Festival announces Langham Workshop directors

November 28, 2012… The Stratford Festival welcomes six directors to the 2013 Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction: Kevin Bennett, Mitchell Cushman, Andrea Donaldson, Kevin Hammond, Birgit Schreyer Duarte and Ken Schwartz.

“This is a dynamic and very talented group of directors,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. “They come from across Canada and have widely different experiences within the theatre but are united in their love for and dedication to staging the classics. We are very excited to welcome them to the Festival.

“Under the direction of accomplished director and teacher David Latham, we have focused the program to provide a more comprehensive and deeper learning experience with Shakespeare and the classics.”

The workshop, launched in 2010 and named for the Festival’s second Artistic Director, the late Michael Langham, is designed for directors in mid-career who have experience working with the classics but not at a theatre of the complexity and scope of the Festival.

Participants are given classes in text, voice, movement and other disciplines. Working with director-mentors, they serve as assistant directors during the season and are given the opportunity to present a classical piece of their own choosing to an invited audience.

The Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction is sponsored by RBC and funded by Heritage Canada.

Participant Biographies

Kevin Bennett
Stratford debut: Assistant director of The Three Musketeers. Elsewhere (theatre): Founding member of Honest Fishmongers’ Equity Co-Op. Director: King Lear and Hamlet (Honest Fishmongers Equity Co-Op); 7 Stories (Dream Big Productions, Templeton Secondary School); The Priory (United Players of Vancouver); Treasure Island (Studio 58); Macbeth and Pet Stories (Limbo Circus Theatre); To Sea, or Not to Sea (Burnaby Summer Theatre); Paper Boats (Walking Fish Festival). Assistant director: She Stoops to Conquer (Arts Club); Richard III and Much Ado About Nothing (Bard on the Beach); NiX (The Only Animal, Cultural Olympiad); Dirty White (Theatre Terrific); The Merchant of Venice, Heptademic, The Winter’s Tale, Lot’s Wife (Studio 58). Training: Graduate of Studio 58; Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts’ How to Rehearse directing course.

 

Mitchell Cushman
Stratford debut: Assistant director of The Merchant of Venice. Elsewhere: Directing: Terminus (Mirvish/Outside the March); Mr. Marmalade, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Oh the Humanity and Other Good Intentions (Outside the March); The Cripple of Inishmaan (Studio Theatre, Edmonton); Oh My Irma (Edmonton Fringe); Seeds (touring director, Crow’s Theatre); A Skull in Connemara (Obstructed View). Assistant Directing: Travesties, Glengarry Glen Ross, A Month in the Country (Soulpepper); Them & Us (TPM); Cellular (Luminato). Training: Graduate of the University of Alberta’s MFA Directing Program. Awards: Prize for Production (Terminus, SummerWorks 2012), Theatre Passe Muraille Emerging Artist Award (SummerWorks 2011). Et cetera: Founding Co-Artistic Director of Outside the March; associate producer, Crow’s Theatre; resident artist, Theatre Passe Muraille; director of artistic programs, Paprika Festival; faculty member, Act 2 Studio at Ryerson. Upcoming: Possible Worlds (Talk Is Free Theatre).

 

Andrea Donaldson
Second season: Assistant director of Othello. Stratford: Assistant director of The Matchmaker. Elsewhere: Andrea Donaldson is the Assistant Artistic Director at Tarragon Theatre. Directing credits include the following Dora-nominated projects: The Atomic Weight of Happiness, Montparnasse, Offensive Fouls and The Unfortunate Misadventures of Masha Galinski. Other directing credits include Tyumen Then, The Possibilities and Crack, as well as her own play Garden and directing the Young Company at the Blyth Festival. Andrea is an associate artist with multi-award-winning Toronto theatre company Groundwater Productions and is an Associate Artistic Director of Directors’ Lab North, the Lincoln Center’s sister lab in Canada. Andrea has been nominated for the John Hirsch Directing Award (2008 and 2011) and has received two Dora Awards for performing in Theatre Direct’s URGE project And By the Way, Miss. Online: www.sometimesandrea.com.

 

Kevin Hammond
Second season: Assistant director of Measure for Measure. Stratford: Assistant director, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Langham Workshop: Director, A Most Unnoble Swerving. Elsewhere: Artistic Director/co-founder of Humber River Shakespeare Co.; Artistic Director of Shakespeare in the Rough, 2001 to 2005. Director: Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, The Comedy of Errors, Henry V, A Christmas Carol, A Shakespeare Cabaret (Humber River Shakespeare). Assistant director: Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice (SITR). Adjudicator: National Shakespeare Youth Festival 2011 (Shakespeare in Action). Recordings: Oxford University Press’s Oxford Next online Shakespeare program (Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Online: www.humberrivershakespeare.ca. Et cetera: Kevin directs a touring production of As You Like It this summer for Humber River Shakespeare and has completed the Certificate Course in Arts Education with York University and the Stratford Festival.

 

Birgit Schreyer Duarte
Stratford debut: Assistant director of Mary Stuart. Elsewhere: Assistant director/dramaturge, To a Flame (Nightwood Theatre/Tyst Teater/Teatteri Totti); dramaturge, The Emancipation of Ms. Lovely (Ngozi Paul); director, Little Pea’s Revolution (United Solo, New York); translator, The Test (Company Theatre), Life of Galileo (Small Wooden Shoe); director/translator, Kaspar & the Sea of Houses (SummerWorks Festival, SummerWorks Prize for Best Production); assistant director, The Cosmonaut’s Last Message, intern director, Fernando Krapp Wrote Me This Letter (Canadian Stage). Training: Theatre Ontario Professional Training Grant (Directing, with Josette Bushell-Mingo); University of Toronto (PhD, Drama); Munich University/Bavarian Theatre Academy, Germany (MA, Dramaturgy). Awards: Nomination, Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize; Government of Canada DFAIT Award (for research in Canadian theatre). Online: www.birgitschreyerduarte.com. Et cetera: Literary associate, Shaw Festival (2008 to 2010). Currently: artistic and dramaturgical consultant for Canadian Stage. Originally from Munich, Germany.

 

Ken Schwartz
Second season: Assistant director of Romeo and Juliet. Stratford: Assistant director, Peter Pan. Elsewhere (as director): Over 30 productions for Two Planks and a Passion Theatre, including The Odyssey, Our Town, Rockbound and Lysistrata. Most recently directed Six Characters in Search of an Author for Dalhousie University. Training: Two-time graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada in directing (’92) and technical production (’90). Awards: Merritt Awards for outstanding director (’09, ’10) and outstanding production (’08, ’09, ’10), the Established Artist Recognition Award from the Province of Nova Scotia (’08) and the Queen’s Golden (’02) and Diamond (’12) Jubilee Medals. His production of Rockbound was a finalist for the Nova Scotia Masterworks Award in 2010. Et cetera: Currently the Artistic Director of Two Planks and a Passion Theatre (www.twoplanks.ca), which is the resident company at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts (www.artscentre.ca), of which Ken is a co-founder.

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