaw Festival to star in The Madness of George III where audiences can get up-close to the performers by booking the limited on-stage seating. André Sills stars in An Octoroon, an edgy and timely exploration of race from one of America’s hottest young playwrights.

The complete Shaw Festival’s 2017 casting:


FESTIVAL THEATRE


ME AND MY GIRL
Book and Lyrics by L. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber
Book revised by Stephen Fry, with contributions by Mike Ockrent
Music by Noel Gay

Previews April 5 • Opens May 27 • Closes October 15

Directed by Ashlie Corcoran • Music direction by Paul Sportelli
Choreography by Parker Esse • Set designed by Drew Facey
Costumes designed by Sue LePage • Lighting designed by Kevin Lamotte
Sound designed by John Lott

A delightful comic romp from the 1930s follows the fortunes of Bill Snibson (Michael Therriault in his Festival debut), a proud cockney who is amazed to learn he’s actually the fourteenth Earl of Hareford. But if he wants to claim his title, he’ll have to shed his old life – and love, Sally Smith (Kristi Frank).

Downton Abbey meets Pygmalion in this toe-tapping musical that also features David Ball, Neil Barclay, Donna Belleville, Kyle Blair, Julia Course, Starr Domingue, Sharry Flett, Élodie Gillett, Jeff Irving, Patty Jamieson, Jonah McIntosh, Ric Reid, Kiera Sangster, Vanessa Sears, Travis Seetoo, Jeremiah Sparks, Jacqueline Thair, Jay Turvey, Samantha Walkes, Jenny L. Wright and Shawn Wright.


SAINT JOAN
By Bernard Shaw

Previews May 3 • Opens May 25 • Closes October 15

Directed by Tim Carroll • Designed by Judith Bowden
Lighting designed by Kevin Lamotte • Original music and sound designed by Claudio Vena
Movement direction by Alexis Milligan

In her Shaw Festival debut, Sara Topham stars in Bernard Shaw’s lyrical and poetic play about the most remarkable teenage girl in history. Considered either a divinely-inspired savior of France or a pathetically deluded country girl, Joan is bound to become an embarrassment to the male-dominated world she has turned upside-down. Festival mainstay Gray Powell joins Ms. Topham as Dunois, a military man and Joan’s unlikely supporter.

Saint Joan also features Karl Ang, Wade Bogert-O’Brien, Benedict Campbell, Andrew Lawrie, Allan Louis, Emily Lukasik, Tom McCamus, Jeff Meadows, Jim Mezon, PJ Prudat, Ben Sanders, Graeme Somerville, Steven Sutcliffe and Jonathan Tan.

Saint Joan is sponsored by BMO.


DRACULA
By Bram Stoker
Adapted for the stage by Liz Lochhead

Previews July 8 • Opens July 29 • Closes October 14

Directed by Eda Holmes • Designed by Michael Gianfrancesco
Lighting designed by Alan Brodie • Projections designed by Cameron Davis
Original music and sound designed by John Gzowski

Sexy, funny and scary, this red-blooded production stars Allan Louis in the title role. Liz Lochhead’s stunning version of Bram Stoker’s Gothic classic is all about repressed erotic hunger: in Victorian England, men are as terrified of female desire as they are of blood-sucking vampires. Lochhead’s interpretation shifts the emphasis from the titular demon to the female characters: virtuous Mina (Marla McLean), flirtatious Lucy (Cherissa Richards) and sensible Florrie (Natasha Mumba). Attempting to protect the women from their blood-thirsty neighbor are the social-climbing Jonathan Harker (Ben Sanders) and the well-meaning Arthur Seward (Martin Happer).

The North American premiere of this adaptation also features Wade Bogert-O’Brien, Rebecca Gibian, Cameron Grant, Marci T. House, Moya O’Connell, Chick Reid, Graeme Somerville and Steven Sutcliffe.


COURT HOUSE THEATRE


1837: THE FARMERS’ REVOLT
A play by Rick Salutin and Theatre Passe Muraille

Previews May 7 • Opens May 27 • Closes October 8

Directed by Philip Akin • Designed by Rachel Forbes
Lighting designed by Steve Lucas

A handful of immigrant farmers struggle for years to turn Upper Canada’s forests into farmland; now they are told that their land has been dished out to government cronies. With William Mackenzie as their leader, a band of desperate men and women march down Toronto’s Yonge Street in an uprising that paved the way for nationhood.

Produced in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt, a modern Canadian classic, features Donna Belleville, Sharry Flett, Jonah McIntosh, Marla McLean, Ric Reid, Cherissa Richards, Travis Seetoo and Jeremiah Sparks.


ANDROCLES AND THE LION
By Bernard Shaw

Previews June 6 • Opens June 24 • Closes October 7

Directed by Tim Carroll • Designed by Dana Osborne
Lighting designed by Kimberly Purtell • Original music by Paul Sportelli

In ancient Rome, a group of early Christians wait to be thrown to the lions in the Colosseum. Some are more eager to be martyrs than others; the Romans just think they are all crazy. Shaw takes the fable of the man who pulled the thorn from the lion’s paw as the starting point for one of his funniest plays. This revival will be a daring theatre experiment: everyone in the room – actors and audience – will have to the chance to get involved in an experience that will be different every time.

Androcles and the Lion features Neil Barclay, Kyle Blair, Julia Course, Kristi Frank, Patrick Galligan, Élodie Gillett, Jeff Irving, Patty Jamieson, Sarena Parmar, Jacqueline Thair, Michael Therriault, Jay Turvey, Jenny L. Wright and Shawn Wright.

Androcles and the Lion is sponsored by CIBC and the Gabriel Pascal Memorial Fund.


WILDE TALES
Stories for Young and Old by Oscar Wilde
Adapted for the stage by Kate Hennig

Previews June 8 • Opens June 24 • Closes October 7

Directed by Christine Brubaker • Designed by Jennifer Goodman
Lighting designed by Siobhán Sleath • Original music and sound designed by John Gzowski
Dramaturgy by Joanna Falck

Oscar Wilde’s genius never blazed more brightly than in The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose, The Remarkable Rocket and The Selfish Giant. In these tales, created to delight and inspire the child in each of us, he conjures a fantastical world in which statues, birds and even fireworks have the power of eloquent speech. Before each performance children can participate in a one hour workshop to help the actors create the magic on stage.

This season’s Lunchtime One-Act features Marion Day, Emily Lukasik, PJ Prudat, Sanjay Talwar, Jonathan Tan and Kelly Wong.


ROYAL GEORGE THEATRE


THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III
By Alan Bennett

Previews April 11 • Opens May 26 • Closes October 15

Directed by Kevin Bennett • Set designed by Ken MacDonald
Costumes designed by Christopher Gauthier • Lighting designed by Kimberly Purtell
Musical arrangements and sound designed by Joseph Tritt • Movement direction by Alexis Milligan

King George III may have been anointed by God, but when he starts to lose control of his speech and his bodily functions, it’s clear that he’s all too human. Tom McCamus returns to the Shaw Festival to star in this political comedy and touching love story.

The Madness of George III also features Lisa Berry, Ryan Cunningham, Rebecca Gibian, Cameron Grant, Martin Happer, Marci T. House, Andrew Lawrie, Patrick McManus, Jim Mezon, Chick Reid and André Sills.

The Madness of George III is sponsored by James and Diane King.


DANCING AT LUGHNASA
By Brian Friel

Previews May 14 • Opens June 23 • Closes October 15

Directed by Krista Jackson • Designed by Sue LePage
Lighting designed by Louise Guinand

In the 1930s, five unforgettable women – Kate (Fiona Byrne), Rose (Diana Donnelly) Agnes (Claire Jullien), Christina (Sarena Parmar) and Maggie (Tara Rosling) – try to eke out an existence in Ireland, the land where no tears are without laughter, and no laughter is without tears. Each woman is filled with passionate longing: and yet they deal with it in their own, different ways – except when they are all equally possessed by the spirit of the dance, welling up from the buried, ancient powers of their native land.

This Olivier and Tony award-winning play also features Patrick Galligan and Peter Millard.


AN OCTOROON
By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Previews July 16 • Opens July 28 • Closes October 14

Directed by Peter Hinton • Designed by Gillian Gallow
Lighting designed by Bonnie Beecher

When Dion Boucicault wrote The Octoroon in 1859 it was considered a masterpiece. Its story of a plantation owner falling for a woman of mixed race was taken as a bold plea for racial tolerance; now it seems embarrassingly racist. André Sills stars in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ radical response that compares attitudes to race then and now in the funniest and least comfortable theatre experience in years.Full of strong language and challenging ideas.

An Octoroon also features Lisa Berry, Ryan Cunningham, Starr Domingue, Diana Donnelly, Patrick McManus, Kiera Sangster, Vanessa Sears and Samantha Walkes.

An Octoroon is sponsored by James F. Brown.


STUDIO THEATRE


MIDDLETOWN
By Will Eno

Previews July 13 • Opens July 30 • Closes September 10

Directed by Meg Roe • Designed by Camellia Koo
Lighting designed by Kevin Lamotte • Original music and sound designed by Alessandro Juliani

In the most average town in North America, a group of average people – including Mrs. Swanson (Moya O’Connell) and John Dodge (Gray Powell) – are living average lives of quiet desperation. And yet somehow, in the midst of all this isolation, the most basic human urge persists: the desire to matter to someone else. They may go about it in odd ways, but everyone in Middletown is looking for love.

Middletown also features Karl Ang, Fiona Byrne, Benedict Campbell, Claire Jullien, Jeff Meadows, Peter Millard, Natasha Mumba, Tara Rosling and Sara Topham.


1979
By Michael Healey
In co-production with the Great Canadian Theatre Company

Previews May 20 • Opens June 25 • Closes October 14

Directed by Eric Coates • Set and lighting designed by Steve Lucas
Costumes designed by Jennifer Goodman

One of Canada’s most celebrated playwrights takes on one of its least celebrated leaders. Joe Clark’s (Sanjay Talwar) career as prime minister lasted barely longer than Michael Healey’s razor-sharp new comedy. 1979 is a touching portrait of a politician who really wants to serve his country, but isn’t willing to bend the rules to hold onto power.

This production – which will pop up on the sets of other shows at the Shaw Festival before beginning its run at the Studio Theatre on October 1 – also features Marion Day and Kelly Wong.


 
   
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