Suzan-Lori Parks and Tony Kushner
(© Tristan Fuge)
Suzan-Lori Parks and Tony Kushner
(© Tristan Fuge)
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights Tony Kushner and Suzan-Lori Parks will participate in The Speed of Ideas - A Theatrical Forum, at Canada's Shaw Festival, July 23 and 24, 2011.

The event, held in conjunction with the company's 50th anniversary season, will be a unique two-day forum of debate and discussion that celebrates the core of the Shaw Festival's mandate - the necessity of provocative ideas. The Guardian's Michael Billington will also participate.

In related news, principal casting and creative teams have been announced for the Shaw Festival's 2011 season.

In the Festival Theatre, the season will begin with the Lerner and Loewe musical My Fair Lady (April 13-October 30), starring Deborah Hay as Eliza Doolittle, Benedict Campbell as Henry Higgins, Neil Barclay as Alfred Doolittle and Patrick Galligan as Colonel Pickering, with Sharry Flett, Patty Jamieson and Mark Uhre. Molly Smith will direct the production, with musical direction by Paul Sportelli, choreography by Danny Pelzig, set design by Ken MacDonald, costume design by Judith Bowden, lighting design by Jock Munro, sound design by John Lott, and projection design by Adam Larsen.

Shaw's Heartbreak House (May 10-October 7) will be directed by Christopher Newton, and feature Michael Ball as Captain Shotover, Deborah Hay as Hesione Hushabye and Robin Evan Willis as Ellie Dunn, with Benedict Campbell, Patrick Galligan, Patricia Hamilton, Patrick McManus, Laurie Paton, William Vickers and Blair Williams. The production will be designed by Leslie Frankish, with lighting design by Kevin Lamotte.

Morris Panych will direct J.M. Barrie's The Admirable Crichton (June 22-October 29), featuring Steven Sutcliffe as Crichton, David Schurmann as The Earl of Loam and Nicole Underhay as Lady Mary Lasenby, with Kyle Blair, Martin Happer, Marla McLean, Moya O'Connell and Melanie Phillipson. The production will feature set design by Ken MacDonald, costume design by Charlotte Dean and lighting design by Alan Brodie, with music direction by Ryan deSouza and choreography by Valerie Moore.

In the Shaw Festival's Court House Theatre, Jackie Maxwell will direct the Canadian premiere of Lennox Robinson's Drama at Inish - A Comedy (May 6-October 1). The production will feature Ric Reid as John Twohig, Mary Haney as Lizzie Twohig, Thom Marriott as Hector de la Mare and Corrine Koslo as Constance Constantia, with Donna Belleville, Julia Course, Diana Donnelly, Peter Krantz and Craig Pike. It will be designed by William Schmuck, with lighting by Louise Guinand.

Shaw's On the Rocks (June 14-October 8), in a new version by Michael Healey, will be directed by Joseph Zeigler, and feature Peter Krantz as Sir Arthur Chavender and Steven Sutcliffe as Sir Dexter Rightside, with Guy Bannerman, Anthony Bekenn, Mary Haney, Thom Marriott, Marla McLean, Cherissa Richards and David Schurmann. The production will be designed by Christina Poddubiuk, with lighting design by Louise Guinand.

The world premiere musical Maria Severa (July 19-September 23), featuring book, music & lyrics by Jay Turvey & Paul Sportelli, will star Julie Martell in the title role and Mark Uhre as Armando, with Neil Barclay, Saccha Dennis, Sharry Flett, Jonathan Gould, Jeff Irving, Jacqueline Thair and Jenny Wright. Jackie Maxwell will direct, with set design by Judith Bowden, costume design by Sue LePage, lighting design by Kevin Lamotte and choreography by Eda Holmes.

In the Royal George Theatre, Shaw's Candida (April 7-October 30), will be directed by Tadeusz Bradecki, designed by William Schmuck, with lighting by Jock Munro. It will feature Claire Jullien as Candida, Nigel Shawn Williams as the Reverend James Mavor Morell and Wade Bogert-O'Brien as Eugene Marchbanks, with Norman Browning, Krista Colosimo and Graeme Somerville.

Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (May 3-October 23) will feature Moya O'Connell as Maggie, Gray Powell as Brick, Corrine Koslo as Big Mama and Jim Mezon as Big Daddy, with Patrick McManus and Nicole Underhay. Eda Holmes will direct, with design by Sue LePage, lighting by Kevin Lamotte, and original music composed by John Gzowski.

Blair Williams will direct Ferenc Molnár's The President (June 3-October 9), in an adaptation by Morwyn Brebner. Lorne Kennedy will star as President Norrison, with Julie Martell, Jeff Meadows, Peter Millard and a bevy of Ensemble members in multiple roles. The production will be designed by Cameron Porteous, with lighting design by Jennifer Jimenez.

In the Studio Theatre will be Suzan-Lori Parks' Topdog/Underdog (July 19-August 27), featuring Kevin Hanchard as Booth and Nigel Shawn Williams as Lincoln. Philip Akin will direct, with design by Camellia Koo and lighting design by Kevin Lamotte.

The Canadian premiere of Andrew Bovell's When the Rain Stops Falling (August 11-September 17) will be directed by Peter Hinton, designed by Camellia Koo, with lighting design by Kevin Lamotte. It will feature Donna Belleville, Wade Bogert-O'Brien, Diana Donnelly, Jeff Meadows, Peter Millard, Ric Reid, Tara Rosling, Graeme Somerville and Wendy Thatcher.

For more information, visit www.shawfest.com.