THE TEMPEST Featuring Martha Henry As Prospero Now On Stage In Stratford

THE TEMPEST Featuring Martha Henry As Prospero Now On Stage In StratfordMartha Henry stars as Prospero in Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino's production of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Previews are now underway at the Festival Theatre and the production opens the 2018 season on Monday, May 28.

After a remarkable 43 seasons, Ms Henry returns to the play that launched her Stratford career in 1962.

"Martha's first role at Stratford was Miranda in The Tempest and from that moment she has shown herself to be a master of theatrical magic," says Mr. Cimolino. "This play on some level is about an accomplished artist reflecting on their body of work and preparing themselves for the future."

Ms Henry is joined by an impressive cast, featuring Graham Abbey as Antonio, Michael Blake as Caliban, Sébastien Heins as Ferdinand, Tom McCamus as Stephano, André Morin as Ariel, Stephen Ouimette as Trinculo, Lucy Peacock as Juno, André Sills as Sebastian and Mamie Zwettler as Miranda.

The creative team includes Designer Bretta Gerecke, who, with the Festival's talented artisans, has created a special robe for Prospero, incorporating pieces of fabric from the robes worn by every actor who has played the role at the Stratford Festival. It also includes material from the dress worn by Ms Henry in 1962, as well as pieces of the tent that housed the Festival's first four seasons, from 1953 to 1956.

Artistic credits also include Lighting Designer Michael Walton, Composer Berthold Carrière, Sound Designer Thomas Ryder Payne, Fight Director John Stead and Movement Director Philippa Domville.

In Shakespeare's great drama of loss and reconciliation, Prospero, former Duchess of Milan, uses magical arts to bring within her power the enemies who robbed her of her throne and stranded her on a remote island. With the help of the spirit Ariel, she orchestrates a confrontation with her adversaries - and a new destiny for her daughter, Miranda.

"The Tempest is the last solely authored play by William Shakespeare," says Mr. Cimolino. "It contains the hard-won knowledge of a lifetime - and more specifically a lifetime in the theatre. Part mystery play, with its series of ritualistic tests of endurance, part revenge tragedy (with revenge averted), it is even held by some to represent the invention of science fiction, with its travellers marooned in a new world filled with strange creatures."

The Tempest runs until October 26 at the Festival Theatre.

Production support is generously provided by Jane Petersen Burfield & family, by Dr. Desta Leavine in memory of Pauline Leavine, by Dr. M.L. Myers, by the Westaway Charitable Foundation, and by Jack Whiteside.

Support for the 2018 season of the Festival Theatre is generously provided by Daniel Bernstein and Claire Foerster.

The Tempest at the Forum

The Forum is a series of events, such as exclusive showcases, guest speakers, special meals, music and family fun, that offer theatregoers a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the ideas and issues raised by the 2018 playbill.

· THE MATERNAL BOND

Wednesday, September 19

10:45 a.m. to noon

Mothers are among the biggest influences in our lives, positive or negative. In this conversation, we consider Scout's relationship with Calpurnia and the re-envisioned relationship between Prospero and Miranda with company members Martha Henry, Irene Poole, Sophia Walker and Mamie Zwettler. Hosted by Pat Quigley, former Director of Education for the Festival.

· WORDPLAY: THE SEA AND THE MIRROR

Thursday, September 27

8 to 11 p.m.

W.H. Auden's poem The Sea and the Mirror is written in the voices of the characters of The Tempest, following the events of the play. The piece, which Auden called his greatest work, is given a reading by members of the Festival company. Hosted by Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino.

The Stratford Festival's 2018 season runs until November 4, featuring The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors, Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, The Music Man, The Rocky Horror Show, Long Day's Journey Into Night, An Ideal Husband, To Kill a Mockingbird, Napoli Milionaria!, Brontë: The World Without and Paradise Lost. For tickets and more information, visit stratfordfestival.ca or call 1.800.567.1600.

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