Thames River , Stratford
The Stratford Festival has been running since July 1953 when the first plays were performed under a tent.
Now ( 2004) the season runs from April 17 to Nov 7 , with 14 different plays , of which half are Shakespeares.
Plays are preseneted in four theatres , the Festival ( the biggest and best ) , the Avon , the Studio and the Tom Patterson .
Attendance is around 600,000 each year. Reservations are recommended .
Tickets come in a variety of packages . It is best to visit their web site.
Shakespeare turns in grave, but tourists love it
Picturesque Lake in the center of Stratford, excellent place to relax, stroll, watch the ducks and geese or to take your dog for a stroll.
"Dedicated to the one I love"
Along the lake embankements and the island in the lake, there are these cast iron benches each one with a dedication to someone near and dear.
Some mark an engagement, some a dear friend, whilst a few remember the passing of a wife or husband.
"Boating on the Lake"
Tickets for a play at the Festival for the worst seats start at $50. Shakespeare, who wrote to entertain and enlighten the masses, would be suprised to find that his plays now entertain the well-off. For the rest of us, we can spend our time in nature, on the lake, boating and strolling.
The Bard is Alive and Well
"A Festival of Theater!"
2007 marks the 55th anniversary of the largest classical repertory company in North America, the Stratford Festival of Canada. For at least the last forty of its years, my family has been well represented during the season. Stratford was close enough for Detroiters to make a weekend of it; it is well within driving range for those in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio as well as Canadians from Ontario and Quebec. And if you're into plays, making the trek is a kind of pilgrimage. (Buffs like to take in Niagara-on the Lake, while they're at it, for the Shaw Festival.) The original Festival Theater has now been joined by several other stages, making it possible in four days to see six or seven plays. It is expensive, if not by New York standards, but the quality is there. We've gone back annually simply because it is an excellent experience, and it is a thrill to see the younger generation getting hooked!
Further information, including the full season brochure, is available at www.stratford-festival.on.ca
"A lovely city on the Avon"
Stratford has several things in common with its English namesake, including the snooty swans that make their home on the little islets in the Avon. But chiefly, it is a city which caters to the theatrical crowd, with an eclectic group of restaurants (all accustomed to getting patrons out for the curtain), trendy shops (my favorite toy store in the world is located here), and recreational activities. You can easily make a day of it, strolling around the central core of the city; you can rent a canoe and paddle around on the Avon. But it is also entertaining to explore a little farther afield. In nearby St. Mary's, for example, there is a quarry which has long been converted into a swimming hole -- formally, that is, with the addition of a diving tower, lifeguards, etc. -- which is always on our "must visit" list.