Festival actors or visiting guests in readings, musical concerts and other performances on selected dates throughout the season.
Studio Theatre, Sunday June 22, from 8 to 10 p.m.
A reading of this classic Canadian comedy of manners by playwright Elliott Hayes, the Festival’s literary manager and dramaturge at the time of his death in 1994, performed by members of the company. Of the play, Margaret Atwood writes "Elliott Hayes has fashioned a brisk, intricate, deranging and tightly strung play...his art is a funhouse mirror, and what we see in it are fragments of ourselves, distorted, grotesque even, but recognizable." Admission $25.
Next to Normal
Book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt
Sunday, June 29; Sunday, July 6; and Sunday, July 13
8 to 11 p.m.
Festival actors present a sing-through of this Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning rock musical, which explores how one suburban household copes with mental illness and crisis.
Chilina Kennedy in Concert
Studio Theatre, Sunday, July 20 @ 11:30 a.m.; Saturday, July 26 @ 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, August 2 @ 11:00 a.m.
Chilina Kennedy performs songs from What You Find in a Bottle, her debut album as a singer/songwriter. Alongside these originals arranged by Rick Fox, Chilina sings some of her favourite selections from the musicals Once and Beautiful, as well as songs from her first three seasons at the Stratford Festival – including familiar hits from Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar. Admission: $50-40. Running Time, 75 minutes.
The God That Comes
Thursday, September 11, to Friday, September 12, and Thursday, September 18, to Saturday, September 20, 11:30 p.m. Saturday, September 13, 2:00 p.m.
Part play, part concert, all bacchanalian, The God that Comes is a wine-soaked rock-’n’-roll cabaret celebrating the god of wine and ecstasy. This solo performance, starring musical sensation Hawksley Workman, fuses the chaotic revelry of a rock concert with the intimacy of theatrical storytelling. The show is a tonic for a society that has lost its sense of balance, and for a people that have lost touch with their animal instincts. It is an invitation to raise a glass together, hear a story and get lost in the music for a few hours. Produced by 2B Theatre Company. For more details, visit www.thegodthatcomes.com.
Masks, Madness and Shakespeare’s Sonnets
Studio Theatre, Thursday, August 21; Saturday, August 30; Thursday, September 4. 10-11:30 a.m. $25.
Festival company members explore Shakespeare’s Sonnets using character half-masks by master mask-maker Pierre Lefevre. The masks liberate a subconscious creative inspiration that facilitates an actor’s mysterious connection between character and poetry. Shakespeare’s sonnets, spoken live, are rendered personal, intimate, powerfully moving and, above all, surprisingly lucid. Directed and compiled by veteran Canadian theatre director Guy Sprung in collaboration with master mask teacher Brian Smith, this presentation is an entertaining and informative glimpse into aspects of the use of masks in the theatre, and an innovative window on the power and poetry of Shakespeare’s Sonnets and the “madness” of acting.
Geraint Wyn Davies hosts a series of dramatic readings inspired by the season theme. Performances begin at 8 p.m. in the Studio Theatre.
Sunday, August 17
Tom Stoppard’s translation of the play by Nobel Prize-winning absurdist playwright Luigi Pirandello, about a man who believes he is the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV.
Sunday, August 24
This black comedy by one of the leading modern Italian dramatists, Eduardo de Filippo, explores faith, obsession and delusion.
The Madness of George III
Sunday, September 7
U.K. playwright Alan Bennett’s fictionalised biographical study of the latter half of the reign of George III, his battle with mental illness and the inability of his court to handle his condition.
Sunday, September 14
The play that was Noël Coward’s first commercial success focuses on sexual vanity and drug abuse among the British upper classes.