In 1999, Canada's Stratford Festival will present four Shakespeare plays representing all phases of the Bard's career, from history to tragedy to comedy to romance. North America's largest classical repertory theatre, in Southern Ontario, announced its 1999 slate in the middle of its six month 1998 run.
Also on the schedule of 10 shows next year are two musicals (West Side Story, Dracula), a Glenn Gould biography and a Jane Austen adaptation (Pride and Prejudice).
The festival plays on three stages: The Shakespeare-inspired thrust Festival Theatre; the more intimate Tom Patterson, with a long thrust and audience on three sides; and the proscenium Avon Theatre.
Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest will play the mainstage Festival Theatre, as will Ben Jonson's The Alchemist and Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The School for Scandal. Christina Calvi's adaptation of Austen's Pride and Prejudice also plays the Festival stage.
Shakespeare's Richard II and Macbeth will play the Tom Patterson, as will the Glenn Gould play, Glenn, by Canadian playwright David Young. West Side Story will be staged at the Avon, a switch from recent years when profitable musicals played the Festival stage, the largest house of the festival. The musical, Dracula, by lyricist-librettist Richard Ouzounian with music by Marek Norman, will also play the Avon. Its world premiere played the Neptune Theatre Oct. 16. It closes Nov. 15.
Exact dates and confirmed casting have not been announced, but the season will play May 3-Nov. 7, 1999. Official opening week begins May 31, with The Tempest.
New Yorkers are getting a taste of the Stratford's current season as the company is doing a mid-November stint at City Center with two plays, The Miser and Much Ado About Nothing.
To request a 1999 season brochure, call (800) 567-1600.
Here's the Stratford 1999 season at a glance:
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Pride and Prejudice
The School for Scandal
West Side Story
Tom Patterson Theatre
-- By Kenneth Jones