A Valentine’s Day announcement has revealed the star-crossed lovers for this summer’s production of Evangeline in Charlottetown.
After an extensive audition process in four cities, Confederation Centre of the Arts has announced the casting of Evangeline and Gabriel.
Written by Ted Dykstra (2 Pianos, 4 Hands) and inspired by Longfellow’s classic poem, the musical makes its world premiere at The Charlottetown Festival this June.
Portraying the two lovers - who become separated during the 1755 deportation of the Acadians - will be accomplished Canadian performers Chilina Kennedy and Adam Brazier. Both actors come to Charlottetown with strong theatre backgrounds, having starred in Canada’s finest theatres and on Broadway.
Kennedy, an Oromocto, N.B. native, is currently playing in The Importance of Being Earnest at Neptune in Halifax and recently played Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway.
“Chilina was a stand-out candidate for Evangeline from the minute we saw her audition,” says Dykstra, who will co-direct with Anne Allan, artistic director of The Charlottetown Festival.
Kennedy says she saw the workshop for Evangeline in Toronto years ago and fell in love with it.
“It means a lot to me to have the chance to portray this particular heroine here in the Maritimes, considering the magnitude of the story and what the poem symbolizes for Acadian culture and history.”
Kennedy’s other career highlights include three seasons at Stratford Festival, three seasons at Shaw Festival, and the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings.
The actor returns to Charlottetown 12 years after making her professional debut as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™. This summer, in addition to her role in Evangeline, Kennedy will also portray Miss Stacy in the Festival’s mainstay musical.
Evangeline marks Brazier’s debut at The Charlottetown Festival. The Toronto-based actor originated the role of Walter Hartwright in The Woman in White and played Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods on Broadway. He also performed in Mirvish’s production of Mamma Mia!
He has spent three seasons at Stratford, one with Shaw, as well as stints with Theatre Calgary, Neptune, and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, amongst others. The actor recently made his directorial debut with the Birdland Theatre production of Assassins for which he received a Dora Award nomination for direction.
“Adam Brazier has been involved with Evangeline for so much of its development,” says Dykstra, who work-shopped the new musical with Mirvish Productions. “I am thrilled he is able to be with us this summer, not only as a fantastic performer, but as a leader and force in Canadian theatre.”
Evangeline makes its world premiere June 26. With Valentine’s in the air, the Centre is currently promoting a special discount for the epic love story. Visit charlottetownfestival.com for more information. Tickets can be purchased online, or by calling (902) 566-1267, or toll free 1-800-565-0278.