Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, take to the stage at the Stratford Festival

Stratford, ONShakespeare’s great romance Romeo and Juliet begins performances at the Festival Theatre today, featuring Jonathan Mason and Vanessa Sears in the title roles. At the helm is director Sam White, returning to Stratford from Detroit for her third season.

“Any production of Romeo and Juliet has to evoke some hope for the tragedy to matter in the end,” says White. “I think folx will be delighted to see a play that has some optimism but that is also quite heartbreaking.”

Romeo and Juliet features Graham Abbey as Capulet, Jessica B. Hill as Lady Capulet, Andrew Iles as Mercutio, Glynis Ranney as Nurse and Scott Wentworth as Friar Laurence, with Hilary Adams, David Collins, Howard Dai as Gregory, Nick Dolan as Prince Escalus, Thomas Duplessie as Peter, Austin Eckert as Paris, Steven Hao as Benvolio, Graham Hargrove, Ziye Hu, Jenna-Lee Hyde, Jasmine Jones-Ball, John Kirkpatrick as Balthasar and Friar John, Derek Kwan, Tarique Lewis as Sampson, Marissa Orjalo, Antonette Rudder as Lady Montague, Michael Spencer-Davis as Montague and Ol’ Cousin Capulet, Emilio Vieira as Tybalt, Rylan Wilkie and Angus Yam.

The creative team includes Set and Costume Designer Sue LePage, Lighting Designer Louise Guinand, Composer and Sound Designer Debashis Sinha, Fight and Intimacy Director Anita Nittoly and Choreographer Adrienne Gould.

Often called the greatest love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet has captivated audiences and artists for centuries and provided the inspiration for hundreds of films, ballets, operas, novels and the iconic Broadway musical West Side Story. This production, which features lavish design from the Early Italian Renaissance, is a wonderful introduction to Shakespeare and a welcome return to a beloved story.

Romeo and Juliet officially opens on June 1 and runs until October 26 at the Festival Theatre. Tickets are available at or by calling 1.800.567.1600.

The 2024 season also features Twelfth Night, Something Rotten!London AssuranceLa Cage aux Folles, Wendy and Peter PanSalesman in ChinaCymbelineHedda GablerThe DivinersThe Goat or, Who is Sylvia? and Get That Hope. For more information, visit

This production is dedicated to the memory of John Wood, director, playwright and advocate, with immense appreciation for his commitment to Canadian theatre.

The 2024 season is generously supported by Ophelia Lazaridis.

Proud 2024 Season Partners: BMO Financial Group and RBC.

Support for the 2024 season of the Festival Theatre is generously provided by Daniel Bernstein & Claire Foerster.

Production support is generously provided by The Jentes Family.

CAST (in alphabetical order)

Graham Abbey                        Capulet

Hilary Adams                          Understudy
David Collins                          Citizen, Partygoer

Howard Dai                            Gregory
Nick Dolan                             Prince Escalus
Thomas Duplessie                  Peter
Austin Eckert                          Paris
Steven Hao                              Benvolio

Graham Hargrove                   Percussionist
Jessica B. Hill                         Lady Capulet

Ziye Hu                                   Understudy
Jenna-Lee Hyde                      Citizen, Partygoer
Andrew Iles                            Mercutio, Apothecary

Jasmine Jones-Ball                 Percussionist
John Kirkpatrick                     Balthasar, Friar John

Derek Kwan                            Tybalt Follower, Partygoer, Chief Watch
Tarique Lewis                         Sampson
Jonathan Mason                      Romeo
Marissa Orjalo                        Citizen, Partygoer, Paris’ Page
Glynis Ranney                        Nurse
Antonette Rudder                   Lady Montague
Vanessa Sears                          Juliet
Michael Spencer-Davis          Montague, Ol’ Cousin Capulet
Emilio Vieira                          Tybalt
Scott Wentworth                     Friar Laurence
Rylan Wilkie                           Citizen, Watch

Angus Yam                             Prince’s Guard, Partygoer


Director                                   Sam White
Set and Costume Designer     Sue LePage
Lighting Designer                   Louise Guinand

Composer, Sound Designer    Debashis Sinha
Fight and Intimacy Director   Anita Nittoly

Choreographer                        Adrienne Gould
Assistant Director                   Ludmylla Reis
Assistant Set Designer            Freddy Van Camp
Assistant Costume Designer   Barbara Morrone-Sanchez
Assistant Lighting Designer   Sruthi Suresan

Associate Fight Director         David Chinchilla

Assistant Fight Director          Nicolas Van Burek

Stage Manager                        Marie Fewer-Muncic
Assistant Stage Manager        Alice Ferreyra Galliani
Assistant Stage Manager        Anne Murphy
Assistant Stage Manager        Corinne Richards
Production Stage Manager     Krista Blackwood
Production Assistant               Lourdess Sumners

Technical Director                  Robbin Cheesman