July 4, 2013… The Stratford Festival is gearing up for its second “Forum Foray,” another supercharged week of fresh new performances, film screenings, provocative panels and talks by A-list guests. Following the season’s theme of community, many of this month’s events explore the idea of storytelling – at the heart of all drama – and its role in defining, challenging and changing communities. Offering more than a dozen exciting events, the Foray runs July 9 through 14.
Highlights of the week include: The Kind of Life It’s Been, in which acclaimed broadcaster Lloyd Robertson, in an interview with CTV National News correspondent Seamus O’Regan, looks at the stories that have shaped and changed his life, and his role in sharing those stories with the world; To 1982 and Back, in which award-winning broadcaster and best-selling author, Jian Ghomeshi, uses his book, 1982, to talk about growing up as a reluctant outsider in suburban Toronto and finding his way into the mainstream; and a Storytelling Workshop with First Nations storyteller James Adams, improvisational comedian Joanne O’Sullivan and actor and journalist Barbara Budd.
The Foray also includes The Playwright’s Crucible, an exhilarating performance in which Canadian playwright Carmen Aguirre inspires a director and five top-rate actors, including Festival favourite Stephen Ouimette, to create a new play right in front of the audience; a panel of Canadian playwrights, including Carmen Aguirre, Sky Gilbert and Djanet Sears discussing the drive to write and the theatrical forum in The Power of the Pen; and the second instalment of Geraint Wyn Davies Presents… “Wordplay”, in which he and members of the company will present Cardenio, Shakespeare’s “lost play”.
Also of note: a screening of An Unlikely Obsession: Churchill and the Jews; author Barbara Kyle on Elizabeth and Mary, Rival Queens; a panel discussion with directors Chris Abraham, Tim Carroll, Antoni Cimolino and Martha Henry; and Marlis Schweitzer on Fiddler on the Roof and the 1960s Generation Gap.
The week’s schedule of events includes:
TUESDAY, JULY 9
Geraint Wyn Davies Presents… “Wordplay”: Cardenio
Studio Theatre, 8 p.m.
Members of the company join host Geraint Wyn Davies for a dramatic reading of Shakespeare’s “lost play”. Based on an episode in Cervantes’Don Quixote, Cardenio is a thrilling story of a friendship betrayed, disguise, dishonour and deceit played out in the heat and dust of Andalusia in 17th-century Spain.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 10
Factory163, 163 King Street, 10 a.m.
First Nations storyteller James Adams, improvisational comedian Joanne O’Sullivan and actor and journalist Barbara Budd share thoughts, traditions and approaches to finding the universal myths of your own life.
Admission: $50. (Pre-registration is required.)
Barbara Kyle: Elizabeth and Mary, Rival Queens: A Study of Leadership Lost and Won
Festival Theatre lobby, 11 a.m.
Barbara Kyle, author of the recently published Blood Between Queens, will sign books following her talk.
An Unlikely Obsession: Churchill and the Jews
University of Waterloo Stratford Campus, 125 St. Patrick Street, 5:30 p.m.
A screening of a powerful documentary examining a neglected aspect of one of world history’s most renowned leaders: Winston Churchill’s relationship to Jews and Jewish issues. Drawing on a treasure trove of interviews, the film explores the origins, implications and results of this world leader’s commitment to his generation’s most vulnerable people. Join director Barry Avrich and producer Michael Levine for a discussion following the screening.
THURSDAY, JULY 11
Fiddler on the Roof: Song and Dance
Festival Theatre Lobby, 10:30 a.m.
Find out what it’s like to be in a musical at the Stratford Festival. Company members Matthew Armet and Julia Juhas teach a song and dance from Fiddler on the Roof. No observers, please.
The Playwright’s Crucible
Studio Theatre, 11 p.m.
With only a script outline and character descriptions, Canadian playwright Carmen Aguirre inspires director Varrick Grimes and five top-rate actors, Laura Condlln, André Morin, Stephen Ouimette, Anand Rajaram and Kaitlyn Riordan, to create a new play right in front of your eyes. Created by Joanne O’Sullivan.
FRIDAY, JULY 12
Marlis Schweitzer: Breaking with Tradition: Fiddler on the Roof and the 1960s Generation Gap
Festival Theatre lobby, Friday, July 12, at 11 a.m.
Talk by Marlis Schweitzer, associate professor of theatre at York University.
Jian Ghomeshi: To 1982 and Back
Studio Theatre, 5:30 p.m.
Jian Ghomeshi, the host and co-creator of CBC’s cultural-affairs program Q, uses his national bestseller, 1982, as a jumping-off point, as he shares hilarious and poignant anecdotes and insights of his journey from outside to inside: growing up Persian in Thornhill to being an award-winning, internationally renowned media personality.
SATURDAY, JULY 13
The Kind of Life It’s Been
Tom Patterson Theatre, 10 a.m.
Stratford-born broadcaster Lloyd Robertson speaks to CTV National News correspondent Seamus O’Regan, one journalist to another, about his life behind the headlines and the world as he sees it now.
The Power of the Pen
Festival Theatre Lobby, 5:30 p.m.
Some of Canada’s most political and prolific playwrights, including Carmen Aguirre (The Refugee Hotel, Something Fierce – winner of 2012 Canada Reads), Sky Gilbert (Ban This Show, The Emotionalists) and Djanet Sears (Harlem Duet, The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God), discuss the drive to write and the theatrical forum.
SUNDAY, JULY 14
Reform It Altogether: Directing Shakespeare Today
Studio Theatre, Sunday, July 14, at 11 a.m.
A panel discussion with directors Chris Abraham, Tim Carroll, Antoni Cimolino and Martha Henry. Chair: Communications Director David Prosser.
Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream
University of Waterloo Stratford Campus, 125 St. Patrick Street, 8 p.m.
Based on Neal Gabler’s best-selling book An Empire of Their Own, this award-winning feature-length documentary tells the story of the men who founded Hollywood. All were immigrants, or children of immigrants, who wanted to reinvent themselves as Americans. In the process, they reinvented America. Join co-creator Stuart Samuels for a post-screening chat.
ONGOING FORUM ACTIVITIES
Late Night with Lucy – Back by popular demand!
Fridays, July 5 and 19, August 9 and 23, at 11:30 p.m.
Join Lucy Peacock for her second series of after-hours cabarets with special guest performers from the acting company and from behind the scenes.
Paul D. Fleck Marquee, Festival Theatre, 11:30 a.m.
Buffet lunch followed by a talk on one of this season’s productions. Must book 48 hours in advance.
July 9: Mary Stuart led by David G. John – SOLD OUT
July 11: Blithe Spirit led by Alexander Leggatt
July 19: Measure for Measure led by Graham Roebuck
July 25: Fiddler on the Roof led by Bill Rudman
Tales Under the Tent
Festival Theatre Grounds, Wednesdays, July 10 to August 21, from 1 to 1:30 p.m.
Gather under the tent for family fun! Stratford Public Library staff provide stories and activities related to the play on stage at the Festival Theatre that afternoon. Look for the tent on the Festival Theatre grounds between the Discovery Centre and Upper Queen’s Park. Suitable for families with children ages 6 to 12. Cancelled in the event of rain.
Festival Theatre lobby and Tom Patterson Theatre stage, directly following performances
Toronto Star theatre critic Richard Ouzounian interviews the stars, following matinée performances in July and August.
104 Downie Street, Wednesdays through Sundays, June 5 to October 20
Explore Present and Past Productions of Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice. A vast selection of costumes, props and artefacts from our Archives are displayed in a beautiful museum-style venue, with talks with Festival artists on:
July 6: Susan Coyne
July 20: Carmen Grant and Tom Rooney
July 27: Sara Topham
Cost included in admission to the Exhibition.
Festival Theatre Tours
Festival Theatre, Wednesday to Sunday, June 5 to October 20, at 9:15 and 9:30 a.m.
Take this one-hour walking tour to see and hear about the magic of the theatre. Our knowledgeable guides will share stories and information about both the current and past seasons.
Admission: $8 per person; $6 students and seniors.
For tickets, contact the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit stratfordfestival.ca.
The third and final “Forum Foray” is scheduled for August 9 to 18. Through debates, talks, concerts, comedy nights, hands-on workshops and more, The Forum offers theatregoers more ways to discover and examine the themes running through this season’s productions.
For those unable to attend, 15 of the over 150 Forum events will be available via Livestream: http://new.livestream.com/stratfordfestival.
Support for the inaugural season of The Forum is generously provided by Kelly and Michael Meighen and the Province of Ontario, in partnership with the University of Waterloo, with media sponsorship provided by The Walrus. Support for the Speakers Series is generously provided in memory of Dr. W. Philip Hayman.
The Festival’s new Toronto bus service Stratford Direct is now available twice daily on performance days for only $20 return. Reservations can be made through the box office.
Support for Stratford Direct is generously provided by The Peter Cundill Foundation.
The Stratford Festival’s 2013 season runs until October 20, featuring Romeo and Juliet, Fiddler on the Roof, The Three Musketeers, The Merchant of Venice, Tommy, Blithe Spirit, Othello, Measure for Measure, Mary Stuart, Waiting for Godot and two new Canadian plays, Taking Shakespeare and The Thrill, along with more than 150 Forum events.