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Stratford Festival Announces Casting for 2018

MEDIA RELEASE

Seana McKenna, André Sills, Daren A. Herbert
take on title roles in
the Stratford Festival's 2018 season


Michael Blake, Martha Henry, Brent Carver, Seana McKenna, Daren A. Herbert. Photos: Clay Stang

October 17, 2017… Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino is pleased to announce key casting for the 2018 season of the Stratford Festival, including Seana McKenna as Julius Caesar, André Sills as Coriolanus, and Daren A. Herbert as Harold Hill, the "Music Man."

"I'm so happy to be welcoming back to our acting company such good friends as Dan Chameroy, Jonathan Goad, Irene Poole, Tom McCamus and André Sills," says Mr. Cimolino. "I'm also thrilled to welcome to the Festival so many talented newcomers including Beryl Bain, Jonelle Gunderson, Daren A. Herbert, Andrea Rankin, Amelia Sargisson and Danielle Wade. Next season's company of actors is a testament to the quality and depth of talent in Canadian theatre. Only at Stratford will you be able to experience this brilliant ensemble together at work and play."

Tickets for the 2018 season, which features a dozen productions, will go on sale to Members of the Stratford Festival beginning on November 12, 2017, and to the general public on January 5, 2018.


    MUSICALS


Dan Chameroy, Jennifer Rider-Shaw and Sayer Roberts
take the lead in The Rocky Horror Show

Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show | Book, Music and Lyrics by Richard O'Brien |
By arrangement with Rocky Horror Company Limited |
Directed and Choreographed by Donna Feore |
April 27 to October 31 | Opening June 2

Key casting is now complete for next season's musicals, both of which will be directed and choreographed by Donna Feore. Dan Chameroy will return to the company after five seasons to play Dr. Frank N. Furter. His Stratford musical highlights include Lancelot in Camelot and Curly in Oklahoma! Jennifer Rider-Shaw, currently playing Josephine in HMS Pinafore, will play Janet, adding another leading role to her Stratford credits, which also include Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street and Sally Simpson in Tommy. Sayer Roberts, who made his Stratford debut this season in HMS Pinafore and Guys and Dolls, will play Brad. They will be joined in this cult classic by Robert Markus as Riff Raff, Erica Peck as Magenta, Steve Ross as the Narrator and Kimberly-Ann Truong as Columbia.

Also in the cast are Eric Abel, Gabriel Antonacci, Colton Curtis, Henry Firmston, Bonnie Jordan, Heather Kosik, Bethany Kovarik, George Krissa, Trevor Patt and Jason Sermonia.


Daren A. Herbert and Danielle Wade to star in The Music Man

Meredith Willson's The Music Man | Book, Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson |
Story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey | Directed and Choreographed by Donna Feore |
April 17 to November 3 | Opening May 29

Production support is generously provided by Mary Ann & Robert Gorlin, by the Harkins & Manning families
in memory of Jim & Susan Harkins, and by Riki Turofsky & Charles Petersen.
This production is co-sponsored by RBC and Union Gas.

Stage and screen star Daren A. Herbert – known for key roles in the Hollywood blockbusters This Means War and Dreamgirls as well as the series Smallville and Breakout Kings – will make his Stratford debut as Harold Hill. Danielle Wade, winner of CBC's Over the Rainbow reality show to find Mirvish Productions' Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, will also make her debut as Marion Paroo. The musical comedy will feature Denise Oucharek as Mrs. Paroo, Steve Ross as Mayor Shinn, Mark Uhre as Marcellus Washburn and Blythe Wilson as Eulalie MacKecknie Shinn.

Also in the cast are Eric Abel, Gabriel Antonacci, Sean Arbuckle, Devon Michael Brown, Megan Caines, Mariah Campos, Colton Curtis, Christine Desjardins, Henry Firmston, Mark Harapiak, Bonnie Jordan, Heather Kosik, Bethany Kovarik, George Krissa, Monique Lund, Robert Markus, Lily McEvenue, Reid McTavish, Marcus Nance, Trevor Patt, Jennifer Rider-Shaw, Sayer Roberts, Genny Sermonia, Jason Sermonia and Kimberly-Ann Truong.


SHAKESPEARE


Led by Martha Henry, The Tempest boasts powerhouse cast

The Tempest | By William Shakespeare | Directed by Antoni Cimolino |
May 10 to October 26 | Opening May 28

Production support is generously provided by Jane Petersen Burfield & family, by Dr. Desta Leavine
in memory of Pauline Leavine, by Dr. M.L. Myers, by the Westaway Charitable Foundation, and by Jack Whiteside.

Martha Henry, who began her Stratford career playing Miranda in the 1962 production of The Tempest, will mark her 44th season by playing Prospero in the 2018 season opener, directed by Antoni Cimolino. Ms Henry will be joined by an impressive cast of Stratford veterans, including Graham Abbey as Antonio, Michael Blake as Caliban, Brent Carver as Ariel, Tom McCamus as Stephano, Stephen Ouimette as Trinculo and André Sills as Sebastian.

Also in the cast are Sébastien Heins, Josue Laboucane, Lucy Peacock, Chick Reid, Johnathan Sousa and Brigit Wilson.


Seana McKenna to play Julius Caesar
with Jonathan Goad as Brutus and Irene Poole as Cassius

Julius Caesar | By William Shakespeare | Directed by Scott Wentworth |
July 31 to October 27 | Opening August 16

Production support is generously provided by Barbara & John Schubert and by the Tremain family.

Seana McKenna, who has played nearly all of Shakespeare's leading ladies, as well as the traditionally male roles of Richard III and Jaques, will play Julius Caesar in 2018. She will be joined by Michelle Giroux as Mark Antony, Jonathan Goad as Brutus and Irene Poole as Cassius. Directed by Scott Wentworth, the production will also feature Monice Peter as Portia and Joseph Ziegler as Caska.

Also in the cast are Marion Adler, Sean Arbuckle, Matthew G. Brown, Tim Campbell, Jacklyn Francis, Jonelle Gunderson, Brad Hodder, Randy Hughson, Roy Lewis and Rylan Wilkie.


André Sills takes the title role in Coriolanus

Coriolanus | By William Shakespeare |
Created in collaboration with Ex Machina | Directed by Robert Lepage |
June 9 to October 20 | Opening June 22

Production support is generously provided by Larry Enkin & family in memory of Sharon Enkin, by Sylvia Soyka, and by Catherine & David Wilkes.
This production is sponsored by BMO Financial Group.
Production support by Canada Council for the Arts – New Chapter.

Robert Lepage will make his Stratford debut directing Coriolanus, featuring André Sills in the title role. A veteran of the Birmingham Conservatory and four seasons at Stratford, Mr. Sills has been at the Shaw Festival most recently, with leading roles in "Master Harold"… and the Boys and An Octoroon. The production will also feature Graham Abbey as Tullus Aufidius, Michael Blake as Cominuis, Tom McCamus as Menenius Agrippa, Stephen Ouimette as Junius Brutus, Lucy Peacock as Volumnia and Tom Rooney as Sicinius Velutus.

The cast also includes Johnathan Sousa and Brigit Wilson.

This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts' New Chapter initiative. With this $35-million initiative, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.


Beryl Bain, Jessica B. Hill, Qasim Khan and Josue Laboucane
lead the cast of The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors | By William Shakespeare | Directed by Keira Loughran |
May 15 to October 14 | Opening June 1

Beryl Bain, Jessica B. Hill, Qasim Khan and Josue Laboucane will play the two pairs of twins at the centre of The Comedy of Errors, directed by Keira Loughran. Ms Bain, in her Stratford debut, will play Dromio of Syracuse. Her twin, Dromio of Ephesus, will be played by Mr. Laboucane, a Birmingham Conservatory graduate seen this season as the Nasty Man in The Madwoman of Chaillot and the Poet in Timon of Athens. Ms Hill and Mr. Khan will play Antipholus of Syracuse and Antipholus of Ephesus, respectively. Both had featured roles in The Changeling, Timon of Athens and The Madwoman of Chaillot this season.

Also in the cast are Juan Chioran, Sébastien Heins, Andrea Rankin and Amelia Sargisson.


OTHER CLASSICS


Jonathan Goad returns to play Atticus Finch;
Irene Poole to narrate as Jean Louise

Schulich Youth Plays presents To Kill a Mockingbird |
Based upon the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee | Dramatized by Christopher Sergel |
Directed by Nigel Shawn Williams |
May 4 to November 4 | Opening June 2

Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird will be played by Jonathan Goad, returning for his 14th season. He was last seen at Stratford in the title role of 2015's Hamlet. Jean Louise, the Narrator, will be played by Irene Poole, whose Stratford credits include Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew and Olga in Three Sisters. Directed by Nigel Shawn Williams, the production will also feature Matthew G. Brown as Tom Robinson, Tim Campbell as Heck Tate, Jonelle Gunderson as Mayella Ewell, Randy Hughson as Bob Ewell and Joseph Ziegler as Judge Taylor.

Also in the cast are Marion Adler, Jacklyn Francis, Brad Hodder, Roy Lewis, Monice Peter and Rylan Wilkie.


Tim Campbell and Brad Hodder featured in An Ideal Husband

An Ideal Husband | By Oscar Wilde | Directed by Lezlie Wade |
May 11 to October 28 | Opening May 31

Production support is generously provided by Nona Macdonald Heaslip and by Dr. Robert & Roberta Sokol.

Tim Campbell and Brad Hodder lead the cast of Lezlie Wade's production of An Ideal Husband. Mr. Campbell, marking his 10th season in 2018, will play Sir Robert Chiltern. His featured roles this season included Alcabiades in Timon of Athens and Lollio in The Changeling. A veteran of six seasons, Mr. Hodder will play Lord Arthur Goring. His recent credits include Thom in The Virgin Trial and Marlow in She Stoops to Conquer. Joseph Ziegler will play Lord Caversham.

Also in the cast are Marion Adler, Jacklyn Francis, Jonelle Gunderson, Monice Peter and Rylan Wilkie.


Tom McCamus and Brigit Wilson team up in Napoli Milionaria!

Napoli Milionaria! | By Eduardo De Filippo |
In a new translation by John Murrell from a literal translation by Donato Santeramo |
World première commissioned by the Stratford Festival | Directed by Antoni Cimolino |
August 2 to October 27 | Opening August 17

Production support is generously provided by Bob & Martie Sachs.

Antoni Cimolino's production of Napoli Milionaria! will feature Tom McCamus as Gennaro Iovine and Brigit Wilson as Amalia. Mr. McCamus's recent Stratford highlights include the title role in King John and Fennyman in Shakespeare in Love. Ms Wilson's comedic credits include Mrs. Candour in this season's The School for Scandal and Toinette in The Hypochondriac. This warm-hearted comedy will also feature Michael Blake as Errico, Tom Rooney as Riccardo Spasiano and Johnathan Sousa as Amedeo.

Also in the cast are Sébastien Heins, Josue Laboucane, Chick Reid and André Sills.


Seana McKenna and Scott Wentworth as Mary and
James Tyrone in Long Day's Journey into Night

Long Day's Journey into Night | By Eugene O'Neill | Directed by Miles Potter |
May 5 to October 13 | Opening May 30

Production support is generously provided by Alice & Tim Thornton.

Miles Potter's production of Long Day's Journey into Night will star Seana McKenna and Scott Wentworth as Mary and James Tyrone. The pair were recently seen together in this season's The Madwoman of Chaillot and the 2016 production of John Gabriel Borkman. James Tyrone Jr. will be played by Gordon S. Miller.


NEW WORK


Beryl Bain, Jessica B. Hill and Andrea Rankin
to play the Brontë sisters

Brontë: The World Without | By Jordi Mand | World première commissioned by the Stratford Festival |
Directed by Vanessa Porteous |
June 6 to October 13 | Opening June 21

Production support is generously provided by Sylvia D. Chrominska and by M. Fainer.

In Jordi Mand's new play Brontë: The World Without, directed by Vanessa Porteous, the famous Brontë sisters will be played by Beryl Bain, Jessica B. Hill and Andrea Rankin. Ms Bain, who recently starred as Camae in the Grand Theatre's production of The Mountaintop, will play Charlotte. Ms Rankin, seen earlier this year as Molly Aster in Citadel Theatre's Peter and the Starcatcher, will make her Stratford debut as Anne. Ms Hill returns for her fourth season to play Emily.


Paradise Lost to feature Lucy Peacock as Satan,
with Qasim Khan and Amelia Sargisson as Adam and Eve

Paradise Lost | By Erin Shields | A theatrical adaptation of John Milton's Paradise Lost |
World première commissioned by the Stratford Festival | Directed by Jackie Maxwell |
August 1 to October 14 | Opening August 17

Erin Shields's Paradise Lost, a theatrical adaptation of John Milton's epic poem commissioned by the Festival, will feature Lucy Peacock as Satan. Ms Peacock marked 30 seasons with the Festival this year playing Agave in Bakkhai and Maria in Twelfth Night. Returning for his second season, Qasim Khan will play Adam. Amelia Sargisson, who recently performed in Canadian Stage's Shakespeare in High Park, will play Eve in her Stratford debut. The production, directed by Jackie Maxwell, will also feature Juan Chioran and Gordon S. Miller.


Support for the 2018 season of the Festival Theatre is generously provided by Daniel Bernstein and Claire Foerster.

Support for the 2018 season of the Avon Theatre is generously provided by the Birmingham Family.

Support for the 2018 season of the Studio Theatre is generously provided by Sandra & Jim Pitblado.

For more information, please visit stratfordfestival.ca.

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