"Brush Up Your Shakespeare - and More!" Top 5 Page for this destination Stratford by yooperprof

Stratford Travel Guide: 37 reviews and 98 photos

In the summer 2012 I was involved with a colleague from the English Department in bringing a group of university students on an innovative study tour of Ontario. AFter several days exploring the cultural and governmental attractions of Ottawa, we moved on to Stratford where (thanks to matinee performances) we were able to see four different plays in two days.

Actually, only of the four shows, "Much Ado About Nothing," was performed in the Festival Theatre, shown above. The Festival stage is in the largest auditorium in Stratford, and features a thrust stage whch brings the actors directly out in front of the audience, in a fascinating and challenging way that is very different from the standard "proscenium" stage. The Festival Theatre was designed with input from Britain's great actor Tyrone Guthrie, and it has served audiences and actor very well for more than fifty years.

This part of Rural Canada is a Stage!

In the first half of the 20th century, Stratford was a agricultural market town with a large-scale factory which manufactured railway locomotives. When the town fathers began to perceive that the train era was fading and that big industry was leaving rural Canada, they hit upon the crazy idea of turning their town into an international center of theatre excellence. What a bizarre concept - and a brilliant one. Today, the Stratford Theatre Festival is one of the best places in the world to see the plays of William Shakespeare - not to mention the numerous other playwrights whose works are brought to life by the skilled actors and technicians living out the dream of those civic leaders two generations ago.

From Badminton to Shakespeare

Stratford's Tom Patterson Theatre is located in a former indoor Badminton Court, located at the Kiwanis Community Centreon the banks of the Thames. The intimate theatre seats about 500 people, and features a runway thrust stage that brings the action right to the middle of the audience. It's very effective in "tearing down the fourth wall," as we actors like to say.

In summer 2012, I saw three plays here: "Elektra" by Sophocles, Shakespeare's "Cymbeline," and "Wanderlust," a new musical about Canada's bard of the Yukon, Robert Service.

  • Last visit to Stratford: Aug 2012
  • Intro Updated Oct 28, 2012
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yooperprof

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