Stratford Fest's 2013 Season Will Have Tommy, Brian Bedford, New Works, Fiddler, Brian Dennehy and More

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17 Jul 2012

Brian Bedford
Brian Bedford
Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Brian Bedford will play Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Des McAnuff will stage his Tony Award-winning The Who's Tommy and new Canadian works will get a voice in the 2013 season of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, the first year under new artistic director Antoni Cimolino. The slate was announced on July 17.

Cimolino himself will direct Shakespeare's Merchant starring Festival mainstay Bedford at the flagship Festival Theatre in Stratford, Ontario.

The 2013 season will open at the Festival Theatre with Romeo and Juliet directed by Tim Carroll.

Donna Feore, whose previous work on the Festival's thrust stage has included such hugely popular productions as Oklahoma! and Oliver!, will direct and choreograph one of Broadway’s most celebrated musicals, Fiddler on the Roof, a previous hit there.

The Three Musketeers, Peter Raby's 1968 Stratford adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas novel, will be directed by Miles Potter at the Festival Theatre.



Bedford, who directed and starred in The Importance of Being Earnest at Stratford and then on Broadway, will also direct Blithe Spirit, the Noël Coward comedy, at the proscenium Avon Theatre.

Also at the Avon will be former Stratford artistic director McAnuff's rock opera The Who's Tommy, which he co-wrote with Pete Townshend and for which he won a Tony for Best Director in 1993. In his first Shakespearean assignment at Stratford, Chris Abraham, director of this year's critically lauded production of The Matchmaker, will direct Othello, "the classic tragedy of an interracial marriage fatally undermined by the deadly insinuations of a master manipulator."

At the Tom Patterson Theatre, expect Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, directed by Martha Henry; Cimolino's production of Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart starring Brian Dennehy as Talbot; and Jennifer Tarver's production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, with Dennehy as Pozzo.

Two Canadian plays will be presented at the Studio Theatre. Diana Leblanc returns to direct John Murrell's Taking Shakespeare, "in which a disenchanted professor and her student undertake an exploration of Othello, a journey that leads them to a new understanding of themselves and each other." The play will feature Martha Henry as the Prof, a role that was written expressly for her. Dean Gabourie will direct the world premiere of Judith Thompson's The Thrill. Commissioned by the Festival, "this spirited new play concerns a disability activist who confronts a champion of the right-to-die movement — with results that catch them both unawares."

Visit stratfordfestival.ca.