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'King Lear' to get all-aboriginal production at NAC

August Schellenberg, seen here in 2007, will play the role of Lear in "King Lear."

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An aboriginal King Lear will howl on the heath at the National Arts Centre for the first time next season.

NAC English Theatre artistic director Peter Hinton will direct an all-aboriginal production of Shakespeare's great tragedy starring August Schellenberg, who won a Genie Award in 1991 for his role in Black Robe, and set during the Iroquois/Huronia Wars.

Members of the recently re-established NAC English Theatre Company will be featured in King Lear as well as four other productions in 2011- 2012: the musical Oliver!, directed by Dayna Tekatch; the late David French's classic comedy Salt-Water Moon, directed by Micheline Chevrier; Creation, a new play inspired by the Old Testament written by Peter Anderson with songs by Allen Cole; and And Slowly Beauty.., the English-language premiere of a play about art and life by Michel Nadeau.

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Also on the NAC's bill are puppeteer Ronnie Burkett's latest, Penny Plain; a revival of international Canadian hit 2 Pianos 4 Hands; and Daniel MacIvor's Communion, co-produced with Halifax's KAZAN Co-op.

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J. Kelly Nestruck is The Globe's theatre critic. More

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