Shakespeare's Will


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January 10 - February 3, 2013
Directed by Miles Potter

Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway, raised their children alone while he pursued fame. Discover why she was notoriously willed the bard’s “second best bed." Starring Seana McKenna, leading actress of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Estimated run time 80 minutes with no intermission.

Adult Language


Anne Hathaway.......................... Seana McKenna

Playwright.................................................. Vern Thiessen
Director...................................................... Miles Potter
Scenic/Costume Designer..................... Peter Hartwell
Lighting Designer.................................... Kevin Fraser
Composer................................................ Marc Desormeaux
Sound Designer....................................... Peter McBoyle
Producer.................................................... Colin Rivers

Seana McKennaSeana McKenna (Anne Hathaway) MRT: Boston Marriage. Regional (US): Phèdre, A.C.T.; A Winter’s Tale, Missouri Rep; How I Learned to Drive, St. Louis Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse; To Kill a Mockingbird, A Streetcar Named Desire, Huntington; Passion Play, Goodman; She Stoops to Conquer, Court Theatre;  Stratford Festival: 21 seasons - most recently Dolly Gallagher Levi in The Matchmaker and Klytemestra in Elektra;  In between: Juliet, Cordelia, Viola, Olivia, Lady Macbeth, Portia,  Helena, Titania, Queens Margaret, Elizabeth and Katharine, Chorus Henry V, Paulina, the spaghetti-Western Katerina the Shrew and Richard (in Richard III directed by her husband Miles Potter); Other - Shakespeare’s Will, Medea, Phèdre, Dangerous Liaisons, The Glass Menagerie, Night of the Iguana, Private Lives, Fallen Angels, London Assurance, Noises Off, Trojan Women, Tartuffe, Good Mother.   Regional (Canada): Mrs. Warren’s Profession, MTC; The Year of Magical Thinking, Belfry/Tarragon/NAC; more than 80 productions across the continent. Tour: Stratford’s King Lear and Twelfth Night (LA, Seattle, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Washington). Film/TV: The Hanging Garden (Genie Award), Rookie Blue, Flashpoint, Eleventh Hour. Awards: Dora (Toronto): Outstanding Actress in Saint Joan, Theatre Plus Toronto; Outstanding Actress in Orpheus Descending, MTC/Mirvish, Outstanding Director for Valley Song, New Globe; Jessie (Vancouver): Wit, Vancouver Playhouse/Canadian Stage; BWW Theater Award (Toronto) A Winter’s Tale; Jeff Award Nomination (Chicago): The Passion Play,  Goodman; CityBeat Award Nomination (Cincinnati): How I Learned to Drive, Cincinnati Playhouse (directed by Charles Towers); Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award Nomination: Phèdre; Tyrone Guthrie Award for Mentorship;  Other: Recipient of Honorary MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco; Lives with Miles and son Cal in Harrington, Ontario.



Vern ThiessenVern Thiessen (Playwright) Vern Thiessen’s plays are seen around the world. From New Orleans to Alaska; from Canada to China; from Europe to New Zealand; from regional theatre to off-Broadway; from comedies to historical drama: from musicals to works for children, Thiessen is considered one of the most diverse and successful playwrights his native Canada has produced.  Well known works include Shakespeare’s Will, Apple, Vimy, Einstein’s Gift, Lenin’s Embalmers, and A More Perfect Union.  Thiessen is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Award, Canada’s highest honor for playwriting. Thiessen has served as Playwright in Residence at Workshop West Theatre and the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton.  He is a past president of both the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Writer’s Guild of Alberta. He is currently an Associate Artist with Epic Theatre Ensemble in New York City, where he writes, teaches and acts.  He is also an advisory board member of New York’s Wingspan Arts, and a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. He is currently Project Associate for the New Play Frontiers program at People’s Light and Theatre in Malvern, PA. Thiessen divides his time between Winnipeg and New York City with his fiancé, the acclaimed novelist Susie Moloney.



Vern ThiessenMiles Potter (Director) MRT: Debut. Stratford Festival: 8 productions including Richard III, Shakespeare’s Will, Medea, Orpheus Descending; upcoming (in 2013) The Three Musketeers on the Festival Stage. Regional (Canada): Miles has worked at virtually every major theatre in Canada over the past 30 years. Select productions include: Medea, Orpheus Descending, The Drawer Boy, Mirvish Productions; Innocence Lost, and many others, Blyth Festival; Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Bard on the Beach; God of Carnage, Manitoba Theatre Centre; Picasso at the Lapin Agile,  Centaur Theatre; One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Theatre Calgary; A Streetcar Named Desire, Citadel Theatre; Awake and Sing, Soulpepper. Tour (Canada): The Drawer Boy. Awards: Outstanding Director - Dora (Toronto) for the World Premiere of The Drawer Boy, Theatre Passe  Muraille; Jessie (Vancouver) for Taming of the Shrew, Bard on the Beach; Masque (Montreal) for Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Centaur Theatre. Other: Miles has also been a guest director and teacher at the National Theatre School, George Brown College, the Globe’s conservatory and the University of Missouri at Kansas City.  When not working, Miles lives in the Ontario village of Harrington with Seana and son Cal.



Peter Hartwell (Set & Costume Designer) MRT: Debut. Broadway/Regional (US): In the U.S., Peter has designed on Broadway as well as at the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Guthrie, the Mark Taper Forum, Steppenwolf Theatre, and the Folger Theatre. Stratford Festival: Select productions include: Richard III, Shakespeare’s Will, Medea, Inherit the Wind, Twelfth Night(set). Shaw Festival: Select productions include: Guys and Dolls (upcoming 2013), His Girl Friday, The Cherry Orchard, An Inspector Calls, and Man and Superman.Regional (Canada): Select productions include: Medea, Orpheus Descending (with Mirvish Productions), Dancing at Lughnasa (with National Arts Centre of Canada), Manitoba Theatre Centre; Hamlet, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Soulpepper Theatre Company. International: Select productions include: King Lear, Cloud Nine, Our Country’s Good / The Recruiting Officer (touring production), Royal Court Theatre: Top Girls (set), Aunt Dan and Lemon (set), Royal Court Theatre/New York Public Theatre. Peter has also designed in England’s West End as well as at the English National Opera, the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and at the Sydney Theatre Company (Australia). Other: Peter received his theatre design training at Sadler’s Wells’ Opera Theatre Design Course.



Kevin Fraser (Lighting Designer) MRT: Debut. Stratford Festival: 25 Seasons. Select productions include: Richard III, Evita, Peter Pan, West Side Story, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Music Man, Cabaret, To Kill A Mockingbird, South Pacific, Glass Menagerie, Orpheus Descending, Regional (Canada): Kevin has worked in every major regional theatre across the country including Neptune Theatre (Halifax), National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Canadian Stage Company (Toronto), Manitoba Theatre Centre (Winnipeg), Theatre Calgary, Vancouver Playhouse, Shaw Festival. Opera: Houston Grand Opera, Cleveland Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Atelier (Toronto).



Marc Desormeaux (Composer) MRT: Debut. Regional (US): Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Stratford Festival: 9 Seasons. Select productions include: Richard III, Shakespeare’s Will, Orpheus Descending, The Lark, The Taming of the Shrew and Romeo and JulietRegional (Canada): Marc has worked in every major regional theatre across the country. Select credits include: Zadie’s Shoes, Mirvish Productions; The Drawer Boy (original company), Mirvish Productions/MTC /National Tour); Proof, Manitoba Theatre Centre/Canadian Stage; Boy Gets Girl, Canadian Stage; Love’s Labour’s Lost, HamletThe Winter’s TaleTwelfth Night and Travels with My Aunt, National Arts Centre; Summer and Smoke, Pygmalion and A Room of One’s Own (National Tour), Shaw Festival (5 Seasons). International: Vienna English Theatre.  Other: Marc also co-created and performed the role of Chet Baker in the play Time After Time (GCTC), was the composer/playwright of Cyberia (National Arts Centre of Canada 1997), and was the co-writer/performer of Brigit’s Reel with fiddler Trish Barclay.  Awards: Nominations include Jeff (Chicago), Jessie (Vancouver), Sterling (Edmonton) and Dora (Toronto - two).



Colin Rivers / Marquis Entertainment (Producer) MRT: 2 Pianos 4 Hands (2008). Regional/Tour (US): 2 Pianos 4 Hands (2P4H), Harford Stage (2005, 2006 - winner of Connecticut Critics Award for Outstanding Touring Production), Actors Theatre of Louisville, Dallas Theatre Center, Laguna Playhouse, Maltz Jupiter Theatre and other theatres; Shakespeare’s Will, Wharton Center (East Lansing, MI). Stratford Festival: Shakespeare’s Will, The Blonde, The Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead (2006, 2007).  Regional/Tour (Canada):  Selected productions include: The Railway Children at Toronto’s Roundhouse Theatre, Mirvish Productions (Dora Award); 2P4H, Mirvish (2003, 2011), National Arts Center, throughout Canada and upcoming at Arts Club Theatre (Vancouver); Shakespeare’s Will, Globe Theatre; Adventures of A Black Girl in Search of God, Mirvish; A Couple of Blaguards, Mirvish; Mom’s the Word, The Grand Theatre (London, ON), PTE (Winnipeg); and Fully Committed (starring Mark McKinney), Arts Club Theatre, Just for Laughs Festival (Montréal). International: Select productions include: 2P4H in Japan (2004 – Tokyo, 2012 – national tour), with Shochiku; Hong Kong Arts Festival, Glen Street Theatre (Sydney, Australia). TV/Film:  Santa Baby (“Best Comedy” winner at the 2006 LA Short Film Festival, CBC; A Tribute to Brian Linehan, TIFF/CTV; and Mordecai Richler: A Celebration (starring Richard Dreyfuss), CBC. Concerts: Marquis is also the Artistic Producer of Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery’s Amphitheatre – a 500 seat open air theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Other: Marquis currently represents the authors of 2P4H and Mom’s the Word – both produced in the West End of London and 2P4H also produced Off-Broadway.  Marquis also represents the works of Dean Regan, Michele Riml, Aaron Bushkowsky, Michael Melski, Andrew Moodie and Richard Greenblatt/Diane Flacks.



Seana McKenna as Anne Hathaway. Photos by Meghan Moore.

Seana Mckenna as Anne Hathaway Seana Mckenna as Anne Hathaway Seana Mckenna as Anne Hathaway Seana Mckenna as Anne Hathaway Seana Mckenna as Anne Hathaway
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