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Artful Madness: Exploring the 2014 Stratford Festival Season and Beyond
Huron University College, Western University, 1349 Western Rd., London, ON
Saturday, May 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
This day-long interdisciplinary symposium brings together scholars, artists and the public to explore, enhance and enrich the 2014 Stratford Festival playbill and the theme of madness which tethers the various productions across many periods, playwrights and stages. For a full list of papers and speakers please visit under 'events' or contact Dr. Darren Marks at

No More Silence
Studio Theatre
Saturday, June 7, from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Eric Windeler and Sandra Hanington discuss the organization they co-founded after the suicide of their son, Jack, their vision of “No More Silence” on the subject of mental health, and their desire to save and improve the lives of young people.

In My Mind's Eye: Using Illusions to Understand Mental Health (A Presentation in Five Acts)
Studio Theatre
Saturday, June 21, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Join psychiatrist-illusionist Dr. Bruce Ballon for an engaging exploration of mental health through interactive simulations and illusions. Enter a realm of magic and mystery which will challenge your perceptions and understandings of reality. Experience a series of possible inner truths and outer deceptions (or is it inner deceptions and outer truths?) that unite us all, showing that we are more alike than we are different. Along with references to the Bard, who created characters illustrating his understanding of mental conditions, the audience is invited to reflect upon their own conceptions of these issues in our current world.

Out the Window: A Theatrical Dialogue

Studio Theatre
Saturday, June 28, from 10:30 to noon.

In August 2000, award-winning theatre artist Liza Balkan witnessed the death of a mentally ill man during an altercation with four police officers in Toronto's west end. Thus began her multi-year journey through the justice system and beyond, culminating in her verbatim documentary project  Out the Window, which played to sold-out houses in 2012. Join Liza and her guests, celebrated psychiatrist David Goldbloom and acclaimed social justice litigator Peter Rosenthal, in a provocative, theatrical dialogue about mental illness, policing, accountability, witnessing and the law.


How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare
Studio Theatre
Saturday, July 12, from 10 to 11 a.m.
Internationally acclaimed playwright Ken Ludwig has authored commissions for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Bristol Old Vic. His plays include the Tony Award-winning Lend Me a Tenor, the book of Crazy for You (on stage at Stratford this season) and many other works produced on Broadway and in London’s West End. His many awards include two Laurence Olivier awards, the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America and the Edwin Forrest Award for services to the theatre. In his recently published book, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, he shares the method he used to instil an understanding and a love of Shakespeare’s plays in his own children. 

The Sonnet Man
Studio Theatre
Saturday, July 12, from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.
With the jagged rhythms of rap and the smoothness of rhythm and blues, New York hip-hop artist Devon Glover is set to inspire a new generation of Shakespeare lovers in this interactive, “edu-taining” concert showcasing Shakespeare’s sonnets and the story of The Sonnet Man. 

Lear’s Shadow: Contemporary Reflections on Diagnoses, Abuses and Testamentary Capacity
Studio Theatre
Saturday, July 19, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Does King Lear suffer from dementia? Is he of sound mind when he divides up his kingdom? Are his daughters guilty of elder abuse? Drs. Mark Rapoport, Carole Cohen and Ken Shulman examine the play and its central character through the lens of their practice as geriatric psychiatrists. Presented in association with the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. 

Changing My Mind
Avon Theatre
Sunday, July 20, from 10 to 11 a.m.
Margaret Trudeau, former wife of late Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, speaks about her mental-health awareness campaign and her autobiographical account of her journey through mental illness, Changing My Mind

The Radical Middle Way
Studio Theatre
Saturday, July 26, from 10 to 11 a.m.
Muhammad Robert Heft is a convert to Islam whose Toronto-based organization, Paradise Forever, operates a de-radicalization program for converted Muslims. Mr. Heft consults with government agencies in Canada and around the world on counter-terrorism and has been called on by CNN, CBC, ABC, CBS and the BBC to provide his perspective when radicalism is in the news. His talk brings together his personal and professional experience of conversion, radicalization and restoring moderation. 

Madness: Inside and Outside the Edge of War
Tom Patterson Theatre, Friday, August 1, from 11 a.m. to noon.
James Orbinski’s humanitarian work began with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders): as a doctor and later as MSF’s international president, he was on the ground during the Rwandan genocide and other crises in Africa, Europe and Asia. Now on the faculty of the Balsillie School of International Affairs, he speaks about the alternate reality inhabited by humanitarian workers, a survival tactic that allows them to make sense of the senseless world in which they find themselves. 

The Outbreak of the First World War: A Literary Perspective
Studio Theatre
Saturday, August 9, from 10 to 11 a.m.
Paul Stevens is Canada Research Chair in Early Modern Literature & Culture at the University of Toronto. His first career was as a regular officer in the British Army, and he has published widely on literature and the Great War. In the centenary year of the single most important event in the history of the 20th century, Dr. Stevens proposes that literature, even an old drama as remote as Shakespeare’s King John, might step in where historians have left off and provide a unique way of helping us understand why it happened. 

Letters From the Front
Tom Patterson Theatre
Sunday, August 10, from 11 a.m. to noon.
The Stratford Perth Archives holds an extensive collection of letters from the trenches of World War I, written by members of the Perth Regiment to their families in Stratford and Perth County. One hundred years after the outbreak of that war, a selection of those letters is read by members of the Festival company. 

Apocrypha No More: Shakespeare’s Collaborative Plays
Studio Theatre
Friday, August 15, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Why were plays such as The London Prodigal by William Shakespeare, A Yorkshire Tragedy by W. Shakespeare and Thomas Lord Cromwell by W.S. excluded from the First Folio of Shakespeare’s collected works? William Shakespeare and Others: Collaborative Plays is the first edition in over 100 years of the fascinating body of plays that has become known as “The Shakespeare Apocrypha.” Join the edition’s contributing scholars, Eric Rasmussen and Will Sharpe, along with members of the Festival’s artistic and acting companies, in this full-morning exploration of issues of authorship, collaboration and attribution surrounding Shakespeare’s body of work. In this marriage of scholarship and practice, company members investigate scenes and excerpts from the plays of the Apocrypha.

Support for this event is generously provided by Dr. Jules and Josephine Harris.

February: Author’s Insights
Studio Theatre
Saturday, August 23, from 10 to 11 a.m.
Newfoundland-based author Lisa Moore will discuss and read from her second novel, February, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and selected as one of The New Yorker’s Best Books of the Year, and which won the CBC Canada Reads competition in 2013. February explores the long arc of mourning of a woman widowed by the 1982 Ocean Ranger disaster, in which the oil rig sink off the coast of Newfoundland, killing all eighty-four of its crew. 

February: Reading
Studio Theatre
Sunday, August 24, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Festival company members read excerpts from Lisa Moore’s stage adaptation of her novel February, as Ms Moore offers insights into the adaptation process. 

"He's Not Mad, He's Madly Visionary!": A Debate on Madness and Individuality
Studio Theatre

Saturday, September 6, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Literature is rife with colourful characters whose behaviour pushes beyond societal norms. Are these characters suffering from forms of "madness," or are they having a sane response to an insane world? Join Canadian Psychiatric Association members Dr. K. Sonu Gaind, Dr. Susan E. Abbey and Dr. Richard O’Reilly for this lively debate exploring themes of sanity, mental illness and diagnosis and societal expectation, based on selected characters from this season’s playbill.

Camille Paglia: The Dark Women of Shakespeare
Studio Theatre
Saturday, September 20, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Notable feminist and social critic Camille Paglia speaks about Shakespeare and misogyny – what is it about the mystery and ambiguity of women that so frightens men both then and now? 


Authorship Appeal

Festival Theatre, Saturday, October 4, 10:30 a.m.- noon.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, of the Supreme Court of Canada, convenes a special panel of judges to consider whether there is sufficient evidence to refute the claim that Shakespeare was the principal author of the canon. With special appearances by Antoni Cimolino and Colm Feore. Admission: Free.


La Fontaine-Baldwin Symposium

Saturday, October 18.

Keynote Address: Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St W, Toronto. 2:00 p.m.

Roundtables: Gardiner Museum, 111 Queens Park, Toronto. 4:00 p.m.

Legendary artist Robert Lepage delivers the 12th La Fontaine-Baldwin lecture followed by a dynamic roundtable discussion, when the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, chaired by Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul, reunites with the Festival to challenge Canadians to join the national conversation on citizenship. Admission:$30 Keynote Address only. $70 Keynote Address and Roundtables.


Margaret Trudeau

Selected Forum Events Supported by
Bell Lets Talk

Sustaining support for the Forum
is generously provided by
Kelly & Michael Meighen and
the T.R. Meighen Foundation

Support for the 2014 Forum is
generously provided by
Nandita & Julian Wise


Canadian Signature Experiences