Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell and the Shaw Festival announce principal casting and the creative teams for the 2016 playbill. The 2016 season features new and core ensemble members and beloved returning artists celebrating Ms. Maxwell’s final season and 14-year tenure at The Shaw.
Alice in Wonderland adapted for the stage by Peter Hinton, Music by Allen Cole, Based on the book by Lewis Carroll. May 14-October 16, 2016
Created specifically for the Shaw Festival Acting Ensemble, this new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s beloved tale of a young woman’s journey to adulthood stars Tara Rosling as Alice. On her journey to make sense of the wonderland of grown-up nonsense, Alice meets familiar characters played by Festival favourites: Moya O’Connell as the Queen of Hearts; Graeme Somerville as the Mad Hatter; Kyle Blair as the March Hare; Donna Belleville as the Duchess; Ben Sanders as the White Rabbit; and Jennifer Phipps as the Cheshire Cat. The 22-person cast, including Guy Bannerman, Neil Barclay, Patty Jamieson,Harveen Sandhu, Kiera Sangster, Jonathan Tan, Jacqueline Thair, Jay Turvey, and Kelly Wong, plays over 144 characters in this magical musical experience that will delight adults and children alike.
A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde from May 29-October 15, 2016
Wilde’s witty and piercing look at society’s public values is led by a cast of Shaw Festival stalwarts. Lady Caroline Pontefract (Mary Haney), Miss Hester Worsley (Julia Course) and Mrs. Allonby (Diana Donnelly) convene at Lady Hunstanton’s (Fiona Reid) country house to gossip about marriage, affairs, divorce, and the wickedly attractive and scandalously unmarried Lord Illingworth (Martin Happer). Word is that Illingworth would like to become a diplomat and make the young Gerald Arbuthnot (Wade Bogert-O’Brien) his protégé. But when Gerald’s mother (Fiona Byrne) arrives at the party, their world is rocked when her long-concealed secret comes back to haunt them all.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler. From July 30-October 16, 2015
Benedict Campbell and Corrine Koslo, who starred opposite each other in Cabaret (2014) and The Entertainer (2009), return for Ms. Maxwell’s final season as the brooding Sweeney Todd and irrepressible Mrs. Lovett. Joining these two renowned performers in the dark corners of Victorian London are Marcus Nance as Judge Turpin, Jeff Irving as Anthony Hope, Kristi Frank as Johanna, Patty Jamieson as the Beggar Woman, Jay Turvey as The Beadle and Andrew Broderick as Tobias Ragg.
“Master Harold”… and the Boys by Athol Fugard from June 30 – September 10, 2016
Port Elizabeth, South Africa – 1950. In a tea-shop owned by his parents, Harold (James Daly) does homework while two black men rehearse ballroom dancing. Sam (Andre Sills) and Willie (Allan Louis in his Festival debut), who have long worked for his family, and Harold recall fond memories of times spent together as the young boy escaped his family life. But when news comes that the boy’s father is returning home, the personal becomes political.
Mrs Warren’s Profession by Bernard Shaw from April 21 – October 16, 2016
Nicole Underhayreturns to the Shaw Festival as Kitty Warren in a contemporary look at Shaw’s classic play helmed by Eda Holmes that challenges the notions of motherhood and the business of sex. Opposite Ms. Underhay is Jennifer Dzialoszynski as Vivie, Mrs. Warren’s feminist daughter who finally learns the truth about her mother’s profession.
The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God adapted for the stage by Lisa Codrington from June 10 – September 11, 2016
This season’s Lunchtime Production has Natasha Mumba making her Festival debut in Governor General Award-nominated playwright Lisa Codrington’s reimagining of Shaw’s short story about a girl who takes the phrase ‘Seek and ye shall find me’ a little too literally.
Our Town by Thornton Wilder from April 9 – October 15, 2016.
Playing the Stage Manager, Benedict Campbell will welcome audiences to Grover’s Corners – an ordinary town rendered with extraordinary care in Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning American classic. Weaving the tale of life in this small town are four Festival mainstays: Patrick Galliganand Catherine McGregor as Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs; and Patrick McManus and Jenny L. Wright as Mr. and Mrs. Webb. The story follows the touching romance of George Gibbs and Emily Webb played by Festival darlings Charlie Gallant and Kate Besworth, who played opposite each other in the critically acclaimed production of Peter and the Starcatcher(2015).
Engaged by W.S. Gilbert from June 15 – October 16, 2016.
When a train breaks down in the Scottish countryside, romantic shenanigans ensue. Gray Powell is Cheviot Hill, who can’t see a pretty girl without proposing. The women on the train and in the town, including innocent Minnie Symperson played by Diana Donnelly, quickly become his latest pursuits. Nicole Underhay as Belinda Treherne tries to escape an engagement only to find herself courted by her travel companion Belvawney played by Jeff Meadows. A hilarious comedy by one half of the famous Gilbert and Sullivan duo.
Dance of Death by August Strindberg, adapted by Conor McPherson from July 13 – Sept 10, 2016
Strindberg’s darkly comic play will be brought to life by three powerhouse Canadian performers. Festival luminaries Jim Mezon and Fiona Reid step into the roles of Edgar and his wife Alice, who have been living on an isolated island and tormenting each other for 25 years. Patrick Galliganplays Kurt, Alice’s cousin who finds himself drawn into their deadly games.