Sudbury native Antoni Cimolino has been named the artistic director at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.
An actor as well as a director and arts administrator, Cimolino has been general manager at Stratford since 2006. He will replace Des McAnuff and is expected to take over his new role in 2013.
“This is a day of enormous joy for me,” said Cimolino in a news release. “This great theatre changed my life as it has changed the lives of countless others in its almost 60 seasons. It has given me 25 years of growth as an artist and introduced me to wonderful people, great talents and a world of plays, characters and writing that have brought me as close as any man can be to heaven on Earth.”
Cimolino is the son of Italian immigrants Gino and Vera Cimolino, who at one time lived on Martindale Rd. Gino worked as a construction foreman and Vera was on the housekeeping staff at Memorial Hospital. Both are deceased.
Stratford’s new artistic director attended St. Charles College where he developed an interest in theatre. At the time, the school took part in co-productions with Marymount College. He studied theatre arts at the University of Windsor.
Cimolino first joined the Stratford Festival as an actor in 1988 and played Romeo opposite Megan Follows’s Juliet in 1992.
This year, his 25th season with the festival, Cimolino is directing Shakespeare’s rarely produced Cymbeline, with a cast that includes Graham Abbey, Tom McCamus, Cara Ricketts and Geraint Wyn Davies.
As general manager of the festival, he administers an annual budget of $60 million and oversees 1,000 employees.