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Stratford Shakespeare Festival names new artistic director

March 12, 2012 |  1:08 pm

  Stratford

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada has chosen from within its own ranks for a new artistic director who will take the helm following the coming departure of Des McAnuff.

Antoni Cimolino, who has served as the organization's general director since 2006, is expected to take over the artistic reins of the festival starting with the 2013 season, the company announced over the weekend. Cimolino has a long history with Stratford, having acted in and directed numerous productions since 1988.

McAnuff announced his departure from the artistic director role in 2011. He had assumed the role in 2007, along with two other co-artistic directors, but internal clashes left McAnuff as the sole artistic director of the company.

Stratford's revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Jesus Christ Superstar," directed by McAnuff, has begun preview performances on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre before a scheduled opening March 22. (The revival had a run at the La Jolla Playhouse late last year before transferring to Broadway.)

McAnuff served as artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse from 1983 to 1994 and from 2001 to 2007.

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival is a classical repertory company that presents works by the Bard as well as more contemporary pieces primarily during the summer months. It mounts performances at five venues around the city. Prominent alumni include Christopher Plummer, Maggie Smith and William Shatner.

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La Jolla's 'Superstar' cast same as Stratford's, minus Brent Carver

 -- David Ng

Photo: A view of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival grounds. Credit: Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

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