Let me introduce myself . . .

Hello, Stratford Shakespeare Festival fans everywhere! I’m a fairly recent addition to the Festival online family, so I thought I would take a second to give you the Coles Notes on me.

If we haven’t e-met yet, my name is Christi Rutledge and I started my journey at the Festival as a marketing intern. I have my BA in English and Psychology, and after my degree I decided to pursue an Arts Management diploma through UWO. So waaaay back in October 2010, I packed up my hatchback to visit the great theatre where I had come for years as a child and teenager to meet with a few key people there. To a woman with a passion for words, the Festival seemed to fit, and I was fortunate enough to come and intern with their great team of people here in April 2011. Since then I have been busy learning and trying to soak up as much information as I can – every day there is so more to learn!

My true love affair with the Festival started when I was much younger. In 1998 my parents took me to see Man of La Mancha. I fell in love with the Festival instantly and begged my parents to take me for a second time. Luckily they were smitten too, and so a second trip we took! I always felt so lucky to be able to attend a world-class theatre and am now proud to be a part of the Festival team.

The 2011 season has been particularly interesting for me as I begin to see how things work around here. My first day of work required that I go and see The Grapes of Wrath (It’s tough being me – I know.) It has been one of my favourite shows at the Festival this season. I’m a lover of great literature, so this play, adapted by Frank Galati and directed by the Festival’s own General Manager, Antoni Cimolino, was right up my alley. Perhaps what most struck me about the production (besides the fantastic acting, the real river running through the stage and the live thunderstorm) was the music. It is a wonderful complement to this Depression-era story; with gritty blues, folk and soulful religious melodies interspersed throughout the dialogue, it’s impossible not to love this moving piece of theatre. While the men in the play tend to drive the story, the women certainly ground it – a big shout-out to the fabulous Janet Wright as Ma and Chilina Kennedy as Rose of Sharon. Behind the sadness, I find that there is so much hope in this play – it’s an absolute must-see at the Festival this season.

Did I forget to mention that this blog comes with a deal? I am pleased to offer all readers a $29 ticket for August 4, 6, 13 and 18 performances of The Grapes of Wrath.

To take advantage of this great deal:

1) Go to our website at http://www.stratfordshakespearefestival.com
2) Log onto your account with promotion code 39686
3) Check out and enjoy the show!

For more information on The Grapes of Wrath or to purchase tickets, go to: http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/OnStage/productions.aspx?id=11182&prodid=36308

To join the discussion on Twitter, follow @stratfest, @stratfestaaron or @stratfestchris and use the hashtag #ssfgrapes

Offer is only available online. Offer applies to A, B and C zone seating for August 4, 6, 13 and 18 performances of The Grapes of Wrath. This offer is personal, non-transferable and subject to availability. Performances, casting, dates and pricing subject to change without notice. Excludes group orders (15 tickets or more to one performance date). Not valid on previously purchased tickets, on exchanges or in combination with any other offer. Discount does not apply to tickets that are already discounted, including Senior tickets and Family Experience.

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