William Shatner is slated to get a legacy award from the Stratford Festival.
The Stratford Festival strives to “create stimulating, thought-provoking productions of Shakespeare’s plays, to examine other plays from the classical repertoire, and to foster and support the development of Canadian theater practitioners.”
Shatner was a member of the Stratford Festival company for three years in the 1950s, when he played in The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure, Henry V, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Oedipus Rex and Julius Caesar.
“As a screen and television actor, William Shatner has had a legendary career,” said Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. “He is known around the world for his iconic portrayal of Star Trek‘s Captain Kirk, and for a host of other leading roles, including T.J. Hooker and Boston Legal‘s Denny Crane. But many people may not realize that he has also won acclaim as a classical actor. One of my favorite pieces of Stratford lore is the story of William Shatner going on as the understudy for Christopher Plummer‘s Henry V in 1956. He became an overnight sensation. In fact, Chris later reflected: ‘I knew then that he was going to be a star.’
“It gives us great pleasure to pay tribute to William Shatner and his legacy at the Stratford Festival. We look forward to creating a tribute worthy of his illustrious career.”
“I am proud and happy to be a Canadian and proud and happy to receive this Canadian award,” said Shatner. “I guess I am just proud and happy.”
Shatner will be honored at a gala on Monday, October 21 at Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel.