Women Will Play Julius Caesar, Prospero, and More at Stratford Festival

Industry News   Women Will Play Julius Caesar, Prospero, and More at Stratford Festival
The Canadian festival will see women take on a number of traditionally male principal roles in 2018.
Martha Henry as Prospero
Martha Henry as Prospero Clay Stang

Canada’s Stratford Festival has announced casting for its 2018 season, which will see a number of traditionally male roles played by women. Next year’s festival will feature Seana McKenna as Julius Caesar and Irene Poole as Cassius in Julius Caesar and Martha Henry as Prospero in The Tempest.

Further casting also includes André Sills in the title role in Coriolanus and Daren A. Herbert as Harold Hill in The Music Man. The 2018 lineup of mainstage productions, which will play in repertory from May through October, is completed by The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Comedy of Errors.

Seana McKenna as Julius Caesar
Seana McKenna as Julius Caesar Clay Stang

Stratford’s 66th season will kick off in April 2018 with The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Music Man, both directed and choreographed by Donna Feore. Dan Chameroy, Jennifer Rider-Shaw, and Sayer Roberts will lead the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (April 27–October 31). In The Music Man (April 17–November 3), Herbert will be joined by Danielle Wade as Marion Paroo, Denise Oucharek as Mrs. Paroo, Steve Ross as Mayor Shinn, Mark Uhre as Marcellus Washburn, and Blythe Wilson as Eulalie MacKecknie Shinn.

In May, the festival will also present Shakespeare’s The Tempest (May 10–October 26), directed by Antoni Cimolino, and The Comedy of Errors (May 15–October 14), directed by Keira Loughran. Joining Henry in The Tempest will be Graham Abbey as Antonio, Michael Blake as Caliban, Brent Carver as Ariel, Tom McCamus as Stephano, Stephen Ouimette as Trinculo, and Sills as Sebastian.

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

Beginning in June, Sills takes on the title role in Coriolanus (June 9–October 20), directed by Robert Lepage in a collaboration with Ex Machina. The production will also feature Graham Abbey as Tullus Aufidius, Blake as Cominuis, McCamus as Menenius Agrippa, Ouimette as Junius Brutus, Lucy Peacock as Volumnia, and Tom Rooney as Sicinius Velutus.

Completing the lineup of works by Shakespeare will be Julius Caesar, led by McKenna in the title role. Directed by Scott Wentworth, the production will also feature Jonathan Goad as Brutus, Poole as Cassius, Michelle Giroux as Mark Antony, Monice Peter as Portia, and Joseph Ziegler as Caska. Performances will run July 31–October 27.

The Stratford Festival lineup also includes To Kill a Mocking Bird, presented by Schulich Youth Plays; a new production of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband; McKenna and Wentworth as Mary and James Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey into Night; and new plays by Jordi Mand and Erin Shields.

Tickets for the 2018 season will go on sale to members of the Stratford Festival beginning November 12, and to the general public on January 5, 2018. For more information on the festival, visit StratfordFestival.ca.


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