Canadian Stage Celebrates 30th Anniversary With A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Tonight Through September 2

Canadian Stage Celebrates 30th Anniversary With A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Tonight Through September 2

Canadian Stage presents the 30th anniversary of Toronto's much-loved outdoor theatre tradition, Shakespeare in High Park, with a new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Featuring a talented local cast with award-winning director Richard Rose at the helm, the production gives the classic comedy a unique Toronto twist, bringing it closer than ever to High Park today. The popular pay-what-you-can, family-friendly event will run from June 28 to September 2, 2012 on Tuesday to Sunday at 8 p.m. with gates opening at 6 p.m.

A Midsummer Night's Dream follows the adventures of four enchanted lovers and a group of amateur actors as they make their way through a moonlit forest inhabited by impish fairies. Director Richard Rose has created a boisterous and hilarious production that reflects Toronto's diverse communities and society's current infatuation with royalty and celebrity. Audiences will be drawn into the spirited action on stage, with appearances by special VIP guests including City of Toronto Councillors, well-known performers and Canadian Stage donors at each performance.

The mischievous and playful comedy has been the most popular and most produced of Shakespeare's plays for Canadian Stage in High Park, with seven previous productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream (including a 25th anniversary production). Giving a nod to early Shakespearean productions performed in soil, designer Karyn McCallum built a set that integrates the natural elements of the High Park Amphitheatre and brings audiences closer to the action on stage as they enjoy Shakespeare under the stars. Original music by James Rolfe recorded by the VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto punctuates the magic of Titania's spritely fairies.

The production stars a talented ensemble including Dmitry Chepovetsky, John Cleland, Mark Crawford, John Dolan, Gil Garratt, Sophia Kolinas, Richard Lee, Ali Momen, Eric Morin, Tamara Podemski, Sarah Sherman and Pierre Simpson.

In keeping with annual tradition, admission to Shakespeare in High Park will be pay-what-you-can with a suggested contribution of $20. Canadian Stage will offer free Backstage Tours each Wednesday and Sunday (from July 4 to September 2) at 6:00 p.m. on site, offering audiences and families a behind-the-scenes look at A Midsummer Night's Dream with the inside scoop about Shakespeare in High Park. Tours are appropriate for all ages. Space is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

One of Toronto's favourite summer traditions for 30 years, Shakespeare in High Park is the oldest annual outdoor theatre event in the country with an estimated total attendance of 1.3 million people.

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