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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Two performances of Mary Stuart added to 2013 schedule



[Press Release]  March 26, 2013… The Stratford Festival is taking action to meet growing demand for what is shaping up to be one of the season’s hottest tickets, Mary Stuart, with a quarter of performances already sold out.

Matinee performances of Mary Stuart have been added to the 2013 schedule on August 27 and September 20. Tickets are available online and through the box office.

“This rarely performed play explores the fascinating relationship between two iconic figures from history – Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth I – and features two of Canada’s finest actors, Seana McKenna and Lucy Peacock,” says Executive Director Anita Gaffney. “It is the first production directed by Antoni Cimolino since he took over as Artistic Director. His production of Cymbeline was one of the highlights of last season – and we had to schedule additional performances of it as well.

“Antoni has assembled a playbill that connects through themes of ‘community’ and in Mary Stuart we are swept away by the political and religious forces that envelop this world. It will be interesting to see this play alongside some other selections in the season that expose these same forces, such as Measure for Measure, Othello and The Three Musketeers.”

Mary Stuart features Ms Peacock in the title role and Ms McKenna as Elizabeth I. Joining them are Ben Carlson as Lord Burleigh, Brian Dennehy as the Earl of Shrewsbury and Geraint Wyn Davies as the Earl of Leicester.

The play, by Friedrich Schiller, follows a period in the life of Mary Stuart, when the former Queen of Scots has been imprisoned in England because her very existence poses a political and personal risk to her Protestant cousin, Elizabeth I. As Elizabeth hesitates over decreeing her rival’s fate, Mary pleads for a face-to-face meeting, and we see how religion can become a tool in the hands of cynical politicians who are willing to sacrifice lives in the supposed interests of the state.

A number of events relating to Mary Stuart are being presented at the Festival’s new Forum, a series of thought-provoking and entertaining events planned to enrich the play-going experience. They include:
·         Dear Mary, Dear Elizabeth, in which Ms McKenna and Ms Peacock present readings of the letters of Mary Stuart and Elizabeth I, introduced and contextualized by Dr. Ted McGee. In the Studio Theatre on June 28 at 5:30 p.m., July 26 at 11 a.m., and August 31 at 11 a.m. $15.

·         Table Talk, a buffet lunch followed by a talk on Mary Stuart by David G. John of the University of Waterloo. In the Paul D. Fleck Marquee on July 9 at 11:30 a.m. $37, with a cash bar.

·         Elizabeth and Mary, Rival Queens: A Study of Leadership Lost and Won, a talk by Barbara Kyle, author of Blood Between Queens, which will be published in May 2013. In the Festival Theatre Lobby on July 10 at 11 a.m. Free admission.

·         The Power of Women / Women in Power, a panel featuring author, playwright and activist Susan G. Cole, scholar Margaret Jane Kidnie and others. In the Studio Theatre Annex on August 18, 5:30 p.m. $10.

The Stratford Festival’s 2013 season begins on April 23 and features 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, Taking Shakespeare, The Thrill and more than 150 events at The Forum. To purchase tickets, contact the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit stratfordfestival.ca.

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Friday, 22 March 2013

Federal government extends matching funds program

[Press Release]


March 21, 2013… The federal government has raised the cap on its Endowment Incentives Program, offering the Stratford Festival a prime opportunity to raise an additional $10 million for its Endowment.

The Festival met its Endowment campaign goal of $50 million in 2007, with the federal Endowment Incentives program playing a pivotal role in that achievement.

“Matching grants are compelling motivators for our donors, and we are extremely grateful to the federal government for providing us with this outstanding fundraising tool – and for recognizing the needs of cultural organizations in this way in this year’s budget,” says Executive Director Anita Gaffney. “Our Endowment Fund sets the foundation for our long-term stability and the earnings from the fund provide the Festival with a reliable source of income for our annual operating budget.”

Effective April 1, 2013, the government will increase the Festival’s eligible match through the Endowment Incentives program by $5 million. The incentive had previously been capped at $10 million in 2005 and the Festival was able to match those funds thanks to the generosity of its donors. The cap on the matching funds that the Festival is eligible to access is now at $15 million.

The Festival’s Endowment has holdings of $57 million. Earnings from the Endowment help to fund non-revenue-generating projects, including:
 The Festival’s educational activities, which provide an impressive array of programs to tens of thousands of students every year, including teacher training, elementary and secondary classroom support, study guides and professionally led drama workshops.
 The Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre, which provides classical theatre training for 8 to 12 young actors each year, and is the only program of its sort in North America. The Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction, which provides training for 6 to 12 mid-career directors each year, offering them an unparalleled learning opportunity.
 The Festival’s Archive, the largest of its kind, which is open to the public, welcoming more than 1,600 people every year and providing answers to more than 2,500 reference requests annually. It also hosts university and high-school interns and offers a number of outreach and education activities, including talks, symposiums, tours and screenings.
 Coaching and training programs for actors and other theatrical artists and artisans.
 The development of new plays, an activity that supports not only playwrights but also theatres across the country that choose to produce the new works.

Over the past 13 years, the Endowment Fund has contributed an annual payout of about 3.5%, for a cumulative total of $17.8 million to operating activities, while still preserving the principal of $57 million.

The Stratford Festival’s 2013 season begins on April 23 and features 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, Taking Shakespeare, The Thrill and more than 150 events at The Forum. To purchase tickets, contact the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit stratfordfestival.ca.

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Friday, 15 March 2013

Monday, 4 March 2013

Meet D'Artagnan, the New Old Stage and a few other 2013 tidbits

Excited about The Three Musketeers?
Meet D'Artagnan: An Interview with Luke Humphrey

How about the news that the original design of the Tanya Moiseiwitsch stage is being recreated?
Tanya Moiseiwitsch Stage

And if you are going to the Forum Launch in Toronto on April 23rd, here is a sneak peek of what you might hear...




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