Stratford Festival holiday inspiration!

by Lisa Middleton

We have a ton of great giving ideas this holiday season for everyone on your shopping list, from the kids to the grandparents! Here are a few of my favourite items from our Theatre Store that I’ll be giving as gifts, and a few that I’ll be buying for myself to prepare for our 2013 season!  The best news is that they’re all available online and can be shipped to your house – no going out in the cold required!

Stratford Festival gift certificates. When in doubt, a gift certificate makes a great gift. Your family member, friend or co-worker can plan their own Stratford Festival experience, from the show, to the dates, to the seats! Regular mail delivery ends on December 13. (After that Express Post is still an option!)

Books, books, books and more books!  A book is a wonderful gift, regardless of the recipient’s age. Our online Theatre Store carries a ton of them, from books for children, teens and adults to must-haves for thespians. I’ll be giving my daughter Andrew Matthews’ book Romeo and Juliet: A Shakespeare Story to enjoy with me before we see the show later this season!

Romeo and Juliet: A Shakespeare Story

I also have a few copies of our Stratford Behind the Scenes book that I’ll be giving to a few friends as gifts this season. It’s a beautiful publication with stunning images that share some of the behind-the-scenes secrets that help to make our theatre run!

Stratford Behind the Scenes AppIf you liked the book, you’re going to love the app! We’ve taken our Stratford Behind the Scenes book and made it virtual, adding tons of never-before-seen extras including interviews with actors, directors and stage management, interactive 360-degree photos of our stages and costumes, 3D tours of set designs, a series of costume sketches accompanied by audio descriptions by the designer, time-lapse video of the daily “changeover” – in which stage hands strike the set of one production and reconstruct another in a span of less than two hours – transformation slideshows of actors preparing for their roles and more! It’s now available for download on your iPad for just $9.99 through the App Store and will shortly be available for the BlackBerry PlayBook!

Inside the app

A Stratford Festival water globe. One of our best sellers this season was our water globe displaying our iconic thrust stage – give it a shake and watch as the glitter falls! It’s a beautiful addition to any Festival lover’s desk or shelf.

Thrust Stage Water Globe

Festival DVDs.  We have been fortunate enough to film some of our stage productions and make them available on DVD. These DVDs are a great and engaging way to introduce your kids, students or friends to Shakespeare’s canon as well as the works of other revered playwrights. They also make great gifts for the theatre lover in your life!

The Tempest 2010 Stratford Shakespeare Festival Production DVDRelive the magic of Christopher Plummer’s captivating performances in our 2008 production of Caesar and Cleopatra and our 2010 production of The Tempest, or take home Brian Dennehy in our 2011 production of Twelfth Night.  There are so many more great films to enjoy; check them out here!

Music. We have lots of great music this coming season in both Tommy and Fiddler on the Roof! The original cast recordings make wonderful gifts for the musical lover in your life and also serve as great ways to prepare your family for a trip to the theatre!


Costume ornaments. Each year we collect pieces of fabric from costumes appearing in our season and create beautiful tree ornaments! Besides being pretty, they serve as nice mementos from your favourite shows of the past season.

2012 Pirates of Penzance Costume Ornament

These are just a few of the great gifts we have available through our Theatre Store! Visit us online or forward this blog to a friend or family member if you see something on this list that you might want for yourself this holiday season.

Happy shopping!


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