The Stratford Festival has essentially put the small town of Stratford, Ontario on the map. Tom Patterson, a Stratford-born journalist, saw the festival as an opportunity to boost the economy in his home-town. He envisioned “…turning Stratford into a cultural destination by mounting a theatre festival devoted to the works of William Shakespeare.” And what a destination it has become!
It was on July 13, 1953, that “…the Festival presented its inaugural performance: [British actor and director Tyrone] Guthrie’s production of Richard III, with Alec Guinness in the title role.” The festival has grown considerably from where it started. The Stratford Festival boasts four theatres, and includes twelve plays for the 2013 season. To learn more about how you can enjoy the festival, this link to visitor’s information includes directions, shopping, dining, and much more.
For many of you, it has probably been years since you read a Shakespearean play. With many more long summer days ahead, perhaps now is the time to explore some of Shakespeare’s greatest works. With Project Gutenberg, this task is easier. and more convenient, than ever before. Project Gutenberg offers free access to over 42,000 e-books, that you can download or read online. For a list of Shakespeare’s more popular titles, click here.
The Mohawk College Library has a variety of resources about Shakespeare, the theatre, and supporting the performing arts. Discover what the library has to offer and borrow an item from this list. The Films on Demand database also has a number of films about William Shakespeare’s life, and his plays. A playlist of films based on the Stratford Festival 2013 season has been created just for you!
We wish the Stratford Festival a happy 60th birthday; may there be many more years of performances to come!