This is the fourth new work commissioned under artistic director Des McAnuff. Ironically, writers Bob Martin, Don McKellar, Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison also had a hand in the creation of the cult-hit TV series "Slings and Arrows," which was inspired by aspects of the Stratford Festival itself.
"I have often said that I would love to see new Canadian musicals developed at Stratford," McAnuff said in a statement. "I am very excited with this first step and we all look forward to seeing what this talented team creates. I think it's deliciously ironic that members of this group lampooned us here at Stratford so successfully with the hilarious series 'Slings and Arrows' and I'm excited to see what will come of this new partnership."
Martin and McKellar won the Tony for Best Book of a Musical, and Lambert and Morrison won for Best Score, for The Drowsy Chaperone, a musical comedy that began in Toronto's fringe and was developed to a Broadway, London, touring and now regional life. It was a rare case of a Canadian-written musical finding international success.
No production timeline was announced for the new musical project. Since the 1980s, musicals have proved to be hugely popular attractions at the classically-minded Stratford Festival in southwestern Ontario. This summer alone, three musicals are playing on three of the festival's four stages: Kiss Me, Kate, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris and Evita.
For more information, visit stratfordshakespearefestival.com.