The Stratford Festival is an internationally recognized annual repertory theatre festival running annually from April to October in the Canadian city of Stratford, Ontario. The Festival’s primary mandate is to present productions of William Shakespeare plays, but it also produces a wide variety of theatre from Greek tragedy to Broadway style musicals and contemporary works. For some years, Shakespeare’s work typically represented about a third of the offerings in the largest venue, the Festival Theatre.
We’ve been to Stratford a number of times as both of my girls are Shakespeare nuts and just love his books. I was not too thrilled with going there the first time we went as unlike them, I do not care for Shakespeare. However, they talked me into it since there are musicals that they also put on there.
The little town of Stratford is very quaint. The first time we went, there were lots of small shops to go through. However, the last time we visited the area, most of the shops were sadly closed. It is still a cute area and there is lots to do if you are into theater. There are four theaters there; the Avon; the Festival; the Studio and the Tom Patterson. All four of these theaters are very unique. The Festival Theater is shown below in a picture that I took and has a thrust stage which is one that extends into the audience on three sides and is connected to the backstage area by its upstage end.
Every play that we saw in the various theaters were all fantastic. I was worried about seeing a Shakespeare play but they usually make them unique. One of the plays we saw, they updated it as if it were 1960 which made it fun to watch. Below are some of the sights we saw while there. The gardens are wonderful to check out when you go.
Of course as I’ve mentioned lots of times, the guys are homebrewers so we had to make a stop by Labatt. Labatt Brewing Company is a Belgian-owned Canadian beer company founded by John Kinder Labatt in 1847 in London, Ontario. Labatt is the largest brewer in Canada. In 1995, it was purchased by Belgian brewer Interbrew. I remember how elegant I thought this place was so it would be worth a stop if you want to taste some of their beers.
I hope you enjoyed this short visit in Stratford. It is a quaint little town with lots of history so be sure to stop by and visit if you are in the area. We stopped there after we went to Niagara Falls one year and it is not too far of a drive.
Please join me again next week as we head for another adventure.