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Stratford Festival 2023 Season. Icon of Shakespeare writing with a quill. Red and grey accents.



DOWNLOAD EARLY ORDERING GUIDE
Download our Early Ordering Guide to explore the 2023 season.
CASTING ANNOUNCEMENT
Read the 2023 Casting Announcement.


MEDIA RELEASE
Read the 2023 Season Media Release.


PLAYBILL

King Lear

By WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Directed by KIMBERLEY RAMPERSAD

Venue: Festival Theatre

 

"AS FLIES TO WANTON BOYS, ARE WE TO THE GODS."

Perhaps Shakespeare's greatest tragedy, King Lear is the story of an aging king, who, in demanding a show of devotion from his three daughters, leaves his kingdom divided, his family destroyed, the faithful banished and the hateful left to wreak inhuman havoc in the realm.

Setting: Britain. The near future. A kingdom on the precipice.

 

Production support is generously provided by Catherine & David Wilkes.

Support for the 2023 season of the Festival Theatre is generously provided by Daniel Bernstein & Claire Foerster.

 

 

 

Rent

Book, Music and Lyrics by JONATHAN LARSON

Directed by THOM ALLISON

Choreographed by MARC KIMELMAN

Venue: Festival Theatre

 

"FORGET REGRET, OR LIFE IS YOURS TO MISS..."

Set in Manhattan in the 1990s and inspired by Puccini's opera La Bohème, this rock musical by Jonathan Larson follows a group of young East Village artists, performers and philosophers as they struggle through the hardships of poverty, societal discord and the AIDS epidemic in the search for life, love and art. With a song list that includes the iconic "Seasons of Love," Rent tells a story as relevant today as when it took Broadway by storm more than 25 years ago.

Setting: 1990s East Village, New York.

 

Production support is generously provided by The David & Amy Fulton Foundation.

Support for the 2023 season of the Festival Theatre is generously provided by Daniel Bernstein & Claire Foerster.

 

 

 

Much Ado About Nothing

By WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Additional text by ERIN SHIELDS

Directed by CHRIS ABRAHAM

Venue: Festival Theatre

 

"I DO LOVE NOTHING IN THE WORLD SO WELL AS YOU-IS NOT THAT STRANGE?"

The story follows Beatrice and Benedick, two quick-witted and sarcastic individuals who are happily single, but whose friends believe they would make a great romantic match. Set in the Early Modern world, an era of ever-changing attitudes towards marriage and power, the play presents a society at once filled with progressive feminist impulses and countervailing forces rooted in traditional patriarchal values. With his astonishing wit and insight, Shakespeare explores the complexities that underlie these growing social tensions.

Setting: Southern Italy, Elizabethan period.

 

Production support is generously provided by Priscilla Costello, by John & Therese Gardner, by the Harkins & Manning families in memory of Jim & Susan Harkins, by The Jentes Family and by Dr. Desta Leavine in memory of Pauline Leavine.

Support for the 2023 season of the Festival Theatre is generously provided by Daniel Bernstein & Claire Foerster.

 

 

 

Les Belles-Soeurs

By MICHEL TREMBLAY

Translated by JOHN VAN BUREK and BILL GLASSCO

Directed by ESTHER JUN

Venue: Festival Theatre

 

A KITCHEN TABLE CONFIDENTIAL

After 32 years, Michel Tremblay's masterpiece, which revolutionized Québécois theatre and is renowned the world over, returns to Stratford on the Festival Stage. Written in 1965, Les Belles-Soeurs portrays 15 Québécois women expressing their anger, desperation and frustration loudly, rudely and audaciously. Germaine Lauzon has won a million stamps in a contest. She invites her family and neighbours into her kitchen to help paste them into booklets. Fighting for any power in their suffocating lives, the women yell, backstab, dream and steal in grand theatrical style.

Setting: Montreal, 1965.

 

Production support is generously provided by Sylvia D. Chrominska, by Cathy & Paul Cotton, by Jane Fryman Laird, by Dr. Robert J. & Roberta Sokol and by Jack Whiteside.

Support for the 2023 season of the Festival Theatre is generously provided by Daniel Bernstein & Claire Foerster.

 

 

 

Monty Python's Spamalot

Book and Lyrics by ERIC IDLE

Music by JOHN DU PREZ and ERIC IDLE

A new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"

From the original screenplay by GRAHAM CHAPMAN, JOHN CLEESE, TERRY GILLIAM, ERIC IDLE, TERRY JONES, MICHAEL PALIN

Directed by LEZLIE WADE

Choreographed by JESSE ROBB

Venue: Avon Theatre

 

"GOD THE ALMIGHTY AND ALL-KNOWING HAS MISPLACED A CUP?"

Monty Python's Spamalot offers up a hefty share of irreverence in a hilarious spoof of the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they go in search of the Holy Grail. This outrageous musical comedy by John Du Prez and Eric Idle, lets us look at our flaws and foibles and in doing so allows us to laugh at the things that make us human.

Setting: Medieval Britain and a little bit of France.

 

Production support is generously provided by The David & Amy Fulton Foundation and by The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation.

 

World Première Adaptation

A Wrinkle in Time

By MADELEINE L'ENGLE

Adapted for the stage by THOMAS MORGAN JONES

Directed by THOMAS MORGAN JONES

Venue: Avon Theatre

 

A STRAIGHT LINE IS NOT THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN TWO POINTS.

This new adaptation directed and written by Thomas Morgan Jones is based on the classic fantasy by Madeleine L'Engle, in which a young heroine leads her brother and a friend on a spectacular journey through space and time, from galaxy to galaxy, to save the world and rescue her father who mysteriously disappeared while working on an astounding scientific concept.

Setting: Modern day, all around the universe.

 

Production support is generously provided by The Schulich Foundation.

 

 

World Première

Frankenstein Revived

By MORRIS PANYCH

Music by DAVID COULTER

Based on Frankenstein by MARY SHELLEY

Directed by MORRIS PANYCH

Movement choreographed by WENDY GORLING

Dance choreographed by STEPHEN COTA

Venue: Avon Theatre

 

MOST OF THE WORLD'S HORRORS ARE SELF-INFLICTED. 

At just 18 years old, Mary Shelley wrote the most celebrated horror story in English literature. Based on the novel, this exuberant and passion-filled theatrical movement-based piece by Morris Panych with music by David Coulter explores the big question at the heart of Shelley's work: what does it mean to be human?

Setting: Europe in the 1800s.

 

Production support is generously provided by The Fabio Mascarin Foundation, by Jody & Deborah Hamade and by Martie & Bob Sachs.

Support for the creation of Frankenstein Revived is generously provided by The Foerster Bernstein New Play Development Program.

 

 

 

World Première Translation:

Grand Magic

By EDUARDO DE FILIPPO

In a new English translation by JOHN MURRELL

Directed by ANTONI CIMOLINO

Venue: Tom Patterson Theatre

 

WHAT THE HEART DESIRES, THE MIND BELIEVES.

A funny, thought-provoking and deeply moving play, presented in a new English translation by John Murrell. In this comedy we find Otto Marvuglia, a once master illusionist, reduced to performing magic for money at a seaside resort. When one of his tricks seems to go awry, a guest tumbles into a world of illusion as another escapes an unhappy reality.

Setting: Naples area, 1950s.

 

Production support is generously provided by Robert & Mary Ann Gorlin, by Dr. M.L. Myers, by Northpine Foundation and by Sylvia Soyka.

 

 

Richard II

By WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Adapted by BRAD FRASER

Conceived by JILLIAN KEILEY

Directed by JILLIAN KEILEY

Choreographed by CAMERON CARVER

Venue: Tom Patterson Theatre

 

"THIS ROYAL THRONE OF KINGS, THIS SCEPTERED ISLE…"

In a revolutionary adaptation by Brad Fraser, this Richard is the story of a king who believes that God gives him the right to live above the rules and who ultimately suffers the consequences. The story is embedded in a time of great freedom that is soon crushed - the late 1970s and early '80s: when lives were lived at great volume against a suffocating strain of conservatism and fear. Fraser's adaptation maintains Shakespeare's text but draws on sources beyond Richard II.

Setting: Inspired by the glamour, grit and glitter of New York in the late '70s and early 80's.

 

Production support is generously provided by The Westaway Charitable Foundation.

 

 

Wedding Band

By ALICE CHILDRESS

Directed by SAM WHITE

Venue: Tom Patterson Theatre

 

"SOME TRUTH HAS NO NOURISHMENT IN IT."

The stellar work - written with great precision and powerful storytelling by Alice Childress - gives an emotional portrayal of a relationship between a Black seamstress, Julia, and a white baker, Herman, in the shadow of the First World War and the 1918 flu epidemic in Charleston, South Carolina. The couple's deep love and commitment faces the cruel racism of the Deep South in this revealing portrayal of interracial love, forced to navigate the societal racism of laws and culture, along with heartbreaking judgment from their own families and communities. Written during the Civil Rights era, the play resonates in our modern times of racial reckoning with movements such as Black Lives Matter, across North America, and at a time when a new pandemic is tragically altering lives.

Setting: South Carolina, 1918.

 

Selection of this play was supported by extensive research conducted by Hannah Rittner with support from the Canada Council.

Production support is generously provided by Peter & Carol Walters.

 

 

World Première

Stratford Festival Commission

Casey and Diana

By NICK GREEN

Directed by ANDREW KUSHNIR

Venue: Studio Theatre

 

THE HANDSHAKE SEEN 'ROUND THE WORLD.

As the Toronto AIDS hospice, Casey House, prepares for the historic visit of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1991, residents and staff are inspired to beat the odds as a plague continues to ravage a generation. This potent and moving drama by Nick Green, vividly captures a moment in time when a rebel Princess, alongside less famous caregivers and advocates, reshaped the course of a pandemic - and how those stricken by the virus found hard-won dignity, community and love in the face of astonishing hardship.

Setting: Casey House, Toronto in 1991.

 

Production support is generously provided by Alan Rowe & Bryan Blenkin and by three generations of the Schubert family.

Support for the creation of Casey and Diana is generously provided by The Foerster Bernstein New Play Development Program.

 

 

 

Women of the Fur Trade

By FRANCES KONCAN

Directed by YVETTE NOLAN

Venue: Studio Theatre

 

WHO KNEW THE RED RIVER RESISTANCE WAS SO FUNNY?

Set in eighteen hundred and something-something, somewhere upon the banks of a Reddish River in Treaty One Territory, where three very different women with a preference for 21st-century slang sit in a fort sharing their views on life, love and the hot nerd Louis Riel. In this lively historical satire of survival and cultural inheritance, playwright Frances Koncan shifts perspectives from the male gaze onto women's power in the past and present through the lens of the rapidly changing world of the Canadian fur trade.

Setting: Eighteen hundred and something-something. Banks of Reddish River in Treaty One Territory, Manitoba.

 

Production support is generously provided by Karon C. Bales & Charles E. Beall.

 

 

Love's Labour's Lost

By WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Directed by PETER PASYK

Venue: Studio Theatre

 

"NEVER DURST A POET TOUCH A PEN TO WRITE/UNTIL HIS INK WAS TAMPERED WITH LOVE'S SIGHS."

A beloved early comedy by Shakespeare, is reimagined for modern audiences. Seeking self-improvement, the King of Navarre and his three best friends swear off sex and love for three years, just as the Princess of France and three other women arrive on a diplomatic mission. Light-hearted drama reaches its climax in the twist ending of this touching and funny coming-of-age story.

Setting: Contemporary.

 

Production support is generously provided by Catherine Elliot Shaw in memory of John D. Shaw, and by the Tremain family.

The appearance of members of the Birmingham Conservatory in Love's Labour's Lost is generously supported by The Marilyn and Charles Baillie Fund and by Alice & Tim Thornton.

 

 

 

Members can begin ordering online at noon November 6, 2022 and by phone at 9 a.m. on November 7, 2022  

General Public on-sale will start online at noon on December 12, 2022 and by phone at 9 a.m. on December 13, 2022 

On-Sale Dates
Membership LevelOnline at Noon   By Phone at 9 a.m.
Playwrights' Circle MembersNovember 6November 7
Sustainer/Prospero Society Members  November 7November 8
Associate MembersNovember 8November 9
Benefactor MembersNovember 9November 10
Ambassador MembersNovember 10November 11
Friend MembersNovember 11November 12

BECOME A MEMBER

Groups and Schools On-Sale Dates
Groups   Online or by phone on December 5 at 9 a.m.
Schools   Online or by phone on December 6 at 9 a.m.
General Public On-Sale Dates
General Public Online at noon on December 12 and by phone at 9 a.m. on December 13 

 

 All times are Eastern Time.