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From the Stratford Festival Laboratory comes

Classical Theatre in a Contemporary World

Saturday, September 29, 10 a.m.

Studio Theatre, 34 George Street East, Stratford

Addressing the history and prevalence of the Western gaze arguably found in productions of the works of William Shakespeare in Canada, this one-day conference offers the opportunity to create new contexts for and understandings of these texts by examining them through a different lens.

The Stratford Festival is the largest theatre organization in one of the most multicultural nations in the world. We’re dedicated to presenting the works of William Shakespeare, in a country Shakespeare himself couldn’t have dreamed of existing, and certainly couldn’t have pointed to on a map.

In the 400-plus years since Shakespeare wrote these plays, the world has changed a great deal. And yet in Canada, the West and beyond, we still find ourselves turning to them to reflect our experiences of politics, power, love, violence, family, grief and much more.

At a time when Canada is reckoning with its colonial history, trying to make progress on gender equity,  and integrating a population that becomes more diverse every year, what do these plays represent to us? For whom do they speak, and for whom could they speak? How can we stage and study them to expand their relevance to a broader, more diverse population, and address barriers to new audiences connecting with this work?

Critically Contemporary pairs artists with academics and invites audiences to join in, to come together to explore practices and frameworks for creating a new relationship to these plays, exploring Indigenous perspectives, cultural interpretation and the gender spectrum.

Workshop Leaders

Indigenous Perspective: 

Indigenous Perspective: Métis artist Jani Lauzon and Navajo artist Rhiana Yazzie

Cultural Interpretation: Director Weyni Mengesha and Alexa Alice Joubin (George Washington University)

Addressing the Gender Binary: Mel Hague (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre) and Rory McKeown (University of Toronto)

The $150 (plus HST) price of the conference includes:

  • Coffee and pastries at registration.
  • A morning workshop – your choice of Indigenous Perspective, Cultural Interpretation or Addressing the Gender Binary.
  • A buffet lunch with facilitated roundtables.
  • A ticket to a matinée performance of The Comedy of Errors, directed by Keira Loughran.
  • Dinner with a keynote address by Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino.
  • If you choose to arrive the night before: a promo code for 50% off tickets to The Tempest on September 28 at 8 p.m., and an invitation to a party with members of the Playwrights Retreat, the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre and the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction.
Select your morning workshop below and click “Buy Now” to begin the registration process.

Indigenous Perspective
Cultural Interpretation
Addressing the Gender Binary