Actor to play in 'Tempest' at Shakespeare event

Christopher Plummer will return to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival next season to play Prospero in artistic director Des McAnuff’s staging of “The Tempest.”

The thesp was last seen at the fest in 2008 in “Caesar and Cleopatra,” a filmed version of which this week earned two Gemini Award nominations, for Plummer’s performance and for performing arts program. Plummer transferred to Broadway in 2004 in a Stratford staging of “King Lear,” and he won a Tony in 1997 for “Barrymore,” which also originated at the Canadian fest.

“Our audiences love Christopher Plummer for his great talent, humor and majestic command of the language,” said general director Antoni Cimolino.

Also on the Stratford 2010 lineup and directed by McAnuff is “As You Like It,” featuring Tony winner Brent Carver (“Kiss of the Spider Woman”) in his seventh season at the fest. Other scheduled Shakespeare stagings are “A Winter’s Tale,” directed by Marti Maraden, and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” helmed by Dean Gabourie.

John Doyle, who won a directing Tony for “Sweeney Todd” in 2006, will stage “Kiss Me, Kate,” while Gary Griffin, who helmed this season’s Stratford hit, “West Side Story,” will be back with “Evita.” Rounding out the bill is Ethan McSweeny directing Christopher Hampton’s “Dangerous Liaisons”; Tim Carroll’s reimagining of “Peter Pan”; and Stafford Arima’s production of the musical revue “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.”

The fest’s commitment to Canadian plays continues with Stratford commission “King of Thieves,” by George F. Walker, along with Michel Tremblay’s “For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again” and Geraint Wyn Davies in Leon Pownall’s “Do Not Go Gentle,” a solo show about the life of Dylan Thomas.

The Stratford fest’s current season runs through Nov. 8. The 2010 edition runs mid-April through the end of October.

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