New Co-Artistic Directors welcomed by St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival


Julia Nish-Lapidus and James Wallis are the new Co-Artistic Directors of the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival for the upcoming 2024 season. Organizers explain that the duo, who are partners in life as well as the theatre, will begin work this Friday, December 1st, the festival’s Board of Directors announced.

"We are honoured to be joining the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival as the new Co-Artistic Directors, and are thrilled for the opportunity to lead the Festival into its next phase of artistic excellence," Julia said.

"We love this festival and its beautiful outdoor waterfront venue," added James. "There isn’t another theatre with a view like it. We’re excited to get started."

Officials explain that they currently run a theatre company in Toronto called Shakespeare BASH’d. They are experienced artists and administrators, having both worked multiple seasons as directors at the Stratford Festival, while also organizing and leading events for the Stratford Festival Forum and education department. Their work as directors and actors has taken them all over the province, working with artists and companies at varying points in their careers and experience levels.

On behalf of the Board and the Selection Committee, Festival Chair Jo-Anne Beckstead welcomed the Co-Artistic Directors to lead the way for an exciting new season.

"We’re very pleased to have Julia and James coming to Prescott to take us into our 22nd year of great theatre right here in Prescott," Ms. Beckstead said.

"It was also very encouraging that we had an exceptional list of more than 20 applicants from across the country who were interested in being a part of our special festival," she said.

"I’m very excited to welcome James and Julia to the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival team. We plan to hit the ground running," Festival General Manager Ingrid Bjornson said.

Julia and James will be getting to work immediately putting together the 2024 season, along with helping spearhead and organize community and fundraising events.

With files by CFRA's Connor Ray