The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2333 Friday, 12 October 2001
 From: Tanya Gough <
Date: Thursday, 11 Oct 2001 10:03:10 -0400
Subj: Stratford Festival Season 2002
 From: John Ramsay <
Date: Thursday, 11 Oct 2001 12:48:33 -0400
Subj: Stratford Ontario Season
From: Tanya Gough <
Date: Thursday, 11 Oct 2001 10:03:10 -0400
Subject: Stratford Festival Season 2002
The following news release was issued on the 10th.
SEVENTEEN PRODUCTIONS, INCLUDING SEVEN BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, IN
STRATFORD'S GOLDEN 50TH SEASON
October 10, 2001... The Stratford Festival of Canada celebrates its 50th
season of theatre in 2002 with a playbill described by Artistic Director
Richard Monette as a "celebration of how artists heal through laughter,
tears and beauty."
At the core of the 2002 playbill are seven plays by William Shakespeare,
including the two plays first mounted at Stratford in its first year,
1953. "The Stratford Festival began with Shakespeare in 1953" with
productions of the All's Well That Ends Well and Richard III, said Mr.
Monette. The Festival Theatre stage "was conceived by our first Artistic
Director, Tyrone Guthrie, and realized by designer Tanya Moiseiwitsch,
for playing Shakespeare. Although they went back to Elizabethan staging
for inspiration, our Stratford stage liberated Shakespeare and changed
forever the way we do theatre."
Mr. Monette said that the Festival in its 50th season should celebrate
its accomplishments, "even at a time when the world is not in a mood for
celebration, after the terrorist attacks of September 11. But as Winston
Churchill said during the Second World War, if we do not maintain the
arts, then what are we fighting for?"
In times of trouble, people turn to music and words, said Mr. Monette,
and Shakespeare's words have a particular power to heal and help us
understand the human condition. "At the theatre, those words are made
flesh. We celebrate the actors who make this happen, and the audiences
who come to the theatre to share together their laughter and tears."
Opening the season on May 27 will be All's Well That Ends Well, a
Shakespearean romantic comedy directed by Mr. Monette, who describes the
play "as a romance, a fairy tale." This is the fifth time in 50 years
the Festival has produced All's Well, which was one of the plays chosen
by Guthrie to launch the Stratford Festival in 1953.
All's Well was written in 1603, the same year a painting of a young man
named as Shakespeare was created by John Sanderson. His descendants
brought the portrait to Canada, where this year its current owner has
revealed it to the world. While scholars cannot definitively determine
if the portrait is, indeed, of Shakespeare, Mr. Monette and Executive
Director Antoni Cimolino have secured reproduction rights of the image
for the Festival's 2002 season to celebrate "Shakespeare in the new
world," says Mr. Cimolino. As Sanderson's family is thought to have
brought this portrait of Shakespeare to Canada, "so the Stratford
Festival of Canada has brought Shakespeare's plays to our new world."
Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's timeless romantic tragedy of two young
star-cross'd lovers, also will be presented at the Festival Theatre,
opening May 31 and directed by Miles Potter. Rounding out the
Shakespeare presentations at the Festival Theatre is the previously
announced production of Shakespeare's King Lear, directed by Jonathan
Miller and set to open August 24.
The Festival also will complete its cycle of Shakespearean history plays
that started with Richard II in 1999 and continued in 2001 with Henry
IV, Part 1, Falstaff (Henry IV, Part 2) and Henry V. In 2002, the three
plays written about Henry VI's reign will be presented in two parts at
the Festival's Tom Patterson Theatre as Henry VI: Revenge in France and
Henry VI: Revolt in England. These two productions, opening June 1, will
both be directed by Leon Rubin. The saga of the Wars of the Roses
continues with Shakespeare's Richard III: Reign of Terror, which will
open at the Avon Theatre July 13. Tyrone Guthrie directed Richard III to
open the Stratford Festival on July 13, 1953; in 2002, Martha Henry will
direct this golden season production.
The final Shakespeare play is actually a late-career collaboration
between Shakespeare and John Fletcher. The Two Noble Kinsmen, to be
presented at the Tom Patterson Theatre and directed by Conservatory
Principal David Latham, will feature graduates of the Festival's
Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training, now in its fourth year. The
Festival has never before mounted a full production of this
Shakespearean play, which will open July 12.
The Festival will present two musicals this year: My Fair Lady by Alan
Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe at the Festival Theatre, directed by Mr.
Monette; and The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill at
the Avon Theatre, directed by Festival alumnus Stephen Ouimette, who
makes his directorial debut at Stratford with this production. My Fair
Lady, which will open May 28, features such well-known songs as "The
Rain in Spain," "I Could Have Danced All Night," "Get Me to the Church
on Time" and "On the Street Where You Live." The Threepenny Opera, a
witty and satirical jazz musical about the thieves-and-beggars world of
Mack the Knife, will officially open the newly refurbished Avon Theatre
on May 29.
The final play at the Avon Theatre will be The Scarlet Pimpernel by
Beverley Cross, adapted from the novel by Baroness Orczy. This
swashbuckling adventure of concealed identities and heroic rescues set
in the time of the French Revolution, a wonderful Family Experience show
for all ages, was first written for the Chichester Festival Theatre in
England. Directed by Dennis Garnhum, it opens May 30.
The Festival will also open its fourth theatre space, the Studio
Theatre, on July 13, 2002, with two new Canadian one-act plays. "The
commitment to new play development and Canadian plays remain strong,
although given recent events in the world and the change in economic
conditions, we've had to reposition our playbill for the Studio Theatre
in its first year to ensure its long-term viability," Mr Monette says.
Six one-act plays - five of them new works by Canadian authors - will be
presented at the theatre, as well as a new full-length play, The Swanne,
Part 1: The Death of Cupid by Montreal director and dramaturge Peter
Hinton. This play, set in the childhood time of Queen Victoria, is
described by Mr. Monette as an edgy, challenging work written in verse
for a cast of 21. It will premi