A BLACK WOMAN AS HAMLET MAKES HISTORY AT STRATFORD

The most inspired casting announcement that will take Stratford fans by surprise is the title role of Peter Pasyk’s “Hamlet,” which will be played by Amaka Umeh in her Festival debut.

Rachel Cairns, left, and the Stratford-bound Amaka Umeh in “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” in Toronto’s High Park in 2018. dahlia Katz photo

The Stratford Festival is already gearing up for the biggest edition under artistic director Antoni Cimolino’s reign, and the festival announced this morning that a familiar face will be pulling double duty alongside him in 2020.

Actor Colm Feore was already slated to play the title role in Shakespeare’s “Richard III” in a production directed by Cimolino which will open the brand-new Tom Patterson Theatre after a $100-million build alongside the Avon River. But Feore will also lead Cimolino’s production of Molière’s “The Miser” in a version translated by Ranjit Bolt (whose “Tartuffe” was a Festival hit in 2017), which will run in the Festival Theatre. This will be the first time Feore returns to Stratford since starring in 2015’s “King Lear” and “The Beaux’ Stratagem,” both also directed by Cimolino.

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