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Stratford Festival celebrates 50th anniversary

The Stratford Festival grew from humble beginnings in a leaky tent into a revered institution. The drama festival has continued to attract actors, critics and theatre-goers from around the globe. Paradoxically, this almost proved to be its undoing. With international directors at the helm in the early years, frustrated Canadians sat on the sidelines. Financial problems almost shut the festival down. But the curtain would rise again on a new golden era.

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Now in its fiftieth season, the Stratford Festival celebrates its status as a true Canadian success story. From its stunning opening night in the glory days to the financial crisis in the 80's, the history of the festival has unfolded uniquely and dramatically. This CBC Radio report looks back at the long and sometimes bumpy road from there to here.
• In the 2002 season, there will be a total of 18 productions and 696 performances. The lineup includes Romeo and Juliet, My Fair Lady, and King Lear.
• "There was a great deal of resistance to it, including the local newspaper [which] said, don't do it, including the critics in Toronto, or at least one of them, who thought this would be the end of Canadian theatre." — Richard Monette
Medium: Radio
Program: The World This Weekend
Broadcast Date: May 26, 2002
Guest(s): Richard Monette, Tom Patterson, Robin Phillips, Paul Reynolds, Bruce Swerdfager
Host: Lorna Jackson
Reporter: Bob Steele
Duration: 6:23

Last updated: January 18, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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