Antoni Cimolino is Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival and director of the 2013 productions of The Merchant of Venice and Mary Stuart.
Mr. Cimolino previously served as General Director of the Festival, managing all of its administrative functions. Before that he was Executive Director, during which time he oversaw the successful launch of a stability fund and an endowment foundation, and also improved the Festival’s infrastructure significantly by leading the design, consultation and funding process for four major construction projects between 2002 and 2008, including the renovation of the Festival’s Avon Theatre and the creation of its Studio Theatre.
Beginning his career as an actor at the Festival in the 1980s, Mr. Cimolino began to direct productions for Stratford in the mid-nineties. Since then he has made the transition to business leader while remaining an integral part of the Festival’s creative team, continuing to direct some of its most acclaimed productions. His Stratford directorial credits include The Grapes of Wrath, Bartholomew Fair, Coriolanus, As You Like It, King John, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Twelfth Night, The Night of the Iguana and Filumena. Last season Mr. Cimolino directed the widely acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline.
A champion of the arts and culture, Mr. Cimolino serves as the National Chair of Culture Days, a nation-wide celebration of arts and culture in Canada. He has also initiated collaborations with several prestigious theatre companies, including Montreal’s Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, New York’s Lincoln Center and City Center, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Examples include the Festival’s 2006 production of Molière’s Don Juan, a co-production with Théâtre du Nouveau Monde that was presented in both French and English during its Stratford season and later transferred to Montreal, and 2004’s King Lear, which later transferred to New York, where it garnered two Tony nominations.
Mr. Cimolino is passionate about enriching the lives of others through the education and practice of the arts. His dedication to this cause led him to spearhead the Festival’s involvement in a joint project with CUSO, Canada’s international volunteer co-operation agency, to establish a performing arts and educational centre in the city of Suchitoto, El Salvador.
Now in his 26th season at the Festival, Mr. Cimolino is a respected artist and an influential leader and visionary worldwide.
For Antoni Cimolino’s speech on the future of the Festival in the age of Twitter, click here.
Meet Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino
In the fall of 2012, CTV’s flagship current affairs program, W5, with host Lloyd Robertson, presented a fascinating look at the life and career of the Festival’s new Artistic Director, titled “The Passion of Cimolino.”