Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan is pleased to announce the brilliant cast of this year’s plays: Love’s Labour’s Lost and The Winter’s Tale.
Love’s Labour’s Lost – Presented by SaskTel
“King” Ferdinand (Matt Burgess) and his good friends Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine - played by the charismatic Leon Willey (returning for his sophomore season) and apprentice actors Jacob Yaworksi and Chris Hapke - make an oath to avoid women and partying in the noble pursuit of academics. Their plan soon falls apart, however, when a young “Princess” (played by Anita Smith, returning to us from Vancouver) decides to visit the “King” with her three beautiful friends, Rosaline, Maria, and Katharine (played by Jamie Lee Shebelski, Caitlin Vancoughnett, and Cheryl Jack) in tow. The four men instantly fall in love and naturally attempt to show-off to impress the girls, but end up making fools of themselves (much to the delight of the young women). Paul Schulz returns after three seasons to add a little comedic flavor as Don Armado, competing for the love of Jaquenetta (Cheryl Jack) with his bumbling rival, Costard (Ralph Blankenagel). Josh Beaudry serves as the ladies’ chaperone, Boyet.
The Winter’s Tale – Presented by PotashCorp
Talented Matt Burgess (last year’s “Bassiano”) returns to take on the role of Leontes, a jealous King that is mistakenly convinced that his Queen, the beautiful Hermione (Cheryl Jack), has been unfaithful with his visiting friend (and neighbouring King) Polixenes (Paul Schulz). His suspicions destroy his family and his world. Polixenes narrowly escapes to his homeland with the help of Camillo (Jacob Yaworski); Hermione reportedly dies of grief while in the care of her close friend Paulina (Anita Smith) after standing trial for treason; and the royal advisor, Antigonus (Leon Willey), is ordered to abandon the King’s newborn daughter on a far-away shore. Shakespeare finds a silver lining in this bleak beginning with a simple sheep farmer (Ralph Blankenagel) who finds the abandoned baby and raises her as his own. As a young woman, unaware of her origins (now known as Perdita, charmingly played by Jamie Lee Shebelski) she falls in love with Prince Florizel (Chris Hapke), son of King Polixenes. Shakespeare’s story of jealous Kings and rustic shepherds reminds us that grace has little to do with economic status or birthright.
With Production Stage Management by Laura Kennedy (assisted by Shannon Macelli) and an amazing design team, the 2011 season of Magic and Mirth will dazzle and entertain. Imaginative Mark von Eschen provides the Artistic Direction; with amazing sets and lighting by Stephen Wade, and remarkable costumes by Beverley Kobelsky (The Winter’s Tale) and Carla Orosz (Love’s Labour’s Lost).
Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan opens its gates in one month, with performances running in repertory from July 6 to August 21. Tickets are on sale now through the on-site box office (652-9100) or online (www.ticketmaster.ca). For more info visit: shakespeareonthesaskatchewan.com