Stratford Festival in Ontario: One of the Theatre-goers’ Jackpots

Not only is summertime a music festival and cultural festival bonanza, this is a time to head to the theatre. The Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada that also stretches into November has been offering some of the best live-theatre since the early 1950s. It’s the largest classical theatre venue in North America. When I was in college, a group of friends and I headed there to see Othello. I remember the trip as being not that expensive and an easy jaunt from northern New York state where I went to undergraduate school. It’s still easy to get there since you don’t need a passport to drive into Canada if you are a U.S. citizen. If you’re not a citizen, make sure you have a green card.

This summer Shakepeare staples like a Merchant of Venice and King Lear are on the playbill, but that’s not all. Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird and Oklahoma are some of the other favorites. There’s more. If you check the calendar, you’ll see exactly what plays are when. Since there are two different plays per day you can see four in a two-day weekend. For a total experience, add in a Festival Theatre Backstage tour, a Costume Warehouse tour and a Garden tour. Those are offered in the mornings. There are also special events throughout the season where you can meet the artistic director, Richard Monette. This is his last season as the director. The Celebrated Writers Series is a chance to see several authors. Margaret Atwood is one of them making an appearance. For a theatre sampling, check out the video gallery.