Announcing the Casting for the  2011 – 12 National Arts Centre English Theatre Company

Ottawa, Ontario – Today, NAC English Theatre Artistic Director Peter Hinton is pleased to announce the casting for four of the five NAC English Theatre Company productions: Salt-Water Moon by Newfoundland’s David French, And Slowly Beauty... by Quebec’s Michel Nadeau in a new translation by Maureen Labonté, Oliver! with book, lyrics and music by England’s Lionel Bart, and Creation from Vancouver’s Peter Anderson. Casting of the all-Aboriginal King Lear will be announced in September.

“For 2011-12, the NAC English Theatre Company features 31 actors from all across Canada, in five productions, ranging from comedies, dramas, and Shakespeare to new Canadian plays and translations to modern and classic musicals. It is a season that truly reflects what our country is today,” said Peter Hinton.

The creative teams for the 2011-12 NAC English Theatre Company productions will be announced in August.

Introducing the actors who will be part of the NAC English Theatre Company for the 2011-12 season:

Rachelle Casseus (raised and based in Ottawa, ON). “As a young actor growing up in Ottawa, I viewed the NAC as the pinnacle of professional theatre. It was where every stage actor aspired to perform but it seemed out of reach. As a member of the company, I am overjoyed that I am now able to contribute to the NAC's production of creative and inspiring theatre.” Rachelle will be making her NAC debut in Oliver! and Creation.

Mary-Colin Chisholm
(raised in Antigonish, NS and based in Halifax, NS). “After so many years beavering away on the east coast I am overjoyed at the chance to meet my brilliant compadres from far and wide, in this wonderful, national playground.” Mary-Colin was previously at the NAC as director for Sheldon Currie’s Lauchie, Liza and Rory and will appear in And Slowly Beauty… and Creation.

Dennis Fitzgerald (raised in Corner Brook, NL and based in Toronto, ON). “Having had the joy and pleasure of performing in every single province (except the Territories! Haven't had that privilege....YET!) of this wonderful Country, it is an honour to be a part of the NAC Company. It is of paramount importance that Canada has a theatre that tells all of its stories and the National Arts Centre is accomplishing that.” Dennis will be making his NAC debut in And Slowly Beauty… and Oliver!.

Holly Gauthier-Frankel (raised and based in Montreal, QC). “I am totally elated to be joining the esteemed ensemble of the NAC and am so grateful for the opportunity to learn from the artistry and talent of my fellow colleagues.” Making her NAC debut, Holly will appear in Salt-Water Moon and Oliver!.

Randi Helmers
(raised in Kingston, ON and based in Toronto, ON). “Being in the Company this season means I get the chance, yet again, to deepen my creative connection with excellent artists from across Canada, and play on two of my favourite stages, the NAC Theatre and the NAC Studio.” This will be Randi’s third season as a member of the NAC English Theatre Company, most recently in Michel Tremblay’s Saint Carmen of The Main. Randi will appear in Oliver! and Creation.

Kris Joseph (raised in Swift Current, SK and based in Ottawa, ON). “Being a part of the acting company with the NAC English Theatre is an exquisite privilege, reflecting a model of work that is sparsely used in Canada.  The strength and spirit of an ensemble like this allows for deeper and richer work, which I love sharing with an audience.” Kris was a member of the 2009-10 NAC English Theatre Company and will appear in Oliver! and Creation.

Greg Kramer (raised in Hertfordshire, UK and based in Ottawa, ON). “It’s a rare opportunity to perform in multiple shows with an ensemble, and to be given more time to explore the work, in both rehearsal and on stage. Being in the NAC acting company allows us to focus on each show without distraction.” Greg last performed at the NAC in Selma Lageröf’s The Changeling and will appear in Oliver! and Creation.

Jamie Mac (raised in St. John’s NL and based in St. John’s, NL and Toronto, ON). “To be part of the NAC English Theatre Company is to be part of a passionate collective striving to carve out Canada's artistic signature.” Jamie was a member of the 2010-11 NAC English Theatre Company and will appear in Salt-Water Moon, Oliver! and Creation.

Julie Tamiko Manning (raised and based in Montreal, QC). “I am honoured to be back with the NAC acting company this season.  To share this national stage with theatre artists of such diversity fills my spirit with pride and joy.”  Julie was last at the NAC as a member of the 2009-10 English Theatre Company and will appear in Oliver! and Creation.

Christian Murray (raised in Dartmouth, NS and based in Halifax, NS). “To be asked to be a part the NAC's Company had me walking on air for days...fantastic artists, fantastic plays and a national Company....I am honoured.” Christian was last at the NAC in Sheldon Currie’s Lauchie, Liza and Rory and will appear in And Slowly Beauty…, Oliver! and Creation.

Thomas Olajide (raised in Vancouver, BC and based in Toronto, ON). “I'm very excited and grateful to be working with everyone at the National Arts Centre.” Thomas was previously at the NAC as part of The Ark in 2008, and will appear in And Slowly Beauty… and Oliver!.

Karen Robinson (raised in Kingston, Jamaica and based in Toronto, ON). “It's a privilege to be in the English Theatre Company at the NAC for a second season.  This work is bold, timely and absolutely necessary, as we continue to explore what makes us, all of us, Canadian.” Karen was a member of the 2010-11 NAC English Theatre Company and will appear in And Slowly Beauty… and Oliver!.

Jeremiah Sparks (raised in Halifax, NS and based in Toronto, ON). “The NAC is a special place for artists.  It brings together so many diverse and interesting people and the result is a truly national Company: one I am so proud to be a part of.” Jeremiah was a member of the 2009-10 NAC English Theatre Company and will appear in Oliver!.

Celine Stubel (raised and based in Victoria, BC). “I am honoured and excited to be part of this Company that spans our entire country.  The beauty of the west coast landscape and culture has inevitably seeped into my work and helped shape who I am.  I look forward to working with artists from across the country and finding out more about who they are, and how the places they come from have shaped their work.” Celine will be making her NAC debut in And Slowly Beauty… and Oliver!.

Joey Tremblay (raised in Ste-Marthe, SK and based in Regina, SK). “It's great to be back working with the English Theatre Company.  Last season was phenomenally inspiring as a Canadian artist and I look forward to another enriching season of work.” Joey, a member of the 2010-11 NAC English Theatre Company, will appear in Oliver! and Creation.

Jennifer Waiser (raised in Ottawa, ON and based in New York, NY and Toronto, ON). “Having grown up in Ottawa, going to the NAC was a huge part of my upbringing.  It is a true honour to get to perform there now with this extraordinary company.” Jennifer will be making her NAC debut in Oliver!.

Beverley Wolfe (raised and based in Ottawa, ON). “Having worked with every professional theatre in my home town, including the NAC, and with many small independent companies, I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the NAC English Theatre Company this year.” Beverley last performed at the NAC in Selma Lageröf’s The Changeling and will appear in Oliver! and Creation.

Shawn Wright (raised in Saint John, NB and based in Toronto, ON). “As an actor who has worked on most of Canada's great stages from Victoria to St. John's, I hold the National Arts Centre as the pinnacle of class and artistic excellence.  To be invited to perform here is both thrilling and humbling.” Shawn last performed at the NAC in Bryden MacDonald’s Divinity Bash and will appear in Oliver!.

The NAC English Theatre Company begins its season in September at the Belfry Theatre in Victoria with And Slowly Beauty..., co-produced with the Belfry Theatre and directed by their Artistic Director Michael Shamata (playing at the NAC November 7 – 19, 2011). Further productions include Salt-Water Moon, directed by Micheline Chevrier, October 18 – November 5, 2011; the musical Oliver!  under the creative team of Director Dayna Tekatch and Musical Director Allen Cole, runs December 6 – 24, 2011; and Creation, directed by Peter Hinton, plays January 30 – February 20, 2012.

The all-Aboriginal production of King Lear, featuring August Schellenberg, and also under the direction of Peter Hinton, will run May 8 – 26, 2012.

Embassy Hotel & Suites is proud to be the Official Hotel Partner for the National Arts Centre English Theatre.

For more detailed information about the productions at the NAC English Theatre, click on www.nac-cna.ca/en/theatre.

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 For more information, please call:

Sean Fitzpatrick

Communications Officer

National Arts Centre English Theatre
613-947-7000 ext. 389 or Cell 613-899-9737

sfitzpat@nac-cna.ca or visit the NAC website at www.nac-cna.ca

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