McKenna Will Play Shakespeare's Wife at Stratford; Season Will Include Carver, Henry, Peacock

News   McKenna Will Play Shakespeare's Wife at Stratford; Season Will Include Carver, Henry, Peacock
 
The Stratford Shakespeare Festival has added a 12th production to its 2011 playbill. Seana McKenna in her one-woman show Shakespeare's Will has been added to the season.
Seana McKenna
Seana McKenna

As previously announced, the 2011 season will also include the Canadian actress starring as Richard III. Additional personnel for summer 2011 was also announced: Tony Award winner Brent Carver will play Merlin/Pellinore in Camelot and Pontius Pilate in Des McAnuff's production of Jesus Christ Superstar; Darko Tresnjak, artistic director of San Diego's Old Globe Shakespeare Festival from 2004 to 2009, will make his Stratford directorial debut with Titus Andronicus; Martha Henry will play Margaret in Richard III; and Lucy Peacock will return for her 23rd season to play Mistress Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Morgan le Fey in Camelot. Also announced on July 20 were Evan Buliung (The Grapes of Wrath, The Little Years), Gareth Potter (Hosanna, Richard III), Andrea Runge (Twelfth Night, The Merry Wives of Windsor) and Cara Ricketts (Twelfth Night, The Homecoming).

Shakespeare's Will had a limited run at Stratford in 2007. Miles Potter, who will also be directing McKenna in Richard III, will direct the solo play at the Studio Theatre in Stratford, Ontario.

Written by Vern Thiessen, the play is set just after the death of William Shakespeare. It's billed as "a fictional story in which Shakespeare's widow, Anne Hathaway, looks back on life with her brilliant but enigmatic husband."

Stratford artistic director Des McAnuff said in a statement, "I am very pleased to be featuring Shakespeare's Will in 2011, a play Richard Monette first presented here during his final year as artistic director. This solo production provides us with an opportunity to showcase Seana McKenna, as we have featured other leading members of our company over the years, including Geraint Wyn Davies in Do Not Go Gentle this season, Brian Dennehy in Krapp's Last Tape, Brian Bedford in Ever Yours, Oscar, Lucy Peacock in The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead, Domini Blythe in Fanny Kemble and, to look further back, Christopher Plummer in Barrymore in 1996."

McKenna has performed at Stratford for 19 seasons, most recently as Paulina in this season's production of The Winter's Tale. She is also playing la Marquise de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons, which opens Aug. 12. With more than 100 productions to her credit in Canada and the U.S., McKenna has played 20 of Shakespeare's leading ladies. She has appeared in 38 Stratford productions with recent credits including the title roles in Phèdre and Medea, as well as Andromache in The Trojan Women. A multiple Dora Award winner, McKenna was recently awarded an honorary master of fine arts in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. For more information about the current (and future) Stratford season, visit www.stratfordshakespearefestival.com.

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