Artistic Director Adam Brazier has revealed select casting for The 2020 Charlottetown Festival, including the leads for Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ and The Drowsy Chaperone.
Returning as Anne Shirley is Emma Rudy, whom Festival audiences met last summer. The Buzz dubbed Rudy “the Festival’s best Anne in ages,” noting her soaring voice, sharp comic sensibility, and well-timed intensity. The Stratford, Ontario native will be back starring in the Homburg Theatre beginning June 3, as the 2020 festival begins previews earlier than usual.
Opening June 30 is five-time Tony Award-winning musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone. “This is the funniest musical written in the past 25 years,” says Brazier.
The Drowsy Chaperone will mark the return of Festival performer Réjean Cournoyer. The Nova Scotia native had major roles on PEI in Evangeline, A Misfortune, and Mamma Mia!, and nationally with Mirvish, Elgin, the Citadel Theatre, and Theatre Calgary.
Cournoyer will star as “Man in Chair,” a witty theatre aficionado who mourns the end of the Golden Era, narrating the entire musical comedy while listening to its recording.
Also joining The Drowsy Chaperone in the title role is Island native Catherine O’Brien, returning to the Centre after several years with other Island theatre ventures including Fascinating Ladies, Young At Heart, and the Victoria Playhouse.
O’Brien has performed with The Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage, and Manitoba Theatre Centre. Her previous credits with the Festival include Hairspray, Anne™, and The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom.
At The Mack, Islander Michelle Bouey will make her Festival debut, performing in the musical love-letter to Rita MacNeil, entitled Dear Rita. Bouey will pay homage to MacNeil as member of a six-person ensemble, similar in form to the Festival’s Atlantic Blue in 2019.
A Young Company alumna, Bouey has performed coast-to-coast, including with Soulpepper, Panasonic, and Drayton. She also writes and records her own music.
As the Festival is repertory, each of the announced performers will also appear in other productions next summer, to be detailed at a later date.
A 2020 new production, Bed and Breakfast, plays July 11 to September 26 at The Mack.