Celebrate the birthday Bard with an amazing deal!

Shakespeare’s 449th birthday is nearly upon us! On April 23 we’re celebrating the Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon with the launch of The Forum – a.k.a. the Shakespeare Slam – at Toronto’s Koerner Hall. Join us for an evening of irreverent and provocative entertainment featuring the outstanding talents of Adam Gopnik, Torquil Campbell and Rufus Wainwright. Ticket information and other details are available here.

As part of our birthday celebration, we’ll also have an amazing ticket offer for some of the Festival’s 2013 Shakespeare plays!

2013-FB-BdayBard Get A or B seats for any May or June performance of Romeo and Juliet or Measure for Measure for the cost of a C seat – that’s just $49! But you’ll have to hurry – this great offer is only available from April 23 at 12:01 a.m. until April 24 at midnight, and only using Stratford Social Ticketing on the Festival’s Facebook page.

What can you expect from Romeo and Juliet and Measure for Measure?

Director and Shakespeare aficionado Tim Carroll joins us this season to direct the most powerful love story ever told, Romeo and Juliet.  Mr. Carroll’s extensive work on original practice at the Globe theatre in London has been widely praised by critics and fans alike, and we’re thrilled to have him back at the Festival this season directing a period production of Romeo and Juliet (he also directed Peter Pan in 2010). Festival favourite Sara Topham will play Juliet alongside a new face this season, Daniel Briere as Romeo.

Learn more about Daniel in this exclusive interview!

Martha Henry makes her directorial return this season with Measure for Measure. Ms Henry’s film noir-inspired version of Measure will explore Shakespeare’s “problem” play in the world of 1940s Vienna. Measure’s star-studded cast includes Tom Rooney as Angelo, Stephen Ouimette as Lucio, Geraint Wyn Davies as Duke Vincentio and Carmen Grant in her break-out role as Isabella.

Read more about this year’s production of Measure for Measure.

To celebrate the birthday Bard with $49 tickets…

*Promotion not available on previously purchased tickets or in conjunction with any other offer. Offer is only redeemable through Stratford Social Ticketing on the Festival’s Facebook page and cannot be used to purchase A+ tickets. May expire without notice. Some conditions apply.

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You’re invited to our Forum launch – the Shakespeare Slam!

The Stratford Festival invites you to see Shakespeare in a whole new light, channelled through the remarkable perspectives of some of Canada’s most provocative thinkers and performers, Torquil CampbellAdam Gopnik and Rufus Wainwright.

ShakespeareSlam

A CELEBRATION OF CULTURE

On April 23 (Shakespeare’s birthday) the Festival will be in Toronto to present the Shakespeare Slam, a thought-provoking and irreverent event to mark the launch of the Festival’s newest initiative, The Forum. This celebration of culture – both classical and pop – will look at how Shakespeare continues to entertain and inspire in today’s world. Like The Forum itself, the evening will offer insightful debate, along with music and other entertaining explorations.

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS & SNEAK PEEKS

New Yorker staff writer and acclaimed essayist ADAM GOPNIK will face off against indie rocker  TORQUIL CAMPBELL of Stars in the debate “Pop Culture vs. Classical Culture: Which has the reigning impact on our world?”

TORQUIL CAMPBELL and multi-instrumentalist JULIAN BROWN will perform songs from the work that Mr. Campbell is developing at the Festival with playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald and director Alisa Palmer.

Read more about this new collaboration here!

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, singer, songwriter and composer extraordinaire, takes the evening to new heights with a performance of some of his own songs set to Shakespeare’s words. LUCY PEACOCK joins him with relevant readings from the Bard.

The evening will be filled out by original Shakespeare-inspired haikus by company member ROY LEWIS, accompanied by GEORGE MEANWELL, original screenings and other entertainment.

Listen to Rufus Wainwright sing Sonnet no. 29

Plus, we’ll be looking at some of the ways in which Shakespeare has infiltrated contemporary pop culture:

THE DETAILS

Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 (Shakespeare’s birthday)

Time: 8:00 – 9:45 p.m.

Location: Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto

Tickets:  $30 to $45 and $20 for students

RESERVE YOUR SEAT TODAY

To order your tickets, contact the Stratford Festival Box Office at 1.800.567.1600, the Koerner Hall’s Weston Family Box Office at 416.408.0208 or online.

On Facebook? Join our Shakespeare Slam event page and watch for updates – or invite a friend of family member who would be interested in attending this one-time event!

For more information on upcoming Forum events and activities, click here.

Stratford Festival launches its new Forum with a Shakespeare Slam in Toronto | Torquil Campbell, Adam Gopnik and Rufus Wainwright will debate and entertain

February 25, 2013… The Stratford Festival invites you to see Shakespeare in a whole new light, channeled through the remarkable perspectives of some of Canada’s most provocative thinkers and performers, Torquil CampbellAdam Gopnik and Rufus Wainwright.

On Shakespeare’s birthday, the Festival will be in Toronto to present the Shakespeare Slam, a thought-provoking and irreverent event to mark the launch of the Festival’s newest initiative, The Forum. This celebration of culture – both classical and pop – will look at how Shakespeare continues to entertain and inspire in today’s world. Like The Forum itself, the evening will offer insightful debate, along with music and other entertaining explorations.

“The Shakespeare Slam brings together three of the most original, lively and unpredictable talents we could find,” says Antoni Cimolino, the Festival’s Artistic Director and creator of The Forum. “They each have a love for Shakespeare and a passion for creating new work that is on the most thoughtful edge of contemporary culture. I, of course, have money on the outcome and predict it will be a monstrously entertaining evening.”

To start the evening, one of Canada’s most famous essayists, New Yorker staff writerAdam Gopnik, will face off against the country’s favourite hipster Torquil Campbell, lead singer of the indie rock band Stars and cultural contributor to CBC’s Q. The subject of their polemic: classical or pop culture – which has the reigning impact on our world?

Rufus Wainwright, singer, songwriter and composer extraordinaire, will take the evening to new heights with a performance of some of his own songs set to Shakespeare’s words.

The Slam will also feature a musical performance by Torquil Campbell, accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Julian Brown. They will perform Stars hits that are part of a new theatrical work, currently described as a reflection on Hamlet, which Mr. Campbell is developing for the Stratford Festival with Ann-Marie MacDonald and Alisa Palmer.

Mr. Cimolino is launching The Forum in this, his first season as Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival, as part of a new direction – one he hopes will make a visit to Stratford an all-encompassing, stimulating and immersive cultural experience.

“Through the diverse offerings of The Forum, I hope that we can offer transformational experiences that will allow our productions to resonate more deeply and personally with each patron,” says Mr. Cimolino.

“We have to offer audiences more ways to explore the work on our stages, to make the connections between the great classic plays and life today,” he says. “As part of that, it is critical to have contemporary voices alongside those of ancient times: it anchors our current experience to the bedrock of hard-won knowledge of those who came before us. The Shakespeare Slam will provide a taste of what is to come at Stratford, with diverse perspectives that stimulate, provoke and challenge our perceptions and assumptions about our work and our society.”

The Shakespeare Slam will be held at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, at Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto.

Tickets, priced from $30 to $45, $20 for students, go on sale Tuesday, February 26, and are available through the Stratford Festival box office, at 1.800.567.1600, or Koerner Hall’s Weston Family Box Office, at 416.408.0208.

Support for the inaugural season of The Forum is generously provided by Kelly and Michael Meighen, with media sponsorship provided by The Walrus.

The Stratford Festival’s 2013 season begins on April 23. It features Romeo and JulietFiddler on the RoofThe Three MusketeersThe Merchant of VeniceTommy,Blithe SpiritOthelloMeasure for MeasureMary StuartWaiting for Godot and two new Canadian plays, Taking Shakespeare and The Thrill, along with more than 150 Forum events.

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Happy 448th birthday, Shakespeare!

by Christi Rutledge

Monday, April 23, marks the date of Shakespeare’s birth! Interestingly, it also marks the date of his passing, 396 years ago (poetic to the very end). What better way to celebrate the Bard’s life than planning a trip to see some of his masterful work on stage!

We’re offering you a special 24-hour birthday promotion. You can attend all preview performances of Much Ado About Nothing, Cymbeline and Henry Vplaying April through June – for just $29!* This awesome birthday deal is only available online on April 23 from 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. Be sure to use promotion code 43284!

Here are our preview performance dates:

Much Ado About Nothing:
April 26, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
May 1, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
May 4, 2012, 8:00 p.m.
May 8, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
May 11, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
May 14, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
May 17, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
May 22, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
May 26, 2012, 1:00 p.m.

Cymbeline:

May 10, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
May 11, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
May 15, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
May 18, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
May 22, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
May 24, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
May 26, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
May 29, 2012, 2:00 p.m.

Henry V:
June 24, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
June 26, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
June 28, 2012, 8:00 p.m.
June 30, 2012, 8:00 p.m.

How do you like to celebrate your birthday?  Share your favourite tradition with us in the comment box below and you and a friend could win a pair of tickets to any of performances listed in this post!  We’ll announce the winner on April 23, 2012 by 9:30 a.m. on our blog – be sure to check back!

*Promotion is only available from April 23, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. until April 23, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. and may expire without notice. Offer not available in conjunction with any other promotions including MMP performances. Only available online in A, B and C seating zones.