Each of the season’s two high-intensity Foray periods focuses on its own theme. In addition to the following, Forays include special editions of regular series events.
FORAY 1: JULY 5 TO 9
The Chaos of Creativity: An exploration of the relationship between madness, genius and art
Saturday, July 5, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Drawing on his interviews with today’s culture mavens, Mr. Ghomeshi concludes that everyone, including himself, is neurotic. Admission: $25.
Saturday, July 5, from 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Inspired by the songs of Tom Lehrer and the spirit of taking on the taboo, Festival actors and special guests present a late-night cabaret. Admission: $30.
The Madness of Creativity
Sunday, July 6, from 10 to 11 a.m.
Esteemed psychiatrist Dr. David Goldbloom, Chair of the Board of the Mental Health Commission of Canada and Past Chair of the Stratford Festival, examines the connections between artistic expression and mental health as evidenced through the lives of some of history’s greatest artists as well as through medical research. Admission: $15.
Into the Void: Songs and Poems to Light the Lamp of the Heart
Festival Theatre lobby
Sunday, July 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Join Gary Malkin and Pamela Gerrand for a soul-stirring evening of original songs, poems and stories that offer a journey through the landscape of light and dark, genius and madness, joy and sadness. Gary Malkin is a multiple Emmy Award-winning composer and speaker dedicated to making a difference in the world through music, media and events that open the heart and catalyze individual and societal healing. Pamela Gerrand is a Stratford-based, internationally renowned singer/songwriter and poet who is devoted to the transformational power of the expressive arts, sharing her original music and poetry as a “bridge to one’s undefended heart.” Together, Pamela and Gary will guide you on an immersive journey in which you will have a direct experience of your own “lamp of the heart” to light your way. Admission: $25.
Music as Medicine for Body, Mind and Soul: Experiential Workshop with Gary Malkin and Pamela Gerrand ~ Using The Healing Power of Music to Connect with What Matters Most
Avon Theatre Rehearsal Hall 1 (Meet in Studio Theatre Lobby)
Monday, July 7, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Music is an incredibly powerful phenomenon that touches us in profound ways. Modern societies seem to have lost this inspirational resource to find meaning in our lives. Our ability to heal and be healed is deepened when we use the arts (such as music, poetry and story) to awaken our hearts and souls in a remembrance of who we truly are. Used in this way, the arts are more than just entertainment, they bring us into the present moment, allowing us to become more authentic and connected. In this workshop, experience how powerfully the universal language of music can deepen your ability to listen, open your heart, and find ways to cultivate your unique presence. Gary Malkin and Pamela Gerrand have extensive professional experience as facilitators of workshops, seminars and keynotes on the subject of music as medicine. They share a passion for enriching people's lives through music and the expressive arts, as a pathway to spirituality, creativity and a deeper expression of our humanity. Admission: $40.
“I Have a Dream”: Peter Sellars and Guests
Stratford Masonic Music Hall
Monday, July 7, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Martin Luther King’s words ring forward powerfully into the 21st century and back across human history, where they meet, among other forebears and prophets, William Shakespeare. For Shakespeare, the dream space is a public platform where our utopian ideals can be expressed, tested, improved, renewed, rehearsed and kept alive through practice. This seminar will honour Shakespeare, the activist, and theatre, the catalyst. Admission: $40.
A Night of Improv
Tuesday, July 8, from 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Paul Bates, Christy Bruce, Kathryn Greenwood and Colin Mochrie return for another night of hilarity. Hosted by Joanne O’Sullivan. Admission: $30.
FORAY 2: AUGUST 16 TO 20
Shakespeare 450: A Celebration of the Bard
Shakespeare’s First Folio
Stratford Perth Museum
4275 Huron Road, Stratford
Saturday, August 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, August 17, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In celebration of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, and for the first time in history, the only copy in Canada of the 1623 edition of Shakespeare’s works – lent to the Festival by the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto – is on display at the Stratford Perth Museum. Admission: $15.
The Secrets of the Shakespeare First Folio
Saturday, August 16, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Eric Rasmussen of the University of Nevada/Reno spent two decades studying the 232 surviving copies of the First Folio, the collection of Shakespeare’s plays published by his friends after his death. His research resulted in a definitive scholarly work as well as a general-interest book, The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios. While the only Canadian-held copy of the Folio is displayed in Stratford, Dr. Rasmussen shares stories of those who have possessed, lost, stolen and treasured these priceless pieces of cultural history. Admission: $25.
Elizabethan Court Dance
Studio Theatre Lobby Saturday, August 16, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Learn dances from the period and how they functioned in the social order. Instructor: Rebecca Harper. Admission: $25.
Souls Under Pressure
Sunday, August 17, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
“Where is the soul in Shakespeare?” Taking King Lear as their focus, Torrance Kirby and Paul Yachnin of McGill University ask what happens to the human spirit, in Shakespeare’s time and in ours, when people are pushed to the limits of endurance. Colm Feore joins the discussion, offering insights from an actor's point of view.
Shakesprov Avon Rehearsal Hall 1 – Meet in the Studio Theatre Lobby, Monday, August 18, from 10 to noon. How hard could it have been for one man to have written Shakespeare’s canon? In this fun, engaging workshop, you will learn the keys to inventing your own lost Shakespeare play on the spot. Led by notable improviser, Second City Faculty and Shakespeare enthusiast, Marjorie Malpass, uncover the secrets of improvising in Iambic. Playing with imagery, inventing words, finding just the right insults - discover the power of being your own Bard. Admission: $40.
Embodying Shakespeare’s Text
Studio Theatre Lobby
Monday, August 18, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Explore and immerse yourself in the power of Shakespeare’s words. Led by Festival coaching staff and special guest artists, this three-hour workshop engages you in the processes our actors use to inhabit Shakespeare’s worlds. Admission: $40.
Tuesday, August 19, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Explore our playbill’s three examples of Shakespearean chronicle: King Lear (legendary), King John (historical) and Antony and Cleopatra (Roman). Admission: $25.
The Life and Adventures of Sam Wanamaker: The Man Who Built the Globe
Tuesday, August 19, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Sam Wanamaker is best known as the visionary founder of Shakespeare’s Globe, the theatre for which he campaigned tirelessly in the last third of his life. This illustrated talk by Paul Prescott, of the University of Warwick, draws on previously unseen archival material to present key episodes in his extraordinary journey as actor, director and cultural entrepreneur from Depression-era Chicago to Thatcher’s Britain. Admission: $15.
The Playwright’s Crucible
Tuesday, August 19, from 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
As in Shakespeare’s day, watch a playwright contend with argumentative actors, demanding management and a temperamental director as they try to create his play before your eyes. Hosted by Joanne O’Sullivan. Admission: $30.
Shakespeare on the Road
Festival Theatre lobby
Wednesday, August 20, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
In celebration of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, Rev. Dr. Paul Edmondson from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Drs. Paul Prescott and Susan Brock from the University of Warwick tell their story of reverse pilgrimage and shine a light on Shakespeare festivals across North America. Free admission.