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Stratford Festival Archives:
The Building of the Festival Theatre
Long believed lost, this unique cinematic record of the 1956-7 construction of the Stratford Festival's first and largest permanent venue came to light during a reorganization of the Festival's Archives in 2010. Shot, edited and narrated by Stratford resident Dr. William Macauley Gilmore, the meticulously crafted full-colour film chronicles the building of one of the most renowned theatres in North America, from the start of construction in 1956 to its triumphant inauguration the following year. Shot in 1956-7 and released on DVD in 2011. Digitally restored by the Stratford Festival Archives.
NFB: The Stratford Adventure
The small city of Stratford has created its own world-renowned Shakespearean Theatre. The film tells how the idea grew, how a famous British director, internationally known stars and Canadian talent were recruited, and how the Stratford Festival finally became a triumphant reality.
CBC Archives: Setting the stage
Broadcast Date: May 9, 1954
The broad sheaths of canvas are stretched tight and taut and are connected by two miles of cable and ten miles of rope above the complex stage. For tent master Skip Manley it's a two-day labour of love. The tent is expertly constructed and covers audience and actors alike. Perched on the grassy hillside, it sits animated — leaking rain through its tight seams, waving its flaps in the wind, and echoing the distant train whistles off its acoustic interior.
CBC Archives: Behind the scenes
Broadcast Date: June 20, 1954
The Festival's second season kicks off in just eight days. Following the success of last year's season, 80 per cent of all the tickets for this year's performances have already been sold. Actors race through the city streets on their bicycles en route to costume fittings and rehearsals. CBC Television presents this backstage look at actress Frances Hyland as she interacts with the company's main players.
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