Thank you very much everyone. The tradition with us here at the festival is that the artistic director announces the next season’s plays after the last performance. Before I do, there are some thank yous to make...
First of all, while they’re still within earshot, I would like to thank our fabulously talented group of actors who worked so hard throughout this season, throwing themselves into these plays, Monday Night Live and showing the utmost professionalism and dedication both on and off the stage.
I would like to thank amazingly multi-talented Zach Counsil for his tremendous work with the Drama Camp, the lighting, the fight direction and of course Cyrano’s nose.
Thank you to Eddie May productions for the loan of the lighting, lighting board, dimmer packs and smoke machine which did so much to enhance our productions.
I would like to thank our Riley, our site coordinator, Kylie and Katerina our PAs, Rebecca our Assistant stager manager and most importantly Hilary our stage manager who is certainly one of the best stage managers I’ve worked with.
I’d like to thank the Red George and Scott and Joan Hubbard for their long-time support and for housing me during the winter.
To Peter Davies and Susanne Zorzella who billeted me during the first part of the summer and to Dan and Adelle Troop who made their beautiful house available for my family in this month of August.
A big thank you to our box office manager Madeleine who had to fill some big shoes left by Alleyn Abel.
I’d like to thank all our volunteers who came out through the summer and support us through the year.
In this age of cutbacks in all areas of Ontario – not just the arts – our sponsors are more vital than ever. A huge thank you to all our 2019 sponsors
All year round we thank the Town of Prescott. Without their support, welcome and generosity we could not be here.
A thank you again for the vital support of the Ontario Arts Council. We need more support of course– but we continue to remain grateful.
A special thank you to Nancy Casselman for opening up her home for our garden party fundraiser.
Also to Bonnie Stetham of all her fundraising efforts throughout the year.
Grateful thanks to our Prescott churches: St Andrew’s – where we’ll be performing our exciting community musical CABARET with our 11 piece orchestra – St John’s for Shakespeare Sunday and St Paul’s for our rehearsal space and Monday Night Live hosts
I could not do this job without the support and backing of our tremendous board of directors. A big thank you to all our board members who take a proactive part in the festival and an extra thank you to Jo-Anne Beckstead, our chair for her guidance.
I’d like to thank our wonderful directors. Mikaela Davies who came from Stratford Festival to direct The Winter’s Tale and Conrad Nelson who flew over from the UK to direct our Cyrano.
To Brett Christopher and all his team at Thousand Islands Playhouse for their collaboration.
A personal thank you to our General Manager James Richardson who makes this festival tick – who never says “no”, but always, “let’s see what’s possible” who despite moving into a new home and planning his wedding in September always put the festival first. His contribution to the running of this festival cannot be underestimated.
My final thank you is to our audiences who have come and supported us throughout the season. We are grateful for your support and we never underestimate the effort it may have taken you to be here. Thank you.
So now to next season... During my time here we’ve named our seasons. First, there was the Season of Love. This year it was Passion and Panache. 2020 will be the season of Magic and Majesty.
The first play is one we haven’t staged here for some time and one that is always popular and especially at home in our Shakespeare Gardens:
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”
Our first play will be the magical A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Our second play is one we have never performed here: In fact, it’s the first time the festival will have performed one of Shakespeare’s history plays.
It begins with this:
"O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars, and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment."
Yes, our second Shakespeare play of 2020 will be the magisterial HENRY V.
One more thing to tell you about before I go. In December we will be having a special presentation of a play called I TAKE YOUR HAND IN MINE which is based on the love letters of Anton Chekhov to the actress Olga Knipper. I will be playing Chekhov and Rena Polley will be playing Olga. We will be performing it at the Tarragon in Toronto and then taking it to Washington DC, but on our way, we will be coming to Prescott for a special fundraiser event in December. So look out for information on that event in the Fall.
That’s all from me.
And as Shakespeare said:
“We are such stuff as dream are made on
And our little life is rounded with a sleep”.
Thank you all for your support, we’ll see you next year... safe travels... goodnight!