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October 21 – December 5



Text by Rébecca Déraspe
Music by Chloé Lacasse and Benoit Landry
English translation by Leanna Brodie
Directed by Esther Jun


Margaret Shakespeare has a dazzling talent for writing, which she yearns to put to serious use. But in an age lethally suspicious of female intellect and literacy, how can she find a way to fulfill her authorial ambitions yet still survive? Fortunately, she has a brother, William, who isn’t much of a writer but who wants to make it as an actor – and friends in high places have just the role for him.

Tapping into our fascination with the enigma of William Shakespeare’s life and how he came to write those plays – and the seemingly endless speculation in some quarters about whether he really did – this lighthearted yet genuinely passionate interweaving of comedy, song and poetic fancy spins a playful and witty yarn that will delight younger audiences and adults alike.

House Program:  I Am William

Virtual Runtime: One hour and 30 minutes

Study Guide:  I Am William



    Portrait of Shakura Dickson
    Shakura Dickson
    2021: Margaret in I Am William. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Alana in Dear Evan Hansen (Mirvish); Sugar in Trout Stanley (Factory Theatre); Scarlett in Girls Like That (Tarragon Theatre); Phaedra in Jerusalem (Outside the March/Crow's Theatre); Beverly in Other Side of the Game (Obsidian/Cahoots). Film/TV: Appears in Grand Army (Netflix), Private Eyes (Global TV), Coroner (CBC). Radio/Recordings: Beverly in Other Side of the Game (CBC Radio). Training: Sheridan Music Theatre. Awards: Dora Award for Jerusalem (Outside the March/Crow's). Online: @badgalkooks. Et cetera: Shakura is honoured to be making her Stratford debut in a time when theatre and community are so sacred.
    Portrait of Landon Doak
    Landon Doak

    2021: William in I Am William. Stratford debut. As Actor: Shazam! (New Line Cinema/DC Films), Murdoch Mysteries (CBC), Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan (Bad Hats Theatre/Soulpepper), A Woman of No Importance, Dance of Death (Shaw Festival), The Drawer Boy (Essential Collective Theatre), Life in a Box (Toronto Fringe). As Composer: Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan (Bad Hats Theatre/Soulpepper), Life in a Box (Bad Hats Theatre/Toronto Fringe), Romeo and Juliet (Old Flame Brewing Company), The Welland Canal Play (Essential Collective Theatre), Pippi! (Fourth Gorgon Theatre). Awards: Dora Awards for Peter Pan (Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Production), Life in a Box (Outstanding New Musical). Other: George Brown Theatre School graduate, Associate Artist of Bad Hats Theatre, RBC Apprentice with Musical Stage Company. Instagram: @landondoak.

    Portrait of Allan Louis
    Allan Louis
    John, Earl of Leicester
    2021: John, Earl of Leicester in I Am William. Second season. Elsewhere: Dr. Chauvet in Here Are the Fragments (The Theatre Centre); MC in Oh, What A Lovely War!, Sandor in Grand Hotel, Baudricourt in Saint Joan, Willie in "Master Harold"… and the Boys, Dracula in Dracula (Shaw Festival); Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing, Duke Vincentio in Measure for Measure, Caesar in Julius Caesar, Egeon in The Comedy Of Errors (Canadian Stage); Buddy Black in Helen Lawrence (Canadian Stage, Edinburgh International Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music); Luther Dixon in Baby It's You (Broadway). Film/TV: Stomp the Yard, Dynasty, NCIS, Castle, Grey's Anatomy, Chuck, recurring on Person of Interest, series lead in Privileged.
    Portrait of Shannon Taylor
    Shannon Taylor
    Mary, Queen Elizabeth I

    2021: Mary, Queen Elizabeth I in I Am William. Sixth season. Stratford: Mother's Daughter (Mary), The Crucible (Elizabeth Proctor), Twelfth Night (Olivia), The School for Scandal (Lady Teazle), Shakespeare in Love (Viola), The Hypochondriac (Angélique), The Diary of Anne Frank (Margot Frank), Oedipus Rex (Priest), She Stoops to Conquer (Rose), The Sound of Music (Liesl), Inherit the Wind. Elsewhere (selected): Room (Grand Theatre/Mirvish); A Doll's House (RMTC); King Charles III (Mirvish/Studio 180); The Road to Mecca (Soulpepper); Pride and Prejudice (NAC/Theatre Calgary); The Jones Boy (Surface/Underground); Salt-Water Moon (Thousand Islands Playhouse); A Midsummer Night's Dream, Little Women: The Musical (Citadel Theatre); The Madonna Painter (Factory Theatre). Film/TV: Private Eyes, MayDay, Eloise. Training: Birmingham Conservatory; Ryerson Theatre School (BFA). Awards: Mary Savidge Award; Dora nomination for Outstanding Performance. Et cetera: Thank you for supporting live theatre. 

    Portrait of Ben Bolt-Martin
    Ben Bolt-Martin
    Cello, Trumpet

    2021: Cello, Trumpet in I Am William. 20th season. Elsewhere: Cello with Stratford's INNERchamber String Quartet and Ensemble; cello for Roy Lewis's Moments With You for Here for Now Festival; arranger, Dayna Manning's Morning Light.

    Portrait of Graham Hargrove
    Graham Hargrove

    2021: Percussion in I Am William. 12th season. Stratford: Orchestra: Little Shop of Horrors, The Music Man, Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, Crazy for You, Man of La Mancha, Wanderlust, Kiss Me, Kate, Evita, West Side Story, Forum. Onstage musician: As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, Love's Labour's Lost, Henry V, Fuente Ovejuna. Elsewhere: Graham has performed professionally on four continents. Recordings: Several soundtracks for Stratford productions; two duo CDs with percussionist Nicholas Coulter, Reinventions and Theme and Evolutions; four CDs with the Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan; also one CD, A440, with his band, Dan Stacey and the Black Swans. Training: Bachelors (UVic), Masters (U of T) in Percussion Performance. Awards: 2017 and 2019 All-Ireland Bones Championships - second place 2017, third place 2019; two Guthries; one Dora (2015).

    Portrait of Njo Kong Kie
    Njo Kong Kie
    2021: Music director of and Keyboard in I Am William. Stratford debut. A picnic and ping pong enthusiast, Kong Kie enjoys making music for dance, opera and theatre. His compositions include music for solo violin for the play Infinity (Volcano, Tarragon Theatre); comic operas knotty together, La Señorita Mundo (SummerWorks); concert-theatre Picnic in the Cemetery (Ansan Street Arts Festival, Canadian Stage); song-cycle I swallowed a moon made of iron (Canadian Stage, PuSh Festival); music theatre Mr. Shi and His Lover (Toronto Theatre Critics Award: Best New Musical, Tarragon Theatre, National Arts Centre, Cervantino Festival). Kong Kie was the long-serving music director of La La La Human Steps and his compositions have been used by choreographers in Canada and abroad. In development: new opera creations with Anna Chatterton, Douglas Rodger, John Greyson and Liza Balkan. Et cetera: Patrick Conner Award. For mom.


    Rébecca Déraspe

    Playwright of I Am William.

    Rébecca Déraspe graduated from the playwriting program of the National Theatre School of Canada in May 2010. She is the author of several plays which have been translated and produced internationally, including Deux ans de votre vie (English title: You Are Happy); Gamètes (English title: Gametes); Je suis William (English title: I Am William); Faire la leçon (English title: The Lessons); Plus que toi; Peau d'ours; Nino; Le merveilleux voyage de Réal de Montréal; Partout ailleurs; Nos petits doigts; Ceux qui se sont évaporés; and Fanny. She is currently Playwright-in-Residence at Montréal's Théâtre la Licorne. Her work has been awarded the 2010 Prix BMO (for You Are Happy); the 2017 Montreal theatre critics' prize for Best New Play (Gametes); the 2018 Montreal theatre critics' prize for Best New Play for Young Audiences as well as the Prix Louise-Lahaye (I Am William); and most recently, the Prix Michel-Tremblay, for her new play Ceux qui se sont évaporés. She is also the writer and host of the web series Le lexique de la polémique, produced and distributed by Savoir Média.

    Chloé Lacasse
    Music for I Am William

    Chloé Lacasse, an award-winning singer-songwriter in the Francophone music scene, creates contemporary alternative pop with lush arrangements drawing on pop, folk, classical music, and ambient rock. Winning the 2011 Francouvertes led to the release of her first, self-titled album, followed by LUNES in 2014. In 2015, she received the Dédé Fortin Prize and presented the critically acclaimed show Les Vies possibles. Ongoing collaborations include the English-language alternative group CHANCES (Traveler, 2018, and Connection, 2021) and the Nikamu Mamuitun collective, an artistic encounter between First Nations and settlers. A trained actor, singer, and classical pianist, Chloé Lacasse also works as a performer, accompanist, composer, producer, and sound designer. Her third solo album, Les eaux claires, drops in September 2021.

    Benoit Landry

    Music for I Am William.

    Benoit Landry is a director, singer, musician, and actor. His work balances creation with interpretation in multiple fields: based in theatre and music, it encompasses circus and dance. He has been a performer or musical designer in some thirty productions, in both major Montreal theatres and international tours. Directing credits include: Serge Fiori - Seul ensemble (Cirque Éloize); Chansons pour filles et garçons perdus (Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui); and André Mathieu's Événement 50e (Francofolies, Maison symphonique). Most recently, he was the art director of the film Sept moments de joie (Cirque Éloize) and the immersive exhibition Sous les glaces with Mario Cyr (Éloize Expo). He also directs for television, notably the variety show En direct de l'univers (Ici Radio-Canada). He is the co-founder and Artistic Director of the multidisciplinary company Nord Nord Est. 

    Leanna Brodie

    Translator of I Am William.

    Leanna Brodie is an award-winning playwright and librettist whose work has been performed from Halifax to Auckland. Schoolhouse just opened the 30th season of Two Planks and a Passion Theatre in Canning, NS; Ulla's Odyssey, composed by Anthony Young, recently toured the UK with OperaUpClose. Brodie is also a noted translator of Québécois playwrights. Last season alone saw four English-language premières: David Paquet's The Shoe (The Cherry Artspace, Ithaca, New York) and Wildfire (Upstream Theater, St. Louis, Missouri); Annie Brocoli's Stella and the Time Machine Journey (Lune Rouge, Arlington, Texas); and Joe Jack et John's Violette (Espace Libre, Montréal, Québec). Brodie is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Calgary, with multiple translation commissions and a Stratford Festival/Banff Centre commission to co-write Salesman in China with Jovanni Sy.

    Esther Jun
    2021: Director of I Am William. Artistic Associate, Planning, and Director of the Langham Directors' Workshop for the Stratford Festival. Third season. 2020: Assistant director of Richard IIIStratford: Assistant director of John Gabriel Borkman. Elsewhere: Director: Planet Munsch (George Brown); Pal Joey, The Gamblers, Amadeus (Talk Is Free); The Promised Land (Soulpepper); The Omnibus Bill (Counterpoint Players); Theory, Girls Like That (Tarragon); The Private Life Cabaret (Theatre ARTaud); The Last Wife (The Belfry, GCTC); Rococo (Shaw Festival); Bremen Rock City (Song Trolley Productions); Cowboy Mouth, Trout Stanley (Heart In Hand); Yellow Face (Hart House); Fear and Misery of the Third Reich (DeusXM); First Hand Woman (Fire Up Productions). Actor: Originated the role of Janet in Kim's Convenience (Soulpepper). Training: BA (Honours) Directing, Drama Centre London. Et cetera: Assistant Artistic Director at Tarragon (2016-2018); Co-Artistic Director of Directors Lab North. Thank you to my friends and family for their never-ending support and love, especially Mike and Lola.
    Alyssa Martin

    2021: Choreographer of I Am William. Stratford debut. Stratford: peasantz (research process in the Laboratory). Choreography & Direction: Bin Chicken (Toronto Dance Theatre); hollow mountain, fantasylover, Dolphin, string quartet no. 14 in g major, MANICPIXIEDREAMGIRLS (Rock Bottom Movement); FUTUREDANCE (Rock Bottom Movement/Canadian Stage); STARSEED, that infinite feeling (Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre). Choreography for Theatre & Musicals: Pal Joey (Talk Is Free Theatre); Girls Like That (Tarragon Theatre); Nashville Stories, Cherry Corsage (David Bernstein). Film: Bin Chicken (Toronto Dance Theatre); sixty seven moo(n)s (Canadian Stage); Love from FARM to SummerWorks (SummerWorks); Stevie (Ante Kovak). Training: X University BFA Honours in Dance. Awards: Dora Award for Outstanding Production and Ensemble for hollow mountain; Canadian Stage Award for Direction for fantasylover; Jack McAllister Award for Alumni Achievement. Online:, @rockbottommovement, @itsalyssamartin. Et cetera: Deepest thanks to Esther for bringing me along!

    Njo Kong Kie
    Music Director
    2021: Music director of and Keyboard in I Am William. Stratford debut. A picnic and ping pong enthusiast, Kong Kie enjoys making music for dance, opera and theatre. His compositions include music for solo violin for the play Infinity (Volcano, Tarragon Theatre); comic operas knotty together, La Señorita Mundo (SummerWorks); concert-theatre Picnic in the Cemetery (Ansan Street Arts Festival, Canadian Stage); song-cycle I swallowed a moon made of iron (Canadian Stage, PuSh Festival); music theatre Mr. Shi and His Lover (Toronto Theatre Critics Award: Best New Musical, Tarragon Theatre, National Arts Centre, Cervantino Festival). Kong Kie was the long-serving music director of La La La Human Steps and his compositions have been used by choreographers in Canada and abroad. In development: new opera creations with Anna Chatterton, Douglas Rodger, John Greyson and Liza Balkan. Et cetera: Patrick Conner Award. For mom.
    Michelle Bohn

    2021: Co-designer of I Am William. Fifth season. Stratford: HMS Pinafore (associate costume designer). Off-Broadway: Costume designer: A Four-Letter Word (Classic Stage Company). Designer: Richard III, King Lear, Macbeth (New York Classical Theatre); Orpheus (Next Wave Festival). Off-Off-Broadway: Costume designer: Displaced Wedding (New Worlds Theatre). Selected Regional: Designer: Could I Have This Dance? (Rebecca Cohn Auditorium). Costume designer: Jukebox Hero (Ed Mirvish Theatre); Measure for Measure (Canadian Stage); Theory (Tarragon); The Nether, Between Riverside & Crazy (Coal Mine); The New Canadian Curling Club (Blyth Festival); Amadeus, The Gamblers (Talk is Free); The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Kimberly Akimbo (Southern Rep); Coriolanus, Henry V (Shakespeare Festival at Tulane). Film/TV: Costume designer: Save Me, For the Record (CBC Gem); NOLA; The Red Thunder (short); Good Sister (short). Training: MFA (University of Missouri - Kansas City); BFA (Concordia University). Online:

    Samantha McCue
    2021: Co-designer of I Am William. Second season. Elsewhere: Costume design: Honour Beat (The Grand Theatre), Aqsarniit (Confederation Centre for the Arts), Kamloopa (Western Canada Theatre, The Cultch), The Monument (Factory Theatre), Thanks for Giving (Arts Club Theatre Company). Costume design assistant: Fool for Love (Soulpepper), Louis Riel (Canadian Opera Company). Training: York University, BFA '17, Theatrical Production and Design. Online:, @sammccuedesign on Instagram. Et cetera: Samantha is Anishinaabekwe and Ned'u'ten. She is pleased to be returning to Stratford, and would like to thank her family, friends and partner for their support. Chi-miigwetch!
    Arun Srinivasan
    Lighting Designer

    2021: Lighting designer of I Am William. Second season. Stratford: Wendy & Peter Pan (2020). Theatre: Canadian Stage, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Cahoots Theatre Projects, Factory Theatre, The Globe Theatre and Expect Theatre. Dance: Desrosiers Dance Theatre, The Danny Grossman Dance Company, ProArteDanza, tiger princess dance projects, Tribal Crackling Wind, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Canada's National Ballet School, resident designer at Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. Music: Art of Time Ensemble, Nagata Shachu. Training: York University Theatre Program. Teaching: York University, Ryerson University, University of Waterloo and The National Theatre School. Awards: Seven Dora Mavor Moore nominations for Outstanding Lighting Design in the dance and theatre categories. Et cetera: Arun is thrilled to return to Stratford for a second season.

    Maddie Bautista
    Sound Designer

    2021: Sound designer of I Am William. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: TOKA (Theatre Passe Muraille); OIL (ARC); bug (Luminato); The Winter's Tale (Shakespeare in the Ruff); Eraser: A New Normal (Theatre Direct); Private Eyes (lemonTree Creations); Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers (b current); Through the Bamboo (Toronto Fringe). Original Work: Kersey Kamayan Gets Woke (fu-GEN Theatre); 4inXchange (xLq); Love You Wrong Time (Bad Muse Collective). Residencies/Training: NoteWorthy 2021 (The Musical Stage Company & Prime Mover Theatre); Humber College, Theatre Performance. Awards: Dora nomination for Eraser (RISER 2019); nominated for the 2020 Pauline McGibbon Award; recipient of the inaugural Walk the Walk Commission 2018. Online:, @bautistamaddie. Et cetera: For Ma, Pa, Anya, Douie, and John.

    Kamana Ntibarikure
    2021: Dramaturge for I Am William and Associate, The Foerster Bernstein New Play Development Program. Stratford debut. Kamana Ntibarikure is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist and content creator with an undying love for musicals. She has headlined the Just for Laughs Festival in the lead role of Sister Mary Clarence from the musical Sister Act. She also curated the eighth edition of the Next Wave Festival, showcasing new musical theatre. Her recent directing credits include Manman La Mer (Théâtre Catapulte), which was chosen to represent Canada in Abidjan for the 11th edition of the MASA (Marché des Arts du Spectacle d'Abidjan), Rendez-Vous with Home (Black Theatre Workshop) and the inaugural French translation of the play Angelique (Black Theatre Workshop and Centre du Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui).
    Sadie Epstein-Fine
    Assistant Director

    2021: Assistant director of I Am William. Second season. Elsewhere: As director: Eraser: A New Normal (Theatre Direct); Eraser (Why Not Theatre's Riser Project); Mamma Mia! (Nightwood Theatre's Lawyer Show); The Stray Sheep Cabaret (Nightwood Theatre, staged reading); Cleave (Theatre Direct, staged reading); Motherload (Rhubarb! Festival/Buddies in Bad Times); Tire Swing (Filament Incubator/Epigraph Collective). Literature: Spawning Generations: Rants and Reflections on Growing Up with LGBTQ+ Parents (editor/contributor, Demeter Press). Training: York University, playwriting and devised theatre. Awards: Eraser: nominated for five Dora Awards in the Theatre for Young Audience category: Outstanding Direction, New Play, Production, Ensemble and Design. Spawning Generation: nominated for a Lambda Literary Award (Anthology); two Forward Indie Awards (Anthology and LGBT Non-Fiction). Online: Et cetera: Sadie is the former intern artistic director at Nightwood Theatre.

    Kat Chin
    Stage Manager
    2021: Stage manager of I Am William. Second season. Elsewhere: 21 Black Futures (Obsidian/CBC); TomorrowLove (Sheridan); Something Rich and Strange, Don Giovanni, Idomeneo, Actéon & Pygmalion (including tour to Palace of Versailles), The Return of Ulysses, The Marriage of Figaro, Lucio Silla, Orpheus & Eurydice, The Magic Flute, Der Freischütz, Iphigénie en Tauride (Opera Atelier); August: Osage County, Bed and Breakfast, Cowboy Versus Samurai, Kim's Convenience (including national tour, Off-Broadway), Death of a Salesman, The Sunshine Boys, The Aleph, Double Bill: (re)Birth: E.E.Cummings in Song + Window on Toronto, Glengarry Glen Ross, Black Comedy & The Real Inspector Hound, Uncle Vanya, The Odd Couple (Soulpepper); The Snow Queen (CCOC); Grease (Irregular Ent.); acha bacha, CRASH (TPM); acquiesce (Factory/fu-GEN). Et cetera: Member of the CAEA SM Committee, and the US SMA International Cohort. Upcoming: New Monuments (Canadian Stage); TOKA (TPM/lemonTree).
    Madison Kalbhenn
    Assistant Stage Manager
    2021: Assistant stage manager of I Am William. Fourth season. Stratford: Much Ado About Nothing, To Kill a Mockingbird, production assistant for Avon and Festival theatres. Elsewhere: Julius Caesar (Crow's Theatre/Groundling Theatre); Riverboat Coffee House: A Yorkville Scene (Soulpepper); Anne of Green Gables (Thousand Islands Playhouse); The Wedding Party (Crow's Theatre); ActéonandPygmalion (Harris Theatre/Royal Opera Versailles/Opera Atelier); Idomeneo, The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Atelier); acquiesce (Factory Theatre); Crazy for You (Capitol Theatre). Script supervisor for Ross Petty's A Christmas Carol and stage management intern for Wicked (Broadway).
    Scarlett Larry
    Apprentice Stage Manager
    2021: Apprentice stage manager of I Am William. Third season. Stratford: Assistant lighting designer of Wendy & Peter Pan, production assistant for the Avon Theatre and Langham Directors' Workshop. Elsewhere: Apprentice stage manager of Julius Caesar (Crow's/Groundling Theatre); stage manager and associate lighting designer for Kiviuq Returns: An Inuit Epic (Qaggiavuut, National Theatre of Greenland, Tarragon Theatre); writer/director of The Stage Manager's Guide to Dating Assholes (self-produced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Toronto Fringe Festival). Training: York University, MA in Art History and BFA in Theatre Production. Awards: Outstanding Global Achievement Award from York University, Guthrie Award from Stratford Festival.
    Meghan Callan
    Production Stage Manager
    2021: Production stage manager of the Tom Patterson Theatre Canopy. 21st season. Stratford: In Meghan's 20 seasons she has served as production stage manager at all of the Festival's stages. Some of her favourite productions have been Paradise Lost, A Midsummer Night's Dream (2014), The Tempest (2010), A Little Night Music, Jesus Christ Superstar and Tommy. Training: Meghan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Production from York University. Elsewhere: Meghan has most recently stage-managed The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia and The Virgin Trial at Soulpepper Theatre. She has worked at the National Arts Centre, Citadel Theatre, toured New Brunswick (twice), and stage-managed car and industrial trade shows and concerts. Not since her beginnings as a stage manager at Canada's Wonderland has she worked in an outdoor theatre under a canopy and she's grateful to be back.
    Elizabeth McDermott
    Production Stage Manager

    2021: Production stage manager of the Tom Patterson Theatre Canopy. Eighth season. Stratford: Production stage manager, Festival Theatre, 2020. Assistant stage manager: Billy Elliot, Othello, The Music Man, To Kill a Mockingbird, Shakespeare in Love, The Hypochondriac, The Sound of Music, The Taming of the Shrew, Love's Labour's Lost, As You Like It, King of Thieves. Elsewhere (selected): King Lear, Twelfth Night (SiHP); A City, Divisadero (Necessary Angel); Cracked: new light on dementia (UW/Collective Disruption); Comfort (Red Snow Collective); The Road to Paradise, Night (Human Cargo); Miracle on 34th Street (STC); Bella (HGJTC); Anne of Green Gables, Canada Rocks! (Charlottetown); Falling: A Wake (Blyth); The Barber of Seville (Soulpepper); Binti's Journey, Head à Tête, Old Man and the River (Theatre Direct); Danny, King of the Basement (Roseneath); Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, All's Well That Ends Well (SLSF).



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