I live in Ontario, Canada and the Stratford Festival is an amazing gift for we theatre lovers. It has also carved out a wonderful artistic community in Stratford (on the Avon river, no less) which used to be just a small farming and manufacturing centre.
We now have fabulous restaurants, adorable Victorian B&Bs, and some of the best shopping you will find anywhere. And of course, from late spring to the fall, we have world class actors in some of the best plays both Shakespearean and more modern.
This season seems to be a particularly wonderful one, so if you have the chance to come and check it out, I don't think you will be disappointed. This weekend was the Michigan Member's Weekend and there are also events through the season for Members from Chicago, NY and Ohio.
Of course, this is on my mind right now as I just saw Shakespeare's Measure for Measure yesterday. It was fabulous by the way. It is put on in one of the smallest of the venues, the Tom Patterson Theatre which is actually the winter home of the Stratford Badminton Club and only holds about 500 seats around the thrust stage.
It sounds strange but it is a wonderfully intimate experience and we were in the first row, so we almost felt like we were inside the play! The other two theatres, the Festival Theatre and the Avon Theatre are of course much bigger and house the more popular of the plays and musicals.
I like to study up a bit on the plays I see at Stratford, as I find as an adult who studied science and not literature in University, I need a bit of background for some of the lesser known plays. My husband was doing the same (dueling laptops on the deck) and he was laughing his head off at the analysis of Measure for Measure on shmoop, which I had never heard of. I wish shmoop existed when I was a high school student. Heck, I wish the internet existed when I was a high school student. Anyway, it's a fun and informative place to bone up on a play beforehand.
So although no film review this week, at least you know what I am up to this summer!
P.S. On my last trip to NYC, our waitress one night was a struggling actress who travels from NYC to Stratford every summer to take in as many plays as she can cram in over a few days. We gave her an extra good tip that night!