The Lerner & Loewe musical inspired by the novel "The Once and Future King" will feature two rising actors from British Columbia: Kaylee Harwood will make her Festival debut as Guenevere, and Jonathan Winsby will play Lancelot. Winsby made his Stratford debut in 2006, playing Stewpot in South Pacific. Winsby is the son of Festival company member Sandy Winsby, who will also appear in the production.
Festival favorites Dan Chameroy and Mike Nadajewski will also play key roles (Sir Dinadan and Mordred, respectively) in the production at the world-famous festival in Stratford, ON.
Director Griffin staged Broadway's The Apple Tree and The Color Purple.
Harwood and Winsby have performed together before, as Cosette and Enjolras in the Arts Club Theatre production of Les Miserables in 2009. Harwood also recently played Johanna in the Citadel production of Sweeney Todd and Eliza Doolittle in the Western Canada Theatre production of My Fair Lady. Winsby's theatre credits include Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and Chris in Miss Saigon, both for the Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver. Harwood and Winsby will also appear in the 2011 Stratford production of Jesus Christ Superstar, directed by artistic director Des McAnuff.
The Stratford Shakespeare Festival also announced on Nov. 15 that Roberta Maxwell will return to the acting company to play the Duchess of York in Richard III and the Nurse in Titus Andronicus. Maxwell was last at Stratford in 2009, when she played Oenone in Phèdre, which featured Seana McKenna in the title role. McKenna will also play the title role in Richard III, as previously announced.
McAnuff said in a statement, "Roberta Maxwell is one of the greats. She started at the Festival as a child actress. A few years later, when I came to Stratford on one of those yellow school buses, I saw her play Anne Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor. A decade or so after that I was directing her in the title role of Mary Stuart at New York's Public Theater. What an absolute delight it is to be working with her once more."
In 14 seasons at Stratford, Maxwell's roles have included Lady Macbeth, Rosalind in As You Like It, Olivia in Twelfth Night, Nina in The Seagull, Elmire in Tartuffe and Mistress Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor. An award-winning actor, she has performed across the U.S. and on Broadway, in such productions as Equus, Our Town and The Carpetbaggers' Children. Her films include "Brokeback Mountain," "Popeye" and "Dead Man Walking."
Richard III will be directed by Miles Potter and, as previously announced, will feature Peter Donaldson as Buckingham and Martha Henry as Queen Margaret, with Sean Arbuckle as Catesby, Nigel Bennett as Hastings, Andrew Gillies as Stanley, Bethany Jillard as Lady Anne and Yanna McIntosh as Queen Elizabeth.
Also announced was Trent Pardy announced as Sebastian in Twelfth Night, directed by McAnuff. Pardy, a graduate of the Birmingham Conservatory, returns for his fourth season, having played the Second Twin in Peter Pan and Christie in King of Thieves in 2010. As previously announced, the cast of Twelfth Night includes Brian Dennehy as Sir Toby Belch, Stephen Ouimette as Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Tom Rooney as Malvolio, Andrea Runge as Viola and Sara Topham as Olivia. Ben Carlson will play Feste; Cara Ricketts will play Maria; and Mike Shara will play Orsino.
Gord Rand will play Lenny in The Homecoming, directed by Jennifer Tarver. Last seen at Stratford in 2002, Rand spent the 2010 season at the Shaw Festival, where he appeared as Petya Trofimov in The Cherry Orchard and Hugh Paton in Half an Hour. As previously announced, The Homecoming features Brian Dennehy as Max and Stephen Ouimette as Sam, with Ian Lake as Joey, Cara Ricketts as Ruth and Mike Shara as Teddy.
Tim MacDonald will return for his 17th season to play Acaste in The Misanthrope. MacDonald played Merriman in the Festival's 2009 production of The Importance of Being Earnest directed by Brian Bedford, and will reprise the role this winter for New York's Roundabout Theatre Company. As previously announced, The Misanthrope will be directed by Brian Bedford (who will play Oronte) and will feature Ben Carlson as Alceste, Juan Chioran as Philinte and Sara Topham as Célimène, with Martha Farrell as Eliante, Kelli Fox as Arsinoé and Steve Ross as Clitandre.
Also returning to the company in a principal role is Paul Fauteux, who has been cast as Lucius in Titus Andronicus. Fauteux made his Stratford debut in 2010, playing Cecco in Peter Pan and Stringer in King of Thieves. As announced, Titus Andronicus will be directed by Darko Tresnjak and will feature John Vickery in the title role, with Peter Donaldson as Marcus Andronicus, Dion Johnstone as Aaron, Claire Lautier as Tamara and Amanda Lisman as Lavinia, with Sean Arbuckle as Saturninus. As mentioned, Roberta Maxwell will play the Nurse.
Tickets for the 2011 season go on sale to Members of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival beginning Nov. 15. American Express Cardmembers have advance ticket access through Front Of The Line beginning Dec. 11. Sales to the general public begin Jan. 8, 2011.