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Stratford Festival's Opening Week Begins Monday


Stratford Festival's Opening Week Begins Monday

The Stratford Festival's 66th season opens officially on Monday, May 28, with Shakespeare's final masterpiece, The Tempest, featuring Martha Henry as Prospero.

"Martha Henry's return to the stage as Prospero promises to be a major theatrical event," says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, who is directing The Tempest. "Martha, one of our greatest artists, started her career at Stratford in 1962, playing Miranda in this magical play, so this is a wonderful full-circle moment."

Magical moments aren't limited to The Tempest. Opening week will see seven glorious productions open. Five more will follow throughout the summer.

On Tuesday, The Music Man opens, with Daren A. Herbert and Danielle Wade making thrilling Stratford debuts. This breath-taking production is directed and choreographed by Donna Feore, whose original choreography reaches exhilarating new heights in numbers such as "Seventy-Six Trombones" and "Shipoopi."

In an amazing coup de théâtre, Ms Feore has also directed and choreographed The Rocky Horror Show, featuring Dan Chameroy as Frank N. Furter, Jennifer Rider-Shaw as Janet and Sayer Roberts as Brad. The cult classic, which has been whipping preview audiences into the highest of spirits, caps off the week, opening on Saturday night.

Wednesday sees the opening of Eugene O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Long Day's Journey Into Night. Directed by Miles Potter and featuring Seana McKenna and Scott Wentworth as Mary and James Tyrone, this intimate and heart-breaking production is one you'll remember for a lifetime.

On Thursday, Oscar Wilde's suspenseful comedy-drama An Ideal Husband opens, with Tim Campbell, Brad Hodder, Sophia Walker and Bahareh Yaraghi in leading roles. Directed by Lezlie Wade, with set design by Douglas Paraschuk, costume design by Patrick Clark and lighting design by Louise Guinand, this is one of the most beautiful productions you will ever see.

On Friday, Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors gets a modern reading in a gender-fluid production directed by Keira Loughran. As funny as it is thought-provoking, it features Beryl Bain, Jessica B. Hill, Qasim Khan and Josue Laboucane.

To Kill a Mockingbird, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee and dramatized by Christopher Sergal, is the season's Schulich Youth Play, opening Saturday afternoon. Directed by Nigel Shawn Williams, this moving production features Jonathan Goad as Atticus Finch and Irene Poole as Jean Louise. Captivating for all ages, this play makes an unforgettable family experience.

The season features five additional productions: Brontë: The World Without, opening June 21; Coriolanus, opening June 22; Julius Caesar, opening August 16; and Paradise Lost and Napoli Milionaria!, both opening August 17.

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