Stratford’s Othello & Merry Wives screening at Cineplex

Stratford, ON… This year’s Stratford Festival On Film series looks at two vastly different takes on jealousy with Shakespeare’s chilling tragedy Othello and his hilarious comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor, both directed for the screen by Barry Avrich. The two films will screen in Canada and the U.S. beginning in March.

Othello premières at selected Cineplex theatres across Canada on March 21. In Shakespeare’s famed psychological drama, Othello and Desdemona defy racial prejudice to be united in marriage. But deadly malice lurks where the newlyweds least expect it, as Othello’s trusted comrade and confidant, Iago, resolves to destroy their happiness at any cost. In a calculated, drawn-out mind game, Iago begins planting in Othello’s mind seeds of unjustified suspicion that will grow into a deadly obsession.

Director Nigel Shawn Williams “boldly updates Othello and dares us to look” (Toronto Star). “Raw emotions are on full display” (Postmedia) in this “electrifying” production (Toronto Star and Broadway World), a gripping examination of racism and misogyny, featuring Michael Blake as Othello and Amelia Sargisson as his new wife, Desdemona. Gordon S. Miller turns in “a superb performance” as Iago (The New York Times) who uses whispers of suspicion to feed Othello’s jealousy and doubt.

The Merry Wives of Windsor premières at Cineplex theatres on April 4. This “absolutely hilarious” (The Globe and Mail) production of Shakespeare’s great comedy stars Geraint Wyn Davies as Falstaff, a portly knight, who pursues two married women at the same time, failing to consider that his targets might, quite literally, compare notes. Nor has he reckoned on the mischievous spirit in which the wives will use their wits and wiles to teach him the error of his ways.

Stratford Festival Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino directs this “very merry Merry Wives of Windsor” (The Globe and Mail), a “charming production” (The New York Times) featuring Sophia Walker and Brigit Wilson “as the two Merry Wives, bringing warmth and exuberance to their on-stage friendship” (Postmedia). “The production is outrageously funny, with charming and distinctive performances by all involved” (Broadway World).

Cineplex is one of Canada’s leading entertainment and media companies, which brings world-class events and performances to the big screen across Canada. For participating locations, show times and tickets for the screenings, visit https://www.cineplex.com/Events/Stage.

U.S. theatrical distribution will follow through BY Experience, the “live cinema event powerhouse” (Variety) that brings the highest quality international cultural events to more than 2,000 cinemas and performing arts centres in over 70 countries around the world as the Worldwide HD Distribution Representative for The Met: Live in HD series, International (ex-UK) Distribution Representative for the U.K.’s National Theatre Live series, and North American Distributor for the Bolshoi Ballet cinema series.

Both films will be broadcast this summer by Canada’s national broadcaster, on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service. DVDs will be available through the Stratford Festival in late fall.

Stratford Festival on Film is sponsored by Sun Life as part of their Making the Arts More Accessible® program.

Support for Stratford Festival on Film is generously provided by The John and Myrna Daniels Charitable Foundation, Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney, the Jenkins Family Foundation, the Henry White Kinnear Foundation, Ophelia & Mike Lazaridis, The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Sandra & Jim Pitblado, the Slaight Family Foundation, Robert & Jacqueline Sperandio, and an anonymous donor.

MELBAR ENTERTAINMENT GROUP IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE STRATFORD FESTIVAL

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ANTONI CIMOLINO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ANITA GAFFNEY

PRESENT A BARRY AVRICH PRODUCTION OF

OTHELLO AND THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

PRODUCER SUSAN EDWARDS DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY JOE INTERISANO EDITED BY GEORGE ROULSTON

OTHELLO DIRECTED FOR THE STAGE BY NIGEL SHAWN WILLIAMS

DIRECTED FOR FILM BY BARRY AVRICH

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR DIRECTED FOR THE STAGE BY ANTONI CIMOLINO

DIRECTED FOR FILM BY BARRY AVRICH

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