Female playwrights and directors to feature in Stratford Festival 2017 season
Jillian Keiley, the director for Stratford's production of Shakespeare's "As You Like It," is pictured in a rehearsal room at the Stratford Theatre on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Lauren La Rose, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, June 15, 2016 12:15PM EDT
Women will feature prominently in leading creative roles during the Stratford Festival's 2017 season.
Female directors will helm eight out of the 14 productions announced by the Ontario theatre festival on Wednesday.
Jillian Keiley, who is directing Shakespeare's "As You Like It" this season, will also direct the Greek classic "Bakkhai" in 2017.
Outgoing Shaw Festival artistic director Jackie Maxwell will helm the Jacobean tragedy "The Changeling."
Donna Feore will take on directorial double duty for the comedy "The Madwoman of Chaillot," and musical comedy "Guys and Dolls," which she will also choreograph.
Stage veteran Martha Henry will take on Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" and Lezlie Wade will helm the musical "HMS Pinafore."
Stratford Festival's Studio Theatre will present an all-Canadian season featuring the works of three generations of female playwrights. Two of those productions will be helmed by women.
Award-winning playwright Colleen Murphy has been commissioned to write "The Breathing Hole." Directed by Reneltta Arluk, the work is a 500-year saga tracking a polar bear's journey from birth in an Inuit community.
Rounding out the Studio Theatre trio is "The Komagata Maru Incident" by Sharon Pollock and directed by Keira Loughran. The 1976 work is particularly timely given Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's apology for the incident last month.
The chartered Komagata Maru carried 376 Indian passengers -- nearly all of them Sikhs -- who had sailed to the shores of British Columbia in 1914.
Pollock's work explores the racist immigration policies which led to barring entry to the immigrants when the steamship arrived at the Vancouver port more than a century ago.
Emerging writer Kate Hennig's thriller "The Virgin Trial," described as a reimagining of the Tudor queens, will be directed by Alan Dilworth, and serves as the companion to last season's "The Last Wife."
Other productions slated for next season include Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," and "Timon of Athens," Moliere's 17th-century satire "Tartuffe," Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 18th-century comedy of manners "The School for Scandal," and the stage adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel "Treasure Island."
Tickets for the 2017 season go on sale to Stratford Festival members beginning on Nov. 26, and to the general public beginning on Jan. 6, 2017.