It houses records and artifacts representing all aspects of production and administration
at the Festival, dating back to the Festival's first season (1953).
Very few in-house performing arts archives are as complete as the Stratford Festival Archives. Materials come from all departments, including the Directors’
Office, Voice/Movement/Theatre Training Coaches, Music, Production, Design, Wardrobe,
Wigs and Makeup, Properties, Scenic Art, Scenic Carpentry, House Managers, Education,
Publicity, Communications, Graphics, Marketing and Audience Development, Advancement,
Human Resources, Finance, Facilities. Some materials have use restrictions.
Types of materials include:
records from all departments and all productions
photos (production, rehearsal, events, etc.)
video recordings of productions (from 1968 on)
a great array of sound and audiovisual material dating back to 1953
stage management scripts
design bibles (costume, set and props, wigs and makeup, lighting)
maquettes (set models)
plans and drawings (prop drawings, technical drawings, architectural plans)
The Archives is part of the Festival’s day-to-day activities, and materials are
delivered to Archives throughout the year, so the Archives’ holdings are always
up to date.
The Archives is open to the public throughout the year (except for statutory holidays
and a short holiday break in December), Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
and we are located at 350 Douro Street, Stratford, Ontario N5A 3ST. Currently, more
than 1,600 users and visitors come to the Archives every year.
The Archives is committed to education and outreach, and is engaged in several projects,
including the recent release of the documentary The Building of the Festival Theatre,
directed by Dr. Gilmore in 1956-1957.
Instructors can come on their own to conduct research or bring their students here
for on-site teaching sessions at no charge. Internships and other opportunities
are also available. The Archives can provide materials for on-site use, and provide
hard copies and/or digital images for in-class use. Groups of students and instructors
who wish to book the Archives for teaching sessions or request materials for a
class can contact the Director, Dr. Francesca Marini, by
email or at 519.271.4040, ext. 4301. Dr. Marini is also available as a speaker.
For research and other questions please contact
Nora Polley, Archives Assistant, ext. 4315, or
Christine Schindler, Archives Coordinator, ext. 4328.
While we work on making our holdings accessible in digital form, we will be able
to assist you remotely with your research and provide you with copies (within the
limitations due to Canadian Actors' Equity Association's regulations, and
to privacy and confidentiality concerns).
If materials need to be photocopied, there is a charge of $0.15 per page. Instead
of requesting a photocopy, users can take their own digital photos.
Production photos and other materials protected by the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
have to be cleared through Equity, which might charge a fee to be paid to actors
(generally $118.50 per actor). The fee might be waived, but the decision
is up to Equity and the Archives has no control over it.
The Archives charges a basic reproduction fee of $20 per photo (publication, etc.).
The Archives can consider waiving this fee based on use (for example, a student
in-class presentation), but Equity’s clearance is still required when applicable.
For commercial use – including use in film, documentaries, television programs,
etc. – we charge $35 per image.
If you cannot come in person and substantial research must be conducted on your
behalf, we charge $25 per hour.
Our fees are consistent with or lower than those of other archives services.
Discover 60 years of Festival history at one of the world’s largest performing arts
archives. View rare film footage and visit the large scenery and props display area.
Walk through the set of a 2011 production! Duration: one hour. Maximum 20 people
per tour. Larger groups may be accommodated by special arrangements. Space is accessible.
Tours are $8 per person; $6 for seniors and students (HST included). Since tours
fill up quickly, we recommend that you book them in advance.
Visit our new display, dedicated to Four Shakespeare Masterpieces at the Stratford Festival: Present and Past Productions of Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice. The space is accessible and guided tours are available. Admission: $6 adults; $5 seniors and students; $4 per person for groups of 10 or more; free admission for children under the age of 13. Special $2 price (per person) for school groups. Different days or times may be available on request
Tickets: included in the price of admission to the Exhibition.
A series of discussions with Festival actors and other artists, usually focusing
on a decade of Festival history.
July 7: Film producer and audio-visual archivist Rick Schmidlin shows rare footage
and discusses the Festival’s first decade
August 11: Associate Artistic Director Dean Gabourie discusses the years 2002 to
August 18: A conversation with Martha Henry.
Details and additional talks can be found
View artifacts and other treasures from the Festival Archives. Gain wonderful insights
into all aspects of Festival productions from the recent and distant past.