Marion de Vries & Kelli Fox Among Creative Team for Blythe Festival's 40th Season

Marion de Vries & Kelli Fox Among Creative Team for Blythe Festival's 40th Season

Artistic Director Marion de Vries has announced the directors and creative teams for the upcoming 2014, 40th Season of Blyth Festival.

"I'm really excited as the playwright of Kitchen Radio to be working with one of Canada's hottest new directing stars, Kelli Fox. Kelli is a brilliant, award-winning actor who has recently begun to direct plays, and Kitchen Radio is the launch of her mainstage career," says de Vries. "I saw her very first directing gig at a one-night event in Toronto a couple of years ago, and was struck by her clear vision and inventive staging."

"The other new directing talent I'm pumped about appointing, to the helm of the 2014 Young Company, is our very own Jamie Robinson, well known to Blyth audiences as a fabulous actor over many seasons," de Vries says. "Jamie is currently doing an MFA in Directing and specializes in devised collective theatre creation, so he is a great fit for the Young Company."

"I'm over the moon about directing St. Anne's Reel," says de Vries. "Gil Garratt has been writing this drama for Blyth for the past couple of years and it's a beauty."

"Finally, on the occasion of our 40th Season it's a pure joy to welcome back beloved former Artistic Director Janet Amos to stage John MacLachlan Gray's iconic Billy Bishop Goes To War, and long-time Blyth director Miles Potter to bring Mark Crawford's hilarious new comedy Stag and Doe to life with his usual flare," says de Vries.

The creative teams include a mix of new faces and familiar friends: The design team for Kitchen Radio is Laura Gardner (set), Jennifer Triemstra -Johnston (costumes), and Rebecca Picherack (lighting); Billy Bishop Goes To War is designed by Steve Lucas (set and lighting) and Jennifer Triemstra-Johnston (costumes); Stag and Doe will be designed by Pat Flood (set), Allie Marshall (costumes), Steve Lucas (lighting), and Todd Charlton (sound); and St Anne's Reel will be designed by Joanna Yu (set and costumes) and Steve Lucas (lighting).

"I'm so excited with the creative team of directors and designers that we have assembled for this anniversary year," says de Vries. "The best and brightest theatre artists from mid-western Ontario and Toronto are all so happy to come to Blyth for the summer and be a part of the Festival's 40th Season. For many it is a homecoming, for others it is a debut at one of Canada's top regional theatres staging new plays and Canadian classics. Our audiences are in for a real treat!"

Tickets are now on sale for Blyth Festival members and also for groups. The Box Office opens to the general public on Tuesday, April 1. Call 519.523.9300, Toll Free 1.877.862.5984 or online at blythfestival.com.

Janet Amos directed the immortal Blyth Memorial History Show at Blyth Festival in 1977. Since then she has been Artistic Director twice, 1979-1984 and 1994-1997. She has acted in Cricket and Claudette, Heat Wave, Barnboozled, Sometime, Never, and The Bootblack Orator. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Regina 2003-2006 and Guest Artist at the University of Ottawa in 2008.

Marion de Vries previously directed Wilbur County Blues by Andrew Moodie for Blyth Festival. Other directing credits include Girl Who Loved Her Horses by Drew Hayden Taylor, Jumping Mouse which she co-wrote with Columpa C. Bobb, and The Red Moon by Dawn Dumont (Centre for Indigenous Theatre); the musicals Ship of Fire, co-written with Suzanne Pasternak, Bernie Gaw and Tom Leighton, Picton Papers by Leslie Arden, and Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave by Maynard Collins (Festival Players of Prince Edward County); Yes Yoko Solo (Loud Mouth Asian Babes/Factory Theatre/AGO) and The Yoko Ono Project by Jean Yoon (LMAB/Theatre Passe Muraille); Little Dragon by Keira Loughran (k'Now Theatre/TPM); and her own play idiot (left hand theatre/SummerWorks). Marion holds a BFA Honours Theatre from York University.

Kelli Fox directed This Wide Night at the SummerWorks Festival 2013 and Anthropocene for The Wrecking Ball and With Individual Desire, a play still in development and based on events in the life of American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. She has assisted Tadeusz Bradecki on Candida at the Shaw Festival and Max Reimer on The Last Resort for the Globe Theatre in Regina. Most recently she has been busy as an actor, appearing as Mistress Page in Merry Wives of Windsor for the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and as Amanda Wingfield in Glass Menagerie for the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Other acting credits include twelve seasons with the Shaw Festival and three with Stratford, National Arts Centre, Geva Theatre Centre in Rochester, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and the Segal Centre.

Miles Potter has directed numerous productions for Blyth Festival. Over thirty five years of directing and acting across Canada, working on classics and developing new Canadian plays. Directing: productions at Stratford Festival, The Grand Theatre, The National Arts Centre, Canadian Stage, Mirvish Productions among many others. He has also been a guest director and teacher at the National Theatre School, George Brown College, Humber College, Dalhousie University and The University of Missouri at Kansas City. Miles has received a Dora nomination (Directing, Molly Sweeney, Grand/Canadian Stage); a Dora Award (Directing, The Drawer Boy, Theatre Passe Muraille), and a Jessie Award (Directing, The Taming of the Shrew, Bard on the Beach, Vancouver)

Jamie Robinson is a familiar face to Blyth audiences: Beyond the Farm Show, Garrison's Garage, The Drawer Boy, Filthy Rich, Stolen Lives, and Corker. Other selected theatre, film and TV credits include: Four seasons with the Stratford Festival of Canada, Angels in America Parts I & II (Winnipeg Jewish Theatre), Title role in Richard III (Metachroma Theatre), Romeo & Juliet (Canadian Stage in High Park), Murdoch Mysteries (Shaftesbury), The Rick Mercer Report (CBC) and Celeste in the City (ABC). Jamie is Co-Artistic Director of the Grey-Bruce Arts Collective in Meaford, and co-founder of Montreal's Metachroma Theatre. MFA Candidate for York University's Theatre Directing and Education Program.

Blyth Festival is a professional theatre that enriches the lives of its audience by producing and developing plays that give voice to both the region and the country. The theatre produces a repertory summer season of exclusively Canadian theatre, with an emphasis on new work. Blyth Centre for the Arts, including Blyth Festival, was founded in 1975 - 2014 is our 40th Season.

Blyth Festival acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

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