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Home :: Archive :: 1991 :: December ::
Stratford (Ontario) Festival 1992
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 335. Monday, 23 Dec 1991.
 
 
From: 		Ken Steele <
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Subject: 	Stratford (Ontario) Festival - 1992
Date: 		Mon, 23 Dec 91 14:44:15 EST
 
Thought I'd distill the stack of press releases I've accumulated from
the Stratford (Ontario) Festival in the past month, regarding their
40th Season, 1992.  (Those not likely to travel to Ontario for
Shakespeare can stop reading any time).
 
On December 7th, Stratford announced a deficit of $1,351,271 for the
1991 season, perhaps because of a 5% decline in attendance from 1990.
The Festival also announced that the search for an Artistic Director to
replace David William for 1994-7 has begun.  Most disturbing of all,
because of the "continuing difficult economic climate" Stratford has
cut the playbill from 14 to 11 productions for 1992, shortened the
Avon Theatre's season by a further two weeks, cut the acting company
from 105 to 90, and is planning to "rigorously monitor" budgets for
next year.
 
On December 11th, David William announced the particulars of the 1992
playbill.  *The Tempest* will open June 1st, directed by David William
and starring Edward Atienza (Trinculo), William Needles (Alonso),
Nicholas Pennell (Stephano), Claire Rankin (Miranda), Alan Scarfe
(Prospero), and Mervyn Blake (Gonzalo).  I'd expect strong comic
performances from Atienza, Needles, Pennell, and Blake (all
established veterans of the Festival), particularly considering
William's demonstrated talents for directing comedy (in *The
Shoemaker's Holiday* two years ago).  Hopefully the production, to be
designed by Susan Benson, will not be as dull as the *Hamlet* William
directed this past season.
 
*Romeo and Juliet* will open June 3rd, and will be directed by Richard
Monette and designed by Debra Hanson.  (This sounds like a winning
combination already!)  The production will star Barbara Bryne (Nurse),
Antoni Cimolino (Romeo), Colm Feore (Mercutio), and Bernard Hopkins
(Friar Lawrence).  Monette has directed a string of first-class hits
in recent years, including *The Comedy of Errors* and *As You Like
It*, the former broadcast by CBC and the latter in production as a
major motion picture.  Bryne and Feore's abilities speak for
themselves.  This is going to be a must-see, I suspect.
 
*Love's Labour's Lost* will open June 5th.  It will be directed by
Marti Maraden, and will star Peter Donaldson (Armado), Colm Feore
(Berowne), Lucy Peacock (Princess), Douglas Rain (Holofernes), and
William Needles (Nathaniel).  Maraden has recently demonstrated her
abilities directing Canadian and British contemporary playwrights
(David Storey's *Home* in 1990, Michel Tremblay's *Les Belles Soeurs*
and Elliott Hayes' *Homeward Bound* in 1991) and should do better at
*LLL* than Hopkins did several years ago.  The cast is strong and I have
high hopes that Stratford will be able to pull off a good production of
this play at long last.
 
*Measure for Measure* will open mid-season, on August 14th, directed
by Michael Langham and designed by Desmond Heeley.  It will star Brian
Bedford (Duke Vincentio), Antoni Cimolino (Claudio), Colm Feore
(Angelo), Nicholas Pennell (Lucio), Peter Donaldson (Abhorson),
Bernard Hopkins (Pompey), Brian Tree (Elbow), and Susan Wright
(Mistress Overdone).  This looks like it has the potential to be a
very strong production too: I look forward in particular to the
performances of Feore and Pennell.
 
Marti Maraden has been appointed Director of the Young Company for
1992, a position which Bernard Hopkins held with reluctance this season.
*The Two Gentlemen of Verona* will open August 2nd at the Tom
Patterson Theatre (formerly the Third Stage), directed by Maraden and
designed by Debra Hanson.  The members of the 1992 Young Company will
appear in *The Tempest* and *Romeo and Juliet* early in the season,
and in larger roles in *The Two Gentlemen* at mid-season.
 
David William has also continued his quest for younger audiences.
Stratford's "Family Experience" discount tickets will apply to 154
performances in 1992, expanded from 65 in 1991, offering children's
tickets (18 and under) for $13.50 when accompanied by a paying adult.
(Limit two children's tickets per adult.)  Furthermore, Stratford has
announced a new "Under Thirty Theatre Club" for those 29 and under.
For a $25 entrance fee, members will receive ten discount coupons for
50% off tickets for any Tuesday evening or Sunday evening performances.
 
1992 looks like a promising season for Stratford, and I'll try to keep
you posted as news comes in.
 
						Ken Steele
						University of Toronto
 
						
 

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