Festival Players of Prince Edward County announced that Graham Abbey, acclaimed stage, TV and film actor, director and founder of The Groundling Theatre Company, will assume the role of Artistic Director, with 2018 being his first season in this role. Abbey, with over 30 Stratford roles to his credit has just come off of an impressive run with two critically acclaimed productions, The Winter’s Tale and Measure for Measure, that played to sold out audiences at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto.
In the interim, Festival Players will present an exciting 2017 season under the artistic direction of veteran director John Wood, Abbey’s long-time friend and collaborator. Wood’s impressive directing career includes productions at the Stratford Festival, London’s West End, Australia, and artistic directing positions at both the National Arts Center and Halifax’s Neptune Theatre. Wood is well positioned to lead Festival Players through what is an important and transitional year. Details about the 2017 programming will be announced at a later date.
“Festival Players has done a tremendous job in not only building demand for professional theatre in Prince Edward County, but also laying the foundation for it to flourish in one of the most culturally rich regions in Canada. I am extremely honoured to join this remarkable organization, and look forward to sharing my vision in 2018 and being a part of the thrilling future that is in store,” commented Abbey.
Lynn Sullivan, Chair of the Festival Players Board of Directors added “Over the past 10 years Festival Players of Prince Edward County has played a vital role in the surge of creativity, cultural development and tourism in The County. We welcome Graham Abbey to our community and look forward to the development and presentation of new and exciting theatre that speaks to contemporary audiences in a fresh and compelling way in our uniquely rural settings. We are equally thrilled to work with John Wood in 2017 and consider this a special opportunity to enjoy the work of an artist of his calibre in our community.
Performing arts professional and Picton resident Julianne Snespts returns to Festival Players to provide administrative leadership. A natural leader and entrepreneur with considerable experience in theatre administration, she has held senior roles with major stage production companies including The Second City, The Driftwood Theatre and the Modern Times Stage Company among others. She is also Founder and Managing Producer of The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival and performs and teaches improv comedy in The County.
Performances will take place in July and August 2017. The full season program will be announced in May. To pre-purchase tickets for the 2017 season, click here.
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