The Play's The Thing
Catherine and I recently attended the launch of the Stratford Festival’s 2007 season—I’m pleased to report, it looks fabulous.
Artistic Director Richard Monette announced the new season themed ‘The Outsider’. The season marks the end Monette’s fourteen-season tenure as Artistic Director. Monette said, “Artists by definition are outsiders in society and this is my tribute to all artists. Characters such as Lennie Small, Shylock, Othello and Atticus Finch are all struggling either to be accepted by society or to change it”.
A tribute it will be—highlights of the playbill include: King Lear (yay!) featuring and directed by Brian Bedford; The Merchant of Venice featuring Graham Greene as Shylock in his Stratford debut; Of Mice and Men, also featuring Graham Greene; To Kill a Mockingbird; Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!; The Odyssey, directed by Peter Hinton; Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, directed by Monette himself.
Other plays include: My One and Only; The Comedy of Errors; Othello; A Delicate Balance; Shakespeare’s Will; The Blonde, The Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead; and Pentecost, a Canadian premiere.
Great playbill isn’t it! It will be hard to choose—I hope I can see more than one. I’ll definitely see King Lear, arguably Shakespeare's greatest play. I saw the 2002 production starring Christopher Plummer, who was a spellbinding Lear. His performance will be a tough act to follow.
After the announcement, we had the opportunity to meet the actors who had made the trip to Toronto, some having to be back in Stratford in time for matinees:
We chatted with Cynthia Dale about balancing her performances with motherhood and took pictures of her trying to eat breakfast. She was a good sport:
And here's the coolest thing - we met someone from Stratford’s PR who talked to us about their aim to make the festival a destination for families. Some of the musicals have a lot of appeal for the smaller set—what a wonderful alternative to your typical kiddie fare. Stratford also plans to have programs available for kids whose parents would prefer to see the adult plays. They are going to keep us informed about what they’re offering, and we hope to organize a field trip in the spring. Stay tuned for details!
So... who out there'd be interested in a field trip?
Check back for our re-launch towards the end of the month. A bunch of really cool TO mommy-bloggers are going to be posting regularly on a variety of topics - it's going to be a fun round-robin kind of community blog. And if you have any ideas for posts (or activities or whatever) yourself, drop a line or a comment and join the party...