Soulpepper has announced casting for two of its upcoming shows!
A fresh mix of longtime favourites and newcomers will headline Soulpepper’s productions of two American Classics opening at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts beginning this summer.
Fool For Love
First up, Cara Gee (The Expanse, Amazon) and Eion Bailey (Band of Brothers, HBO) will make their Soulpepper debuts, taking on the roles of explosive former lovers May and Eddie in Sam Sheppard’s Fool For Love, directed by Soulpepper’s own Frank Cox-O’Connell.
Also joining the cast, Soulpepper vet Alex McCooeye (Bedroom Farce, Soulpepper) and founding member Stuart Hughes (Wedding at Aulis, Soulpepper) will return to the Young Centre stage as Martin and the Old Man, respectively.
Set to open July 13th, Fool For Love will feature set design by Lorenzo Savoini, costumes by Shannon Lea Doyle, lighting by Simon Rossiter and composition by Andrew Penner.
A Streetcar Named Desire
Next, Amy Rutherford (Molly’s Game) and Mac Fyfe (Bakkhai, Stratford Festival) will return to Soulpepper to take on the iconic roles of Blanche Dubois and Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams’ seminal work: A Streetcar Named Desire, opening September 21st of this year.
This much-anticipated production will be directed by Soulpepper’s newly minted Artistic Director, Weyni Mengesha in her first time directing as the company’s AD.
“I’m so moved by this play; every time I read it I uncover a new gem. It is a deep dive into human pain and our hunger for belonging,” she says.
Joining Rutherford and Fyfe, Leah Doz (August: Osage County, Soulpepper) will portray Stanley’s wife Stella. Soulpepper’s current Baillie Fellow and longtime company member Gregory Prest (Bed in Breakfast, Soulpepper) will feature in the role of Mitch.
Additional casting for Streetcar includes Sebastian Marziali (Blood Wedding, Aluna Theatre) who will be making his Soulpepper debut, and returning members Akosua Amo-Adem (Idomeneus, Soulpepper), and SATE (for colored girls…, Soulpepper). Additional casting for Streetcar’s company will be announced at a later date.
This production also includes set design by Lorenzo Savoini, with costumes by Rachel Forbes, lighting by Kimberly Purtell, and sound by Debashis Sinha.
For tickets and more information on both of Soulpepper’s upcoming shows be sure to click here to visit their website.
The casts of Fool For Love and A Streetcar Named Desire answer the question:
“Why are you excited to be stepping into your role?”
Fool For Love
By Sam ShepardOn Stage July 13 - August 4 2019On the edge of the desert, passions are buried deep, and secrets even deeper. Eddie has come to bring May out of hiding and win her back, no matter who stands in the way. This celebrated work from Sam Shepard combines his characteristic dark humour with a raw energy that won’t let go.
"I am equal parts excited and terrified to be performing in 'Fool For Love'. I feel an immense responsibility to tell the truth about May’s pain and anger and to share the shards of hope she has buried deep down in her heart. It feels like exactly the right time and place to dive into a story about hurt and healing, about grief and love. My heart aches just reading this script. It will be incredible to bring it to life."
"With ‘Fool for Love’ Sam Shepard wrote a rollicking cowboy poem. In it he expressed the highs and lows of love as he sees it. By playing Eddie, I in turn, get to express what I know about love, loss, longing, and all things known to make the heart ache. Sam also equips Eddie with a shotgun, a lasso, and a bottle of tequila. Should be an interesting evening."
"I’m always attracted to plays that will live and breathe differently from night to night. It explores the caustic bond that love can form and as such is highly unpredictable."
The Old Man
I was involved in a production of ‘Fool For Love’ back in 2005. I was very proud of that experience, but it will be exciting to revisit the play, now that I’m 14 years older. I’ve always found it a privilege to return to a great piece of writing, because you naturally have the opportunity to delve deeper into it. I’m also excited by the particular gang assembled for this production. I feel like its a great group to really grapple with this piece, and Shepard’s fascinating world."
A Streetcar Named Desire
By Tenessee WilliamsOn Stage September 21-October 13 2019.As Blanche’s fragile world crumbles, she turns to her sister for solace – but her downward spiral brings her face to face with a brutal, unforgiving reality. Tennessee Williams’ timeless masterpiece is a raging portrayal of what it means to be an outsider, in a society where we’re all desperate to belong.
"Tennessee Williams put his life and soul into each of his characters and his insights into the human condition are extraordinary. Blanche Dubois is a haunted, complex character full of contradictions and the journey she takes over the course of the play is enormous. I first stepped into her shoes in a scene-study when I was in high school! Twenty years later, I am humbled and honoured to be playing her in this production at Soulpepper, with a brilliant director at the helm."
"I’m excited for the challenge to make this iconic story as real and true as Williams intended -- to share the parts of Stella’s humanity that I know, and that so many women know."
"Because the conflict between the characters in this play aren't supposed to fit in a tidy little box. There is a wildness to it. It's just great writing."
Harold 'Mitch' Mitchel
"Ever since I read Mitch’s line 'I don’t like to wear a wash-coat even in summer because I sweat through it. And it don’t look neat on me. A man with a heavy build has got to be careful of what he puts on him so he don’t look too clumsy' I knew I wanted to play him. I’ve always been drawn to this vulnerable, gentle, sweaty man and I’m thrilled to be joining Weyni and this incredible team of artists on this production."
"I am excited to be stepping into this production of 'A Streetcar Named Desire' because of the chance to work with the wonderful Weyni Mengesha again and the rest of this talented cast! This play gives us an opportunity to explore the cross sections of masculinity and femininity in a new way and invites us to have a more complex conversation about it all in 2019."
"I am really excited to make my Soulpepper debut tackling this biting and complex work with Weyni Mengesha at the helm. There's so much to be mined from Williams' seminal work and I know that with the team that's been put together we're going to find something beautiful. I can't wait to get in the room to start digging in with and learning from this talented group of artists."
"I am extremely excited to work with Weyni Mengesha on this classic play. I am equally curious to explore the problematic realities in this play and how they still resonate in 2019."