Canadian Curtain Call
Stratford, Shaw seasons provide ample play-going
Laura Condlln, Jordan Kanner and Jonathan Gould, all actors in their mid-20s, take the stage at the Straord Festival this season.
Special to the Jewish News
erman Gollob had planned to visit the
Stratford Festival of Canada when he
began writing a book about the
Shakespeare plays, but he and his emerging manu-
script veered from the original idea.
Gollob, in Me & Shakespeare (Anchor Books;
$15), modified his scholarly intent by putting him-
self into the chapters to recall his work as a New
York book editor, his commitment to Judaism later
in life and his post-retirement career as a teacher of
Shakespeare, often relating plot and dialogue to
Judaic history and writing.
The author just recently was able to fulfill a small
part of his Stratford goal by seeing the company's
production of King Lear, performed in New York
City with Christopher Plummer in the title role. In
his book, Gollob compares the sibling rivalry in
Lear to the sibling rivalry in Genesis.
"The Stratford play was one of the greatest
Shakespeare productions I've ever seen, and based
on that experience, I would recommend this year's
productions, particularly the lesser-known
[Shakespeare] works," Gollob says.
"Stratford offers a rare chance to see Cymbeline,
Timon of Athens and King John. Cymbeline is a won-
derful play, really a fairytale, and I think it's coming
into its own."
The three plays are part of the 2004 season run-
ning through Nov. 7 in the Ontario city, where
other Shakespeare productions, a selection of classic
plays and musicals round out the theater experience.
With a longer season, the Shaw Festival in nearby
Niagara-on-the-Lake also offers some classics and
musicals through Dec. 4.
Laura Condlln, who appeared in plays at the
.Jewish Community Center in Toronto and earned a
theater degree from the University of Windsor, has
ensemble roles in all three of the lesser-known
Shakespeare productions. Also a viola player,
Condlln, daughter of a Jewish mother and Welsh
father, has performed with the Windsor Symphony
and in Holocaust memorial services. -
"All of these plays represent good challenges for any -
actress or actor," says Condlln, 26, in her third year at
Stratford. "King John is a war story that resonates
today, and Timon of Athens has a modern setting."
While Cymbeline tells three stories, one a
romance, Timon of Athens follows a nobleman who
loses fortune and false friends.
A better-known Shakespeare play, A Midsummer
Night's Dream, introduces Jordan Kanner to the festi-
val. He plays a military attendant and supplements
that experience with six ensemble parts in The Count
of Monte Cristo, a. revenge classic adapted by Marshall
Borden from the novel by Alexandre Dumas.
'After living in Toronto and experiencing a big
city, I especially like working for Stratford in this
very different atmosphere," says Kanner, 27, a grad-
uate of Ryerson University in his hometown.
While Kanner- was studying acting, he had the
opportunity to appear in a variety of productions,
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