arts & entertainment
From A Master
an Lake as Joey,
Brian Dennehy as Max
and Cara Ricketts as
Up-and-coming Canadian actor
Ian Lake performs with legendary
star Brian Dennehy in two plays at
Ruth in an emotion&
scene from Harold
ctor Ian Lake had to raise his
fists to get into this year's work
at the Stratford Shakespeare
Festival in Canada.
Lake is playing Joey,
the boxer, in Harold
Pinter's The Homecoming,
and he trained with a
coach during the corn-
pany's off-season, getting
into shape and getting to
know the fighting world.
The play, running
through Oct. 30 at the Avon Theatre, casts
Brian Dennehy as the patriarch in a dys-
functional household of men.
"In my opinion, The Homecoming is
Pinter's best piece of writing, and I made
it known that I wanted to be considered
for the role says Lake, 27, in his fourth
year at Stratford. "Joey speaks mostly
through body language, and I thought that
made the part an interesting challenge."
Lake's other role this year is Second Officer
in Twelfth Night, also with Brian Dennehy.
The Shakespeare romantic comedy of con-
cealed identities and misplaced desire runs
through Oct. 28 at the Festival Theatre.
"There wasn't one role that drew me
specifically to the comedy, but I like that
I'm getting to play guitar on stage Lake
says. "That's new and exciting."
Although Lake had performed in
high school plays, he didn't know acting
tratford Festival audiences might
well be seeing a production mov-
ing on to Broadway. They surely
will be seeing the very production and
cast moving on to the famed La Jolla
Playhouse in San Diego.
Jesus Christ Superstar, running
through Nov. 6 at the Avon Theatre
and featuring Josh Young (profiled last
would be his career until he went to the
University of Victoria in British Columbia.
"I learned about what went into getting
a bachelor's degree in theater, and I threw
myself into the studies:' he says. "After two
years, I was accepted into the National
Theatre School of Canada in Montreal, and
that led me to Stratford."
Lake, who came to work at Stratford
through its classical training conservatory,
had a year's acting experience after theater
"I got an audition for the conserva-
tory, and I really thought that the classics,
Shakespeare in particular, involved an area of
skills that I wanted to hone a little bit',' he says.
"There were smaller repertory theaters
that I had worked at, but the resources at
Stratford made for an entirely new experi-
ence. I found that getting to play two or
three parts simultaneously in different
plays allowed me to stretch myself further
than I had been doing in the past."
Previous year's casting at the festival has
presented Lake as Silvius in As You Like It,
Florizel in The Winter's Tale, Demetrius in
A Midsummer Night's Dream and Berowne
in Love's Labour's Lost.
"Playing one part in a serious play
and another part in a comedy allowed
for opposites lending themselves to each
other:' he explains. "The comedy brings
a lighter touch to all the seriousness and
vice versa. The serious part is grounding."
While time between seasons has
allowed Lake to do some TV and film
work (Flashpoint and Caesar and
Cleopatra), it also has allowed him to trav-
el. He went to Israel on a Birthright trip.
"Traveling to Israel was an emotional
connection for me Lake says. "I felt I
learned a lot about where my family came
from and was more grounded when I
came back. When I was selected to play a
Jewish character, I realized it had strength-
ened my understanding."
That character was in the play For
This Moment Alone, staged last spring at
Theatre Aquarius in Ontario. Based on a
family experience of playwright Marcia
Kash, the drama tells about a Holocaust
survivor (Lake) who takes on another's
identity to find refuge in Canada.
"I spoke with survivors and heard their
stories',' says Lake, raised in Vancouver and
becoming active with the young adult Jewish
community in Toronto. "I took my experi-
ences as a Jew and put them into my craft."
Lake's sister shares his craft. Jade Lake
is a voice actress heard in cartoons and
"I'm a football and hockey fan, and I
like to go to Michigan to watch NFL and
NHL games:' Lake says. "My main connec-
tion to Michigan is the groups who come
to Stratford. They make up such a huge
contingency of support, and I've done
talkbacks with them."
Lake, who would like to work in theater
in New York, has appreciated sharing the
stage with Dennehy.
"He has had such a storied career on
stage and in film, and it's wonderful to
work with someone who has made a
year in the Detroit Jewish News), 30,
in the role of Judas Iscariot, will reach
California in November.
The Canadian version of the musi-
cal, about the final days of Jesus, was
seen and approved in July by both the
lyricist and composer, Tim Rice and
Andrew Lloyd Webber.
This is Young's second year with
Stratford. Last season, he appeared in
productions of Evita and Kiss Me Kate.
"I feel that acting goes along with
singing," Young, who has toured to
Michigan with a production of Les
Miserables, says. "When I'm singing,
I'm also acting."
Young, who grew up in Pennsylvania
celebrating his bar mitzvah and regu-
larly attending synagogue services,
brought his religious experiences to
workshop productions of new plays
about the Holocaust: Warsaw and
"It's such an honor to work at
Stratford," he says. "I'm one of a very
small group of Americans experiencing
this amazing company."
career in both:' Lake says.
"He's a treat to work with and a really
great energy in the room. I can't think of
when I've worked with someone more
perfect for any part being played, and it all
seems to come so naturally to him."
The Homecoming"is the first time we've
seen Pinter performed at Stratford, and
there's a twist to it that audiences have not
seen before." II
anada's Stratford Shakespeare
Festival runs through Nov. 6 in
Stratford, Ontario, with a ros-
ter of widely diverse plays (closing
dates listed below). For full informa-
tion about productions, performance
schedules, pricing and accommoda-
tions, go to www.stratfordfestival.ca .
Camelot — Oct. 30
The Grapes of Wrath — Oct. 29
Hosanna — Sept. 29
The Homecoming — Oct. 30
Jesus Christ Superstar — Nov. 6
The Little Years — Sept. 24
The Merry Wives of Windsor — Oct.14
The Misanthrope — Oct. 29
Richard Ill — Sept. 25
Shakespeare's Will — Sept. 2
Titus Andronicus — Sept. 24
Twelfth Night — Oct. 28
- Suzanne Chessler