Stratford fest taps veteran actor, director as chief
The Canadian Press
Posted: Mar 12, 2012 8:37 AM ET
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2012 8:55 AM ET
A veteran of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival has been tapped as the organization's next artistic director.
Antoni Cimolino will be taking over from Des McAnuff at the end of the 2012 season.
The festival's Board of Governors made the announcement Saturday, following a six-month search.
"His artistic vision includes a deep commitment to Shakespeare and classical theatre, great enthusiasm for the development of large-scale new works, terrific ideas about artist training and audience outreach and an inspiring perspective on the Festival's role within the broader Canadian theatre landscape.
"We have absolute confidence that he will build on the outstanding accomplishments of Des McAnuff and all of our other great artistic directors to further the success of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival," board chair Lee Myers said in a statement.
Now in his 25th season with the festival, Cimolino says he's "thrilled and honoured" to make a new and deeper contribution to the theatre that changed his life.
Cimolino joined the festival as an actor in 1988 and played Romeo opposite Megan Follows's Juliet in 1992. He soon moved into directing, helming his first solo festival production, Filumena, in 1997.
He was appointed the festival's general director in 2006.
McAnuff had originally planned to stay on through 2013 to help his successor learn the ropes. But he says Cimolino's inside knowledge of the festival — both as an actor and director — guarantees he'll hit the ground running.
"I will direct for Antoni in what will become his first season in 2013 and will be in residence through opening week, and I am committed to give him any support he asks for. He and I know that this will be a graceful and elegant transition."
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