As you probably remember, a number of younger leading men from both Festivals will be in the world premiere musical Lord of the Rings which opens in Toronto in early 2006.
Now, word comes that each festival has lost one of their leading lights. Stratford star Jonathan Goad and Shaw Festival mainstay Ben Carlson will be playing the brothers Gloucester in Soulpepper's King Lear. They will also play brothers in The Caretaker.
The production doesn't start until late August, so it is possible that if there are shows that close early, Jonathan may be at Stratford, but I wouldn't count on it. (During the backstage tour at Shaw, they made it clear that Ben Carlson won't be there next year, which is why I'm not including him in that possibility.)
Also, for Shaw fans, Jeff Lillico is going to Soulpepper for two rep shows.
Let's see, you think you can fit in a matinee Rings with an evening show of Lear?
This is going to be a weird year at both festivals.