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The Michigan Shakespeare Festival unveiled the 2017 Season and the official poster during a Reading Series event at the Jackson Symphony Orchestra Weatherwax Hall.

Artistic Director Janice Blixt announced the 2017 Season will open with THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, starring David and Janice Blixt in the roles where they met 20 years ago, directed by retired Artistic Director and Artistic Associate John Neville-Andrews. The cast features festival favorites Janet Haley as Bianca, Brandon St. Clair Saunders as Tranio, Shawn Pfautsch as Grumio, and Alan Ball as Gremio.  The second production of the season will be the political thriller JULIUS CAESAR starring Robert Kauzlaric (last season’s glorious Richard II) as Brutus, Saunders as Cassius, and introducing Lee Palmer as Caesar.  The non-Shakespeare classical play will be Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL in a new adaptation by Janice L Blixt and the MSF Company from a new translation by Alexandra Christykova LaCombe and will feature Janet Haley and Shawn Pfautsch as Arkadina and Trigorin.

Also returning are Tobin Hissong, Ian Geers, and Eric Eilersen (all featured in last season’s THE KILLER ANGELS), and the MSF will be introducing Risha Tenae as Masha, Detroit’s own Christopher L Martin, and Lauren Grace Thompson.

The MSF’s award-winning design team of Jeromy Hopgood (Scenic Design), Kate Hopgood (Composition and Sound Design), David Allen Stoughton (Lighting Design), Suzanne Young (Costume Design, SHREW), Melanie Schuessler (Costume Design, CAESAR), and Darice Damata-Geiger (Costume Design, THE SEAGULL) return to the Festival.

The MSF will open July 6 at the Baughman Theatre in Jackson and re-open July 28 at the Village Theatre of Canton.  The 2018 Season will be announced at July 8th’s Gala Opening of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW.

Tickets for THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, JULIUS CAESAR, and THE SEAGULL are now available: Online at www.MichiganShakespeareFestival.com, by phone in Jackson at 517-796-8600 or by phone in Canton at 734-394-5300.

The Michigan Shakespeare Festival is the Official Shakespeare Festival of the State of Michigan, designated by the Governor and State Legislature.  The Festival began in 1995 as the Jackson Shakespeare Festival with performances staged outside at Ella Sharp Park.  In 2016, the Festival expanded to performance runs in Canton, in addition to Jackson College.

The official season poster can be downloaded here.

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