Stage Door News

Toronto: Eric McCormack stars in an online reading of “Wil” to support The Actors’ Fund Canada

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

A virtual reading of “Wil,” a new feature project written by Dan Rosen (writer of “The Last Supper” and writer/director of “Dead Man’s Curve,” both Sundance Festival films), and benefiting The Actors Fund and The AFC (The Actors Fund of Canada), will be presented March 19-23, 2021.  The reading of Rosen’s screenplay will be produced by Richard Middleton (Academy Award winner “The Artist,” “Hitchcock,” “I Love You Phillip Morris”) and Kelly McCall (“Big Little Lies,” “Big Little Lies 2,” “The Morning Show,” “Little Fires Everywhere”).  In addition, Sara Botsford (award winning actress and writer/director of “Those Damn Canadians”) will direct and co-produce, and Christopher (CB) Brown (“The Strain”, “The Morning Show,” “Little Fires Everywhere”) will stage manage and co-produce.  Rosen is also set to produce.

This mostly Canadian all-star cast features Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Eric McCormack as Bernie Shylock, Oliver Dench as Wil, Lucy Peacock as Gertrude, Tony award nominee and Obie award winner Will Swenson as Richard, Colm Feore as Polonius, Jonathan Scarfe as The Narrator, Zuleikha Robinson as Ophelia, Luke Humphrey as Hamlet, Geraint Wyn Davies as Falstaff, Andre Sills as Fortinbras, Christopher Shyer as Edgar, Erin Karpluk as Mistress Quigly and Kendra Leigh as Anne Hathaway, among many others.

Set in 1590, “Wil” introduces us to 26-year-old Wil Shakespeare - a promising, but floundering playwright with a wife, three children, a ballooning mortgage and a new play that just closed on opening night at the Stratford-Upon-Avon Supper Theater. Things look bleak until Wil’s trusted agent, Bernie Shylock, lands Wil his first professional gig - running the summer stock theatre program at Elsinore Castle in Denmark. Upon arrival in Denmark, and ready to work out his new play, “Romeo & Juliet,” Wil finds instead the royal Hamlet clan under siege by thieves and murderers looking to overthrow the kingdom, and he realizes that putting on a respectable performance of the world’s greatest doomed romance might be the least of his worries.

“We’ve assembled a dynamic cast to bring this fantastic and funny story to life.  We are proud to bring this virtual reading to viewers, all to benefit The Actors Fund and The AFC,” said producers Middleton and McCall.

Tickets are available here. There is no admission fee, but audience members are encouraged to make donations to The Actors Fund and The AFC (the Actors’ Fund of Canada).