Stratford Festival Will Wage Satiric War of 1812 in 2012 Season

News   Stratford Festival Will Wage Satiric War of 1812 in 2012 Season
The Stratford Shakespeare Festival has added the "satirical historical drama" The War of 1812 to its 2012 season in Ontario. The work will be produced in collaboration with VideoCabaret and presented in an intimate, specially crafted performance space.

The production commemorates the bicentennial of the War of 1812 — that conflict that saw Brits and Americans clashing along the border — which coincides with the Festival's 60th season.

Written by Michael Hollingsworth, The War of 1812 is one segment of a play cycle entitled The History of the Village of the Small Huts, billed as "a satirical retelling of the nation's history, tracing the evolution of the 'Canadian identity' as a comedy of manners."

The original productions of …Small Huts premiered between 1985 and 1999. The work has since expanded to 20 plays, earning 24 Dora Mavor Moore Awards.

The War of 1812 is being reinvented for the Stratford production "based on newly available research and new inspiration."

One of the Festival's Studio Theatre rehearsal halls will be converted to a performance space with a capacity of 72, "designed to accommodate the special staging technique for which VideoCabaret is renowned." A run of 55 performances will play June 26- Aug. 12, 2012.

Stratford general director Antoni Cimolino said in a statement, "In 1812 Canada and the United States were enemies at war, and now we have perhaps the closest and most trusting relationship of any two nations. Attracting visitors from throughout North America, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival can now offer a truly international audience the opportunity to explore the question: What could we have been fighting about?"

According to production notes, "Using spectacular quick-change costumes and scene-setting props, seven actors portray about 40 characters, who appear and vanish as if by magic."

Read's earlier story about other titles in the 2012 Stratford season

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