The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Christopher Plummer already has tackled such indelible - and diverse - roles as King Lear, Julius Caesar and John Barrymore at Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Next up for the Tony-winning actor is Prospero, the magician at the center of "The Tempest," artistic director Des McAnuff announced Wednesday. It is one of 12 productions planned for the 2010 season at Stratford, the largest repertory theater in North America.

"The character of Prospero represents the culmination of Shakespeare's skill as a dramatist in creating a role of great complexity, richness and paradox," McAnuff said.

"The Tempest," directed by McAnuff, will be joined by three other Shakespeare plays: "As You Like It," ”The Winter's Tale" and "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," as well as three musicals: "Kiss Me, Kate," ”Evita" and "Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris."

The 79-year-old Plummer won a best-actor Tony in 1997 for "Barrymore," a look at the famous American actor. The play originated at Stratford before coming to New York.

"Jacques Brel," a revue celebrating the work of the Belgian songwriter, will feature Brent Carver. A Tony winner for his performance in "Kiss of the Spider Woman," Carver will also appear as Jaques in the pastoral comedy "As You Like It," directed by McAnuff.

"Kiss Me, Kate," the 1948 Cole Porter musical based on Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," will be directed by John Doyle, known for his innovative stagings on Broadway of such Sondheim musicals as "Sweeney Todd" and "Company."

"Evita," the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical, will be directed by Gary Griffin, who directed Stratford's current, critically lauded production of "West Side Story," now extended through Nov. 8.

Also on tap are Christopher Hampton's "Dangerous Liaisons" and "Do Not Go Gentle" by Leon Pownall and starring Geraint Wyn Davies as Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, as well as the world premiere of "King of Thieves" by George F. Walker and "For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again" by French-Canadian playwright Michel Tremblay.

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