Artistic director Adam Brazier, on behalf of Confederation Centre of the Arts, has announced select casting for the 2019 Charlottetown Festival, which runs June 28 to Sept. 28 and features six productions.
Rebecca Poff and Katie Kerr will star as mother and daughter Donna and Sophie in “Mamma Mia!”, a co-production with the Grand Theatre in London, playing in the Homburg Theatre, Aug. 9 to Sept. 27.
Poff turned heads in the festival’s 2018 concert performance of “The House of Martin Guerre” and appeared in “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Anne of Green Gables-The Musical”. A native of Sudbury, Ont., she has performed throughout the continent, including in the Canadian National Tour of “The Phantom of the Opera”.
Kerr starred as Sophie in the 2016 production in Charlottetown, as well as with two other theatres. Her other credits consist of multiple roles in “Anne of Green Gables-The Musical”, including the title role from 2013-14, and in the world premiere of “Evangeline”.
“Sophie is really the driving force in ‘Mamma Mia!’ ” says Brazier, who will once again direct the musical. “It’s no wonder Katie has since played the role across Canada; she is a tour de force as Sophie.”
The festival’s new production of “Kronborg—The Hamlet Rock Musical” runs June 28 to July 20 in the Homburg Theatre. Directed by the festival’s associate artistic, Mary Francis Moore, the rock musical is an electric experience, following Hamlet’s quest for vengeance upon his uncle Claudius for killing his father. Aaron Hastelow stars as Hamlet and will appear in “Mamma Mia!” as Sophie’s beau, Skye.
Cameron MacDuffee performs opposite Hastelow as Claudius. MacDuffee recently appeared as a scene-stealing King Herod in the “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and has performed across Canada, including four seasons at Shaw Festival. His Charlottetown highlights include turns in “Evangeline”, “Ring of Fire” and “On the Road with Dutch Mason”. He will also reprise his role as Harry in “Mamma Mia!”.
Making her mainstage debut in “Kronborg-The Hamlet Rock Musical” will be Kimberly Truong as Ophelia. Truong hails from Prince Rupert, B.C., and was previously part of the Confederation Centre Young Company in Les Feux Follets. She has appeared in productions of “Les Misérables”, “West Side Story” and “A Chorus Line”. Last year, she made her Broadway debut in “Miss Saigon”.
“It is thrilling to have Kimberly back at The Charlottetown Festival,” said Brazier. “She has an extraordinary voice and an undeniable presence onstage.”
Additional casting, including a new leading star for “Anne of Green Gables-The Musical” and a new Gilbert, will be announced in the months ahead.