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Tom Rooney as Cyrano and Deborah Hay as Roxane with Sharry Flett as Companion in Cyrano de Bergerac.Emily Cooper/Handout

The Shaw Festival announced the remainder of its 2022 casting on Wednesday, revealing an ensemble for its 60th anniversary season that features plenty of fresh and new-to-the-festival talent in prominent roles.

While there will be no lack of familiar faces on its stages, the destination theatre company, based in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., gives the impression that it is looking forward more than it is looking backward as it enters its seventh decade of existence.

“It’s always exciting to have new blood,” wrote Tim Carroll, the Shaw Festival’s artistic director, in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail. “It keeps everyone fresh and flexible and reminds us to keep looking out for the talent that is always bubbling up.”

The Shaw acting company in 2022 contains 69 members, a number essentially unchanged from its last prepandemic season. Additional actors have not been hired to beef up the ranks of understudies or swings.

While the Shaw season officially kicked off earlier this month with the presentation of This is How We Got Here by Keith Barker, it begins in earnest on March 20 with a limited-run remount of its 2019 production of Cyrano de Bergerac (on until May 8).

It’s no big surprise that Tom Rooney, an audience favourite regularly traded back and forth between the Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival, will be back in the titular role in Kate Hennig’s adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s swashbuckling play. Director Chris Abraham’s production is returning with its original romantic triangle intact – with Deborah Hay as Roxanne and Jeff Irving as Christian.

While Rooney departs after that, Hay, another major draw for Southern Ontario audiences, sticks around to perform in Everybody, American playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins riff on the medieval morality play Everyman.

She will be playing God, while long-time company member Sharry Flett will play Death, Travis Seetoo will play Evil and Andrew Broderick will play Love.

Patrick Galligan, Julie Lumsden and Keira Sangster are among the actors listed as playing Somebody in this production, which Carroll explained in an e-mailed response from an overdue overseas holiday with family.

“I think the audience should be sure not to miss Everybody, in which they will see our ensemble taking on several roles and not knowing which they will play until the show has started,” he wrote.

In the flagship Festival Theatre, Damn Yankees, a 1955 Broadway musical that crosses the Faust legend with Major League Baseball, will star former Stratford Festival regular Shane Carty in the lead role of Joe Boyd, a baseball fan who gets a chance to help his team win the World Series after making a deal with the devilish Mr. Applegate.

That role will be played by Mike Nadajewski, who recently defected to the Shaw Festival from the Stratford Festival. His assistant Lola, the key role originated by the legendary Gwen Verdon, will be played by Shaw Festival associate artistic director Kimberley Rampersad.

“When you have someone like Kimberley who can contribute in so many different ways, it would be silly not to make the most of her,” Carroll wrote of the triple-threat-turned-choreographer-turned-director.

“Having our associate artistic director working in the ensemble is a good blurring of the structural lines in the company, which is something I hope to do more of in the future.”

The Importance of Being Earnest, also on at the Festival Theatre, will be anchored by Martin Happer and Peter Fernandes as the central duplicitous duo Jack and Algernon, while Julia Course and Gabriella Sundar Singh will play Gwendolyn and Cecily in Oscar Wilde’s classic romp. Hennig, who has worn as many hats as Rampersad at the Shaw Festival, will take on the pivotal role of Lady Bracknell, last played at the Shaw Festival in 2004 by the late, lamented Goldie Semple (and at the Stratford Festival in 2009 by Brian Bedford).

The Doctor’s Dilemma, the third show at the Festival Theatre, will star Sanjay Talwar as Sir Colenso Ridgeon, who discovers a new cure for an old disease in this comedy of medical ethics by Bernard Shaw. This true ensemble piece will feature Johnathan Sousa as the young ailing artist Louis Dubedat, and Alexis Gordon as his wife, Jennifer. Flett will play the role of Dr. Patricia Cullen (a character originally known as Patrick Cullen) in this production directed by Diana Donnelly.

In another medicine-related comedy by Shaw, staged over at the Studio Theatre, Seetoo will play the Microbe and Donna Soares the Patient in Too True To Be Good directed by Talwar.

Other key casting for the season: Sundar Singh will also play the titular warrior princess in Rabindranath Tagore’s Chitra; Monica Parks will play Aunt Ester, a “285-year-old washer of souls,” in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean; Lumsden will play Bella Manningham, the woman gaslit in the pseudo-Victorian thriller Gaslight; and Kristi Frank will be the husband-hunting lead in Cicely Hamilton’s recently rediscovered 1910 comedy Just to Get Married.

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