Stratford Will Welcome Dennehy, Galati, Bedford, Griffin, Camelot and Jesus Christ Superstar in 2011

News   Stratford Will Welcome Dennehy, Galati, Bedford, Griffin, Camelot and Jesus Christ Superstar in 2011
Actors Brian Dennehy and Brian Bedford, directors Frank Galati, Des McAnuff and Gary Griffin, playwrights Harold Pinter and Michel Tremblay and actress Seana McKenna as Richard III are some of the names attached to the 2011 season of Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Brian Dennehy in Long Day's Journey Into Night.
Brian Dennehy in Long Day's Journey Into Night. Photo by Joan Marcus

Artistic director McAnuff announced the coming season on June 28.

American actor Dennehy will return to the festival to play Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, directed by McAnuff, at the Festival Theatre. It's one of four plays by Shakespeare in 2011, which will include Festival favorite McKenna putting on pants as the villainous Richard III, directed by Miles Potter at the Tom Patterson Theatre; The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Tony Award winner Frank Galati and featuring Geraint Wyn Davies as Falstaff and Tom Rooney as Ford; and Titus Andronicus, by a director to be announced, at the Patterson.

Dennehy appeared in Krapp's Last Tape and Hughie at Stratford in 2008. Also in 2011, Dennehy will play the raving patriarch Max in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming (with Stephen Ouimette as Sam) at the Avon Theatre, the first Pinter work to be produced at the Festival. Jennifer Tarver will direct.

Griffin (this summer's Evita at Stratford, and Broadway's The Color Purple) will direct the musical Camelot at the Festival Theatre. Geraint Wyn Davies will play King Arthur in the show by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.

Tony winner McAnuff (The Who's Tommy, Big Rover) will direct Jesus Christ Superstar, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, at the Avon Theatre. The production will feature Paul Nolan as Jesus and Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene.

General director Antoni Cimolino will direct The Grapes of Wrath, the adaptation of the novel by John Steineck, by Frank Galati, at the Avon Theatre. The production will feature Chilina Kennedy as Rosasharn and Janet Wright as Ma. In 2011, Brian Bedford will return to direct a French classic, Molière's The Misanthrope, at the Festival Theatre, using the translation by Richard Wilbur. Bedford will also appear in the production. Ben Carlson will return for his fourth season at Stratford to play Alceste. (Bedford's 2009 production of The Importance of Being Earnest is coming to Broadway in 2010-11.)

The Studio Theatre will feature a new production of Hosanna by Michel Tremblay, directed by Weyni Mengesha. Tremblay returned to the Stratford playbill in 2010 with For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again. His work had last been seen there in the 1990s.

A new Canadian work, The Little Years, by John Mighton, commissioned by the Festival in 2008, will also play the Studio Theatre. The play is an "expansion of a work from earlier in Mr. Mighton's career." It's the second of three commissions to come to the stage under McAnuff’s tenure. The first, King of Thieves by George F. Walker, opens this August. The third, by Judith Thompson, is ongoing.

The Little Years will be directed by Chris Abraham.

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival's current 2010 season runs until Nov. 6, featuring As You Like It; Kiss Me, Kate; The Tempest; Dangerous Liaisons; Evita; Peter Pan; The Winter's Tale; Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris; For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again; Do Not Go Gentle; The Two Gentlemen of Verona; and King of Thieves.

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