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  • Publicity image from Nathan the Wise
Studio Theatre
May 25 – October 19
Classic

NATHAN THE WISE

by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
In a version by Edward Kemp
Director Birgit Schreyer Duarte

WITH FAITH IN HUMANITY, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

In twelfth-century Jerusalem, a wealthy Jew whose daughter loves a Christian faces a dangerous question from the Muslim sultan: which is the one true faith? Nathan responds wisely and well – but subsequent surprising discoveries offer an even more persuasive answer to religious divides.

As moving as it is gently humorous, this rarely seen masterpiece of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment celebrates the common humanity that unites us all.

House Program: Nathan the Wise

Production support is generously provided by Esther Sarick

Support for the 2019 season of the Studio Theatre is generously provided by Sandra & Jim Pitblado.

2019 publicity photography by David Cooper.

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CAST & CREATIVE

    Diane Flacks
    Nathan
    2019: Nathan in Nathan the Wise and understudy in Birds of a Kind. Stratford debut. Stratford: 2018 Playwrights Retreat. Elsewhere: Favourites: SIBS, Care - co-written with Richard Greenblatt (Tarragon); Body Politic, Freda and Jem (Buddies); Unholy (Nightwood); Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Yichud (TPM); Diane's internationally acclaimed and well-toured solo shows Myth Me, By a Thread, Random Acts, Bear With Me. Film/TV: Writer: Baroness Von Sketch Show, Workin' Moms, Kids in The Hall, Working the Engels. Acting: Portrait of a Serial Monogamist, Take This Waltz, Alias Grace. Radio: National Parenting columnist for CBC radio, contributor to Tapestry, DNTO. Award Nominations: Chalmers for SIBS; Dora for Unholy (playwriting) and By a Thread, Body Politic (performance); Emmy for writing for Kids in the Hall.Upcoming: Developing two new plays: Guilt and Cassandra. Et cetera: For my kids, Eli and Jonny, the inspirations for Nathan. dianeflacks.com.
    Jakob Ehman
    Templar
    2019: Templar in Nathan the Wise and Eitan in Birds of a Kind. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Canadian Stage); Idomeneus (Soulpepper); The Circle (Tarragon); Caught (Theatre Passe Muraille); Offline (director), The Libertine, Gotcha (Talk Is Free); Les Liaisons Dangereuses (director), House of Yes (Storefront Theatre); The Philanderess (Toronto Fringe); Cockfight (Theatre Brouhaha/Red One); Much Ado About Nothing (Single Thread); Blue Planet, Minotaur (Young People's Theatre); Nature of the Beast, Donors, Turtleneck (safeword). Film/TV: Jakob stars as Miles in the award-winning film adaption of The Drawer Boy. Awards: Jakob has been nominated for four Dora Awards for his work as an actor. Online: Instagram @yessilikepinacoladas, Twitter @jakeehman.
    Danny Ghantous
    Saladin
    2019: Guard in Henry VIII, Saladin in Nathan the Wise and Waiter in Birds of a Kind. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Thomas in The Philosopher's Wife (Paradigm Productions); Dar in The Invisible Hand (Theatre Aquarius); Jacob in Salt-Water Moon (Why Not Theatre); Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare in the Ruff); Ben in Sheets (Veritas Theatre); Wilfrid in Tideline (Hart House Theatre); Sadiq in A Line in the Sand (Factory Theatre). Film/TV: Lead in Skyless Films' Victim, lead in Marty. Training: Ryerson University, BFA Theatre Performance: Acting. Awards: Toronto Theatre Critics for A Line in the Sand. Nominations: 2016 Dora Award for A Line in the Sand and 2018 My Entertainment World Award for Midsummer.Online: Instagram: @daaaangh. Et cetera: Danny is a Greek-born, Egyptian-raised Lebanese-Palestinian actor who works and resides in Toronto. Danny is honoured to be a part of the 2019 Stratford Festival.
    Sarah Orenstein
    Daya
    2019: Daya in Nathan the Wise and Norah in Birds of a Kind. Fifth season. Stratford: Queen Elizabeth (Shakespeare in Love), Penfield (Possible Worlds), White Queen (Alice Through the Looking-Glass), Matilda (Zastrozzi). Elsewhere: Originally from Halifax, she first appeared at age five with Neptune Theatre. Selected theatre: The Message, Scorched, Hope Slide, The Retreat, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Mrs. Klein (Tarragon); The Virgin Trial (ATP); My Name is Asher Lev (HGJT); The Glass Menagerie (Grand); Oslo, The Normal Heart, Stuff Happens (Studio 180/Mirvish). 13 seasons with Shaw Festival: Heartbreak House, The Millionairess, Blithe Spirit, Councillor at Law. Film/TV: Fugitive Pieces, Orphan Black, Murdoch Mysteries, The Calling, Reign. Directing: Assistant director: Oslo, King Charles III (Mirvish/Studio 180). Awards: Dora (Best Actress), Patience; Capital Critics' Circle (Best Actress), Doll's House. Recipient: 2018 RBC Emerging Director.
    Oksana Sirju
    Rachel
    2019: Jane Seymour in Henry VIII, Rachel in Nathan the Wise and Nurse in Birds of a Kind. Second season. Stratford: Margherita in Napoli Milionaria!, Messenger in The Comedy of Errors and appeared in The Tempest. Elsewhere: Hedda Gabler in Hedda Gabler, Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, Viola in Twelfth Night, Lady Balthazar in The Comedy of Errors, Horatio in Ophelia, The Good Woman in A Party for Boris (York University); Mrs. Harper in Innocence Lost (Ovation Academy). Film/TV: Recurring role on Workin' Moms (CBC). Training: York University, London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art, Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre, 2017-2018. Online: @itsoksanasirju. Et cetera: This year is for my mother and father, Brianna, Alesha, Jyn-Li and Michelle… and for Maya, my love, my light.
    Shelly Antony
    Al-Hafi

    2019: Surveyor, Griffith, Dr. Butts in Henry VIII Al-Hafi in Nathan the Wise and Orderly in Birds of a Kind Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Tariq in A Thousand Splendid Suns (The Grand Theatre); Mubeen in Acha Bacha (Theatre Passe Muraille); Cassio in Othello (Driftwood Theatre); Iyar in Little Pretty and the Exceptional (Factory Theatre); Amir in Disgraced (Magnus Theatre); Craig/Craven in Scarberia (YPT); Henry Clerval in Frankenstein Live! (Arts Engine); Damon in Perceptions of Love in the Pursuit of Happiness (Toronto Fringe). Film/TV: Ronnie in JETT (HBO/Cinemax); Nick in Reach (Valence Films); Aathi in A Gun & A Ring (EyeCatch Multimedia). Training: MFA - The New School for Drama; Birmingham Conservatory. Awards: Dora nomination for Best Individual Performance for Scarberia. Et cetera: Thank you to my family and friends. 

    Miranda Calderon
    Sittah
    2019: Sittah in Nathan the Wise and Doctor in Birds of a Kind. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Elena in Butcher (Off-Mirvish/Why Not Theatre); Flashing Lights and Italian Mime Suicide//Three Red Days (Theatre Centre/Bad New Days); Donna in Taking Care of Baby (Storefront Theatre); Prima Donna (Luminato/Elgin Theatre and New York City Opera/BAM); Salome in Salome (Aurora Theatre Company). Film/TV: Ruth Paine in Hulu's miniseries 11.22.63; BBC America's Copper. Training: London International School of Performing Arts, U.K.; Columbia University, N.Y. Et cetera: Miranda has written, produced and acted in two short films (Body Parts and Alegra & Jim) with her company, Midnight Snack, and is currently developing her first feature.
    Deb Filler
    2019: Leah in Birds of a Kind and appears in Nathan the Wise. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Celia, Talking Heads (Campbell House); Woman, Death of a Salesman (Toronto Centre for the Arts). Elsewhere: Lookingglass Theatre Company, N.Y. Theatre Workshop, Drill Hall, Auckland Theatre Company, Belvoir Street, Centaur Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times, The Factory, etc. Writer/Performer: I Did It My Way in Yiddish (in English), I Lost It in Kiev, Filler Up!, Punch Me in the Stomach (off-Broadway, N.Y. Theatre Workshop, 36 characters). Film/TV: The Handmaid's Tale, Shark Lords (debuting FX), My Perfect Valentine, Mr. Bernstein, Odd Squad, The Path to 9/11, The Last Laugh, Angst, Punch Me In the Stomach. Other: Teacher, Brown University, Humber College, Toi Whaakari (N.Z.), etc. Studied with Stella Adler, Uta Hagen, Herbert Berghoff, Deborah Hedwall. Voice: Peg Bundy doll; Mummy, Bob and Margaret. Et cetera: Character artist, singer, guitarist, comic. fillerup.ca @debfiller.
    Ron Kennell
    Bonafides
    2019: Second Gentleman and Cardinal Campeius in Henry VIII, Bonafides in Nathan the Wise and Rabbi in Birds of a Kind. Eighth season. Stratford: An Ideal Husband, To Kill a Mockingbird, Julius Caesar, Cymbeline, Timon of Athens, King John, Henry IV, The Duchess of Malfi, Brothers Karamazov, Orpheus Descending, The Swanne, Agamemnon. Elsewhere: Lear (Groundling), The Boat (TNB/Neptune), Mr. New Year's Eve (Blyth), The Maids (Buddies in Bad Times), Mother Courage, St. Carmen of The Main (NAC), Death of the King, Macbeth, Aurash (Modern Times), Monsieur D'Eon Is a Woman (Pea Green), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Canadian Stage). Film/TV: Dr. Cabbie (writer), Reveille (writer, director, producer), Leaving Turtleford (director); acting credits include Pompeii, Hemlock Grove, Gangland Undercover, Mutant X, La Femme Nikita. Training: George Brown Theatre School. Awards: Two Dora nominations - Best Actor; Harold Award. Online: Twitter @iscribe. Et cetera: Video game credits include Far Cry Primal, Assassins Creed and Starlink.
    Hannah Miller
    2019: Eden in Birds of a Kind and appears in Nathan the Wise. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Marcellus/Guildenstern/Player Queen/Osric in Why Not Theatre's bilingual (ASL and English) production of Prince Hamlet (director Ravi Jain); Rabbi Michael Levitz-Sharon in Bar Mitzvah Boy (Harold Green Jewish Theatre); Lividia Swan in Peter Anderson's Head Over Heels (Caravan Farm Theatre); Abigail Williams in The Crucible (Soulpepper); Sandy in The Crackwalker (Theatre Passe Muraille). Film/TV: Guest spots on Dark Matter (SYFY), Murdoch Mysteries (CBC) and Saving Hope (CTV); as well as some obscure docudramas you might have seen on TV very late at night. Training: Soulpepper Academy; George Brown Theatre School. Awards: Dora nomination for Best Ensemble in Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre). Online: @hanniemiller.
    Harry Nelken
    Patriarch
    2019: Patriarch in Nathan the Wise and Etgar in Birds of a Kind. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Shelly in Glengarry Glen Ross, Jorgenson in Other People's Money, Sam in The Homecoming (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre); Josef in Butcher, Marvin in The Stone Angel (co-production with National Arts Centre), Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest, Floyd in Cold Comfort (Prairie Theatre Exchange); Einstein in Einstein's Gift, van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank (Winnipeg Jewish Theatre); Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Polonius in Hamlet (Shakespeare in the Ruins); Al in The Sunshine Boys (Chemainus Theatre); Eli in Zadie's Shoes (Factory Theatre). Film/TV: Nikola Tesla and the End of the World; Harry Nelken At Your Service (documentary). Training: Workshops with Carol Rosenfeld, John Hirsch, Ron Eyre, James Dodding, Ulla Ryum, Giles Block. Awards: Best Performance, 2008 season, for Shelly in Glengarry Glen Ross (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre).
    Aladeen Tawfeek
    2019: Wazzan in Birds of a Kind and appears in Nathan the Wise. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: El Fayoumy in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Infurnace Theatre); Bert Healy in Annie (BIS Cairo); various roles in El Bernamig El Tarfeehy (Théatre de Carthage). Film/TV: Flarsky, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, The Hummingbird Project, The Looming Tower, Mother!, X-Men Apocalypse, The Art of More, Incendies. Training: Introduction to the Meisner Technique Workshop; International Actor Core Group; Straeon Acting Studios (since 2008); two years of ballet and jazz - Conservatoire de Danse de Montréal. Online: aladeentawfeek (Instagram). Et cetera: Aladeen is also an award-winning director of video game trailers.
    Birgit Schreyer Duarte
    Director
    2019: Director of Nathan the Wise. Fourth season. Stratford: Translator: The Physicists (2015). Assistant director: Mary Stuart (2013), King Lear (2014). Elsewhere: Director: Hamlet (Shakespeare in High Park/Canadian Stage), Taking Care of Baby (Storefront Theatre), Purgatory in Ingleton, Kaspar & the Sea of Houses (SummerWorks). Translator: Liv Stein (Canadian Stage), The Thing (London, U.K./Canadian Stage), The Test (Company Theatre), Life of Galileo (Small Wooden Shoe). Training: Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction; University of Toronto (PhD in Drama); Munich University (MA in Dramaturgy). Awards: SummerWorks Prize for Outstanding Production (Kaspar & the Sea of Houses); nomination for 2010 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize; Stratford Douglas Campbell Award.  Et cetera: Artistic Associate and Dramaturg at Canadian Stage. Guest Director at Randolph College and York University. Originally from Munich, Germany. Online: birgitschreyerduarte.com.
    Teresa Przybylski
    Set Designer
    2019: Designer of Nathan the Wise. 12th season. Stratford: 2017, The Madwoman of Chaillot (Jean Giraudoux); 2016, The Hypochondriac (Molière); 2015, Hamlet (William Shakespeare); 2013, Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett); 2009, Zastrozzi (George F. Walker); 2003, The Birds (Aristophanes); 2000, Titus Andronicus (William Shakespeare) (set design); 1999, A Midsummer Night's Dream (William Shakespeare); 1998, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (William Shakespeare) (set design); 1994 and 1995, The Comedy of Errors (William Shakespeare). Elsewhere: 2019, A Doll's House Part 2, MTC/Mirvish Productions; 2018, Oh What a Lovely War, Shaw Festival; 2017, Heisenberg, Canadian Stage; 2015, Julius Caesar, The Comedy of Errors, Canadian Stage; 2013, Lady Windermere's Fan, Shaw Festival (set design). Teaching: She teaches theatre design at York University. Awards: Five Dora Mavor Moore Awards, 21 nominations; two Gemini Awards.
    Michelle Tracey
    Costume Designer
    2019: Costume designer of Nathan the Wise. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Wedding at Aulis, Sisters, Prohibition the Concert, Waiting for Godot, Crawlspace (Soulpepper); Hamlet, Julius Caesar (Canadian Stage); Scavenger's Daughter (Paradigm Productions); Imeneo, The Fatal Gaze, Last Days (University of Toronto Opera); M'dea Undone (Tapestry Opera); scenic design for the Director's Guild of Canada Awards Gala. Training: York University, Soulpepper Academy, Tarragon Theatre Design Internship. Online: michelletraceydesign.com. @trigacreative. Et cetera: Co-founder of Triga Creative.
    Steve Lucas
    Lighting Designer
    2019: Lighting designer of Nathan the Wise. Third season. Stratford: Lighting designer of Long Day's Journey Into Night and The Physicists. Elsewhere: 1979 (GCTC, Shaw Festival); Of Marriage and Men (Shaw Festival); 2 Pianos 4 Hands (original production and tours); The Drawer Boy (original production and tour, Theatre Passe Muraille); The Syringa Tree (The Grand Theatre); Rope Enough (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre); The Real McCoy (Factory Theatre); Timecode Break (Toronto Dance Theatre); The Pigeon King (Blyth Festival); Step Right Up! (Theatre Orangeville); 7 Important Things (STO Union); BREATH[e] (Theatre 2.0); Shadowball (AGO); Heisenberg (Canadian Stage); Fool for Love (Soulpepper); 2014 Festival Hub (Luminato Festival); Fun House (Nuit Blanche). Awards: Four Dora Awards, 31 Dora Award nominations, MECCA Award (Montreal). Et cetera: Steve and his beautiful family live beside the Noisy River, just outside of Creemore, in a converted 180-year-old barn.
    Debashis Sinha
    Sound Designer
    2019: Composer and sound designer of The Crucible and sound designer of Mother's Daughter and Nathan the Wise. Third season. Stratford: Composer and sound designer of Treasure Island, The Changeling, Breath of Kings; sound designer of The Aeneid. Elsewhere: Music and sound for Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Soulpepper, Volcano Theatre, Theatre Centre, Pleiades, Project Humanity, Tribal Crackling Wind, and others; appearances at Madrid Abierto, Banff Centre, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Guelph Jazz Festival, Sound Symposium, ISEA, Art Gallery of Ontario and other venues. Radio/Recordings: Radio works broadcast on Deutschlandradio Kultur, ORF Kunstradio, Radio National España, Banff New Media Institute, NAISA; numerous solo recordings, audio artworks, and audiovisual and live cinema projects. Awards: Dora Awards for Original Music and Sound for Crash (Theatre Passe Muraille) and We Are Proud to Present… (Theatre Centre/Why Not), XIV Radio Works Prize (Centro para la Difusión de la Música Contemporanea).
    Jewels Krauss
    Assistant Director
    2019: Assistant director of Nathan the Wise. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Mother Amal in Amal (The MT Space); co-creator/performer in Thousand Beginnings (Under The Umbrella Collective); Amy in Breath In Between (Crow's Theatre); Jessica in Second Life (Tottering Biped Theatre); Mary in The Twilight Zone (Ghost River Theatre); co-creater/performer in The Painted Bird (Zou Theatre); Grace in A Rose Upon the Blood (Cork Arts Theatre, Ireland). Assistant Directing: Taking Care of Baby (The Care Takers); George F. Walker's The Bigger Issue (Theatre Passe Muraille); Orpheus & Eurydice (Theatre TOnight); Macbeth (KW Youth Theatre). Film/TV: Guest appearances on Taken (NBC) and Titans (DC Universe). Training: Push Physical Theatre (Rochester, N.Y.); Ghost River Theatre (Calgary, Alberta); The Body in Motion with David Smith (MT Space, Kitchener); dramaturge internship at the Schauspielhaus Stuttgart (Stuttgart, Germany).
    Maxwell T. Wilson
    Stage Manager
    2019: Production stage manager of the Studio Theatre and stage manager of Nathan the Wise. 21st season. Stratford (selected): An Ideal Husband, Treasure Island, The Breathing Hole, Breath of Kings: Rebellion, Carousel, Man of La Mancha, The Three Musketeers, Taking Shakespeare, Henry V, Hosanna, Peter Pan, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Cabaret, South Pacific, My One and Only, The Winter's Tale and Death of a Salesman. Elsewhere: Max's career spans over 30 years, including work with Citadel Theatre, Theatre Calgary, Edmonton Opera, Opera Atelier, the Canadian Opera Company, Canadian Stage, Young People's Theatre and Mirvish Productions. Training: BA, University of Lethbridge. Awards: 2012 and 2017 Guthrie Award. Et cetera: For a change, Max works with a leading purveyor of orchid-growing supplies at ravenvision.ca.
    Gregory McLaughlin
    Assistant Stage Manager
    2019: Assistant stage manager of Henry VIII and Nathan the Wise. Fourth season. Stratford: The Rocky Horror Show, The Music Man, Breath of Kings: Rebellion and Breath of Kings: Redemption, production assistant for the Tom Patterson Theatre. Elsewhere: Assistant stage manager credits include The Virgin Trial (Soulpepper/Stratford); The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Soulpepper Theatre); Lear, The Winter's Tale, Measure for Measure (Groundling Theatre); Les Misérables (The Grand Theatre). Stage manager credits include Bedtime Stories (The Orillia Opera House); Oleanna (Matchstick Theatre). Film/TV: This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Training: Mount Allison University. Awards: In 2018 Gregory received the Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding contribution to the Stratford Festival. Et cetera: Gregory is a mental-health advocate and an ally who supports the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
    Marie Fewer-Muncic
    Production Stage Manager
    2019: Production stage manager of the Studio Theatre. 13th season. Stratford: Stage manager: Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet (2017), Bunny, Possible Worlds, Hirsch. Assistant stage manager: Tartuffe, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Evita, Kiss Me, Kate, Macbeth, Rice Boy, Romeo and Juliet (2008), Caesar and Cleopatra, My One and Only, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Duchess of Malfi, The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead. Apprentice stage manager: Noises Off. Elsewhere: Theatre Sheridan, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Erindale, Theatre Direct Canada/Eldritch Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille/Obsidian Theatre Company, Bluewater Summer Playhouse, Charlottetown Festival. Training: Sheridan College. Et cetera: Much love to Emily and Michael.
    Kim Lott
    Production Stage Manager
    2019: Production stage manager of the Studio Theatre. Stage manager of Mother's Daughter. 22nd season. Stratford: Stage manager credits (selected): The Matchmaker, Titus Andronicus, Evita, West Side Story. Assistant stage manager credits (selected): Treasure Island, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, South Pacific, The King and I, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing. Elsewhere: Stage manager credits (selected): Ring of Fire, Hana's Suitcase, Annie, Twist and Shout (Grand Theatre); My Fair Lady (Drayton Entertainment). Assistant stage manager credits (selected): The Spitfire Grill, Proof (Grand Theatre); Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Opera Ontario); The Who's Tommy (Elgin Theatre). Et cetera: Gratitude to my beautiful loved ones I am blessed to celebrate with every day and share energy, enthusiasm, breakfast, joy, laughter and unconditional love. Be well & shine.

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