Stage Door News

Stratford: The Stratford Festival announces 2022 casting

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

February marks a new beginning at the Stratford Festival with members of the 2022 acting company set to start rehearsals. Over the coming months, these dynamic artists will immerse themselves in 10 extraordinary productions and lead the Festival into the post-pandemic future.

They will be part of a season that will be celebratory for so many reasons, chief among them this major return to indoor theatre. But 2022 also marks the Festival’s 70th season, the 20th anniversary of the Studio Theatre, the 10th Meighen Forum season and the greatly anticipated opening of the glorious new Tom Patterson Theatre.

“The Stratford Festival’s 70th season will feature an extraordinary ensemble of 125 actors,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino: “artists with years of the finest experience working alongside the most promising young talents in Canada today. I could not be prouder of this company of players.”

“An actor’s craft is best developed when it is challenged by the most demanding works of theatre,” Cimolino says. “In this playbill – which ranges from Shakespeare to Soyinka, from Molière to dynamic new plays to one of the greatest musicals ever written – there is material that will test, develop and thrill the most accomplished actor.”

The 2022 season features Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Richard III and All’s Well That Ends Well, Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman, Molière’s The Miser, in a new version by Ranjit Bolt, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, in a new adaptation by Jordi Mand, Every Little Nookie by Sunny Drake, Hamlet-911 by Ann-Marie MacDonald, 1939 by Jani Lauzon and Kaitlyn Riordan, and the spectacular Kander and Ebb musical Chicago.

To bring these shows to life takes an enormous group of people working behind the scenes – roughly seven for every person on stage. The Festival is steadily returning to a full complement of staff, with artisans already onsite to create sets, props and costumes, even while directors, composers, designers, administrators, marketers and others work from home to make every aspect of the season possible, to rekindle what was set aside and to create anew.

“In this year the joy of returning indoors to our stages is made iridescent as we introduce our dazzling new Tom Patterson Theatre. We add to Stratford’s legacy of excellence exciting new experiences, new talent and vibrant energy that will propel us to still greater heights in the future,” says Cimolino. “We have so much to explore, discover and share when this winter is made glorious summer.”


By William Shakespeare

Directed by Peter Pasyk

May 14 to October 28 | Opens Thursday, June 2

Festival Theatre

Prince Hamlet, son of Denmark’s late king, is horrified – and placed in a moral quandary – by the apparition of his father’s ghost, who claims to have been murdered by the brother who now wears his crown – and who, having married the widowed queen, is now not only Hamlet’s uncle but also his stepfather. The ghost demands vengeance, but can it be trusted?

Amaka Umeh will play the title role of Hamlet, with Graham Abbey as Claudius, Maev Beaty as Gertrude, Austin Eckert as Laertes, Jakob Ehman as Horatio, Ijeoma Emesowum as Guildenstern, Andrea Rankin as Ophelia, Michael Spencer-Davis as Polonius and Norman Yeung as Rosencrantz.

The cast also includes Bola Aiyeola, Celia Aloma, Isi Bhakhomen, Emma Grabinsky, Rachel Jones, Matthew Kabwe, John Kirkpatrick, Kevin Kruchkywich, Josue Laboucane, Ngabo Nabea, Anthony Santiago and Tyrone Savage.


Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse | Music by John Kander | Lyrics by Fred Ebb

Based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins | Script adaptation by David Thompson

Directed and Choreographed by Donna Feore

April 6 to October 30 | Opens Friday, June 3

Festival Theatre

In the Roaring Twenties, aspiring chorus girl Roxie Hart and fading vaudeville star Velma Kelly each face trial for murder. Both as cynical as they are sexy, the two women compete for top place in the priorities of shady lawyer Billy Flynn, who promises to make them media celebrities and win their acquittals.

With all-new knock-’em-dead dance numbers, this reimagined production of Chicago – the first major new production outside of New York and London in more than 30 years – will feature Dan Chameroy as Billy Flynn, Chelsea Preston as Roxie Hart and Jennifer Rider-Shaw as Velma Kelly, with Sandra Caldwell as Mama Morton and Steve Ross as Amos Hart.

The cast also includes Robert Markus, Eric Abel, Devin Alexander, Gabriel Antonacci, Robert Ball, Devon Michael Brown, Celeste Catena, Amanda De Freitas, Henry Firmston, Bonnie Jordan, Lakota Knuckle, Heather Kosik, Bethany Kovarik, Amanda Lundgren, Gracie Mack, Jordan Mah, Chad McFadden, Kyla Musselman, Stephen Patterson, Jason Sermonia, Julius Sermonia and Breanna Willis.


By William Shakespeare

Directed by Antoni Cimolino

May 10 to October 30 | Opens Saturday, June 4

Tom Patterson Theatre

As charismatic as he is cunning, as strangely seductive as he is utterly ruthless, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, is the very embodiment of lethal ambition as he manoeuvres his way to the throne of England, sardonically revelling in his own villainy every step of the way. But once he has reached the top, the only way left to go is down – and in Richard’s growing roster of vengeful enemies, none are more menacing than the ghosts of his past.

Colm Feore will play the title role of Richard III, with Nigel Bennett as Lord Rivers, Michael Blake as Duke of Clarence, Ben Carlson as Lord Hastings, David Collins as Lord Stanley, Jessica B. Hill as Lady Anne, Diana Leblanc as Duchess of York, Seana McKenna as Queen Margaret, Lucy Peacock as Queen Elizabeth, André Sills as Duke of Buckingham and Emilio Vieira as Sir William Catesby.

The cast also includes Elizabeth Adams, Peter N. Bailey, Wayne Best, Jon de Leon, Christo Graham, Jordin Hall, Kim Horsman, Ron Kennell, Qasim Khan, Daniel Krmpotic, Beck Lloyd, Jamie Mac, Devin MacKinnon, Hilary McCormack, Chanakya Mukherjee, Lisa Nasson, Sepehr Reybod and Hannah Wigglesworth.

Schulich Children’s Plays Presents


Based on the novels Little Women and Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott

Adapted for the stage by Jordi Mand

Directed by Esther Jun

World première | A Stratford Festival commission

June 11 to October 29 | Opens Thursday, July 7

Avon Theatre

In Little Women, aspiring writer Jo March and her sisters, Meg, Beth and Amy, do their best to make ends meet as they navigate their road to adulthood. Struggling to reconcile societal expectations with their own hopes and dreams, the girls are held together by bonds of loyalty and love. They may differ in their ideas of what it means to be a woman, but each of their journeys poses the same universal question: How do you find your own path?

In this world première of Jordi Mand’s new stage adaptation, the March sisters will be played by Brefny Caribou as Beth, Allison Edwards-Crewe as Jo, Veronica Hortiguela as Meg and Lindsay Wu as Amy. They will be joined by Marion Adler as Aunt March, Stephen Jackman-Torkoff as John Brooke, John Koensgen as James Laurence, Richard Lam as Laurie Laurence, Irene Poole as Marmee and Rylan Wilkie as Professor Bhaer.

The cast also includes Robert King, Jonathan Mason, Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah, Jane Spidell and Rose Tuong.


By William Shakespeare

Directed by Scott Wentworth

June 14 to October 29 | Opens Friday, July 8

Tom Patterson Theatre

Having worked a seemingly miraculous cure on the deathly ill King of France, Helen, the orphaned daughter of a celebrated physician, claims as her reward the hand of Bertram, the young lord she adores. She already has the blessing of his mother, the Countess of Rossillion, but Bertram himself resents being forced into an arranged marriage. It looks like Helen needs another miracle to win his heart – till Bertram’s own roving eye enables an audacious remedy.

All’s Well That Ends Well will feature Jordin Hall as Bertram, Jessica B. Hill as Helen and Seana McKenna as the Countess of Rossillion, with Ben Carlson as the King of France, André Sills as Lavatch and Rylan Wilkie as Parolles.

The cast also includes Elizabeth Adams, Peter N. Bailey, Nigel Bennett, Wayne Best, Michael Blake, Brefny Caribou, Jon de Leon, Allison Edwards-Crewe, Christo Graham, Kim Horsman, Daniel Krmpotic, Devin MacKinnon, Jonathan Mason, Hilary McCormack, Chanakya Mukherjee, Lisa Nasson, Irene Poole, Sepehr Reybod and Lindsay Wu.


By Sunny Drake

Directed by ted witzel

World Première

June 18 to October 1 | Opens Saturday, July 9

Studio Theatre

In Sunny Drake’s new play, Every Little Nookie, Margaret and Kenneth, a suburban boomer couple, return home to find their queer millennial daughter, Annabel, hosting a swingers’ party to make cash. This forces them to question the state of their marriage and Annabel, in turn, must ponder her own future when she adds a new relationship to her chosen family of polyamorous and platonic roommates. In this high-spirited sex romp, it’s not just the earth that moves, as shifting paradigms encourage new possibilities, both personal and political.

This world première will feature Marion Adler as Margaret, Stephen Jackman-Torkoff as Smash, John Koensgen as Kenneth, Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah as Grace and Rose Tuong as Annabel, with Veronica Hortiguela as Crystal, Robert King as Phoenix and Richard Lam as Matt.

The cast also includes Caitlin Kelly, Qianna MacGilchrist, Chris Mejaki, Antonette Rudder, Jane Spidell and Gordon Patrick White.


By Ann-Marie MacDonald | Based on an idea developed by Alisa Palmer, Vita Brevis Arts

Directed by Alisa Palmer

World Première | Stratford Festival Commission

July 28 to October 2 | Opens Thursday, August 25

Studio Theatre

In Hamlet-911, a new play by Ann-Marie MacDonald, Guinness Menzies has landed his dream role: he’s playing Hamlet at the Stratford Festival. But just before a matinée performance, he suddenly finds himself in the Underworld, a realm as frightening as it is hilarious, where time is seriously out of joint. Has he gone mad? Is he dreaming? Has he died…? Meanwhile, a troubled teenager is wrestling online with his own version of Hamlet’s famous question.

Mike Shara will play Guinness Menzies, with Sarah Dodd as Siri, Andrew Iles as the troubled teen, Jeremy, Amelia Sargisson as Sue, Scott Wentworth as Rex, Gordon Patrick White as Yorick and Micah Woods as Danny.

The cast also includes Dhanish Kumar Chinniah, Richard Comeau, Eva Foote, Jacklyn Francis, Caitlin Kelly, Wahsonti:io Kirby, Qianna MacGilchrist, Chris Mejaki and Antonette Rudder.


By Molière | In a new version by Ranjit Bolt

Directed by Antoni Cimolino

August 9 to October 29 | Opens Friday, August 26

Festival Theatre

The paranoid skinflint Harper has two grown children: Eleanor, who is in love with Victor, her father’s butler, and Charlie, who loves the hard-up Marianne. Both siblings know that if they persist with their romantic choices they can kiss goodbye to their inheritances. And their plights only get worse when the widowed Harper announces startling marital plans of his own. It will take a miracle – or two, or three – for the desires of youth to have their way.

Colm Feore will play Harper, the title character in The Miser, with Ron Kennell as Jack, Harper’s chauffeur-cum-cook, Qasim Khan as Charlie, Alexandra Lainfiesta as Eleanor, Beck Lloyd as Marianne, Jamie Mac as Victor, Lucy Peacock as matchmaker Fay and Steve Ross as the Detective.

The cast also includes David Collins, Jakob Ehman, Emma Grabinsky, John Kirkpatrick, Michael Spencer-Davis, Emilio Vieira and Hannah Wigglesworth.


By Wole Soyinka

Directed by Tawiah M’Carthy

August 11 to October 29 | Opens Saturday, August 27

Tom Patterson Theatre

In British-occupied Nigeria, a Yoruba king, the Alafin, has died, and it is the duty of his horseman, the Elesin, to accompany him into the afterlife. While lustily enjoying the pleasures of this world, Elesin proudly anticipates his transition to the next – but the sacred ritual is interrupted, resulting in unforeseen tragedy. Inspired by a real-life incident, Wole Soyinka’s masterpiece celebrates a community striving to uphold its culture in the face of colonial power.

Death and the King’s Horseman will feature Anthony Santiago as Elesin and Amaka Umeh as the Praise-Singer. They will be joined by Graham Abbey as district officer Simon Pilkings; Kwaku Adu-Poku as Elesin’s son, Olunde; Maev Beaty as Simon’s wife, Jane Pilkings; Josue Laboucane as The Prince; Pulga Muchochoma as the Pilkings’ houseboy, Joseph; Ngabo Nabea as Sergeant Amusa; and Dienye Waboso as Iyaloja, ‘Mother’ of the market.

The cast also includes Bola Aiyeola, Celia Aloma, Akosua Amo-Adem, Isi Bhakhomen, Ijeoma Emesowum, Rachel Jones, Matthew Kabwe, Kevin Kruchkywich, Andrea Rankin, Tyrone Savage, Espoir Segbeaya and Norman Yeung.


By Jani Lauzon and Kaitlyn Riordan

Directed by Jani Lauzon

World Première | Stratford Festival Commission

August 23 to October 29 | Opens Sunday, September 11

Studio Theatre

In 1939, a new play by Jani Lauzon and Kaitlyn Riordan, an English teacher at a church-run Residential school in Northern Ontario is anticipating a visit by King George VI and enlists her students in a production of All’s Well That Ends Well. But her rigid ideas of how Shakespeare should be performed are challenged as her actors find parallels between themselves and the characters in the play – and, far from letting themselves be defined by colonial expectations, set out to make Shakespeare’s bittersweet comedy defiantly on their own.

This world première will feature Richard Comeau as Ojibwe former student Joseph Summers, Wahsonti:io Kirby as Mohawk student Evelyne Rice, Kathleen MacLean as Cree student Susan Blackbird, Tara Sky as Ojibwe student Beth Summers and John Wamsley as Algonquin Métis student Jean Delorme. They will be joined by Sarah Dodd as Sian Ap Dafydd, the English teacher, Jacklyn Francis as journalist Madge Macbeth and Mike Shara as Father Callum Williams.

The 2022 season will run from April 6 to October 30, 2022, across all of the Festival’s four indoor theatres and will include more than 150 events in the Meighen Forum. The Festival is planning for full capacity but will follow evolving government guidelines. Reduced capacity performances will be offered for those who prefer a physically distanced experience. Masks will be required.

Tickets will go on sale to Members of the Stratford Festival beginning March 6, and to the public beginning March 18. For more information, contact the call centre at 1.800.567.1600 or visit