Jennifer Stewart. Handout/Stratford Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network
Jennifer Stewart is returning home later this month, and she’s bringing an up-and-coming original Canadian musical with her.The Stratford native and Festival assistant director has been overseeing a performance called Every Silver Lining, which was named the Patron’s Pick after a two-week run in early July at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Now it’s coming to Stewart’s hometown for a one-time show in late August.“We hit our stride at the Fringe and wanted to keep the momentum going, so that’s why we decided to bring it to Stratford,” she said Wednesday over the phone from Toronto. “Also because Stratford has such a sophisticated theatre audience.”Composer and lyricist Allison Wither and author Laura Piccinin created the production while Stewart, a 41-year-old Stratford Central graduate, was brought on to direct. The trio were connected through a mutual friend in the Toronto theatre scene.The story follows the plight of Clara, played by Wither, as she deals with a tumultuous time as her brother, Andrew, played by Daniel Karp, is dying of cancer. It focuses on a family and a community dealing with grief, Stewart said.“Trying to find the hope and the silver lining in unfortunate experiences that we all go through,” she said.Comedic moments are also weaved in. But the 85-minute show, featuring 10 performers and a three-piece band, is still under development – “an endless task,” Stewart said – and another performance in the Festival City will help tighten it up.
Several members of the cast for Every Silver Lining are seen here in Toronto. Handout/Stratford Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network
The actors will hit the city hall auditorium stage on Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, available at the door on online at bit.ly/2ZpfYqS, are $25. A portion of the proceeds will support the Stratford General Hospital’s cancer clinic.Stewart is an emerging director who recently finished her master’s degree in the subject, and is currently involved in the Festival’s Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction. She’s also served as an assistant director on HMS Pinafore, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Othello in recent years.“It’s been amazing. I’ve learned so much,” she firstname.lastname@example.orgIF YOU GOWHAT: Every Silver Lining directed by Stratford’s Jennifer StewartWHEN: Sunday, Aug. 25, at 7:30 p.m.WHERE: City hall auditoriumCOST: $25 at the door or online at bit.ly/2ZpfYqS