Did you know that the Stratford Festival was held under a large outdoor tent when it first began in the 1950s? I did know this because I love the Stratford Festival so much. I have been going since 1994.
This year the Stratford Festival is going back to their roots and becoming an outdoor festival "offering a season of six plays and five cabarets reflecting on the theme of Metamorphosis".
According to their website the 2021 season will have two Shakespeare plays, Romeo and Juliet – called simply R + J for this production – and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The will also have two plays that were originally planned for the 2020 playbill, Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women and Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters.
The last two plays are completely new, one about race and royalty (topical ? let's find out), Serving Elizabeth by Marcia Johnson and a musical, about the playwright to whom the Festival is dedicated, I Am William.
Due to COVID19 Restrictions, large-scale musicals are not permitted in Ontario. To ensure those of us who love musicals, who's with me?, don't miss out the Festival will present a series of five cabarets.
These cabarets, presented in the Festival Theatre canopy, are;
Why We Tell the Story, a celebration of Black musical theatre (ooooohhh)
You Can't Stop the Beat , a reflection on the enduring power of musical theatre
Play On!, a Shakespeare-inspired mixtape (excited!)
Freedom, an exploration of the spirit and legacy of Black music
Finally There's Sun, a cabaret of resilience.
These all sound so good! I am also excited about the unique opportunity to experience powerful performances in an incredibly intimate, outdoor setting. We don't get a lot of outdoor theatre in Southwestern Ontario so this is special.
As always we encourage everyone to be safe. Wear a mask, wash your hands, sanitize and physically stay away from other people. We also encourage you all to stop at our brewery on your way to see a show and pick up some beers to take home with you. (Tip: Bring a cooler or cooler bag and you can put them in the car so they stay cool and won't get light struck)
We are open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. We are only 23 kms away from Stratford, not out of the way at all. We are excited to offer you some local craft beer flavours while you are in the area. And when you're here we can talk about what you're seeing and what you've seen at the festival.
So happy the festival is back this year!