Kitchener-Waterloo

Stratford Festival opens 67th season with a focus on 'breaking boundaries'

It's opening week at Stratford Festival, and for its 67th season artistic director Antoni Cimonlio is shining a light on shows that break boundaries.
Nolen Dubuc (centre) as Billy Elliot and Blythe Wilson (right) as Mrs. Wilkinson with members of the company in Billy Elliot the Musical — a show the festival's artistic director Antoni Cimolino says is a 'perfect example' of the season's theme of breaking boundaries. (Cylla von Tiedemann/Stratford Festival)

Stratford Festival's 67th season kicks off tonight with the opening of Othello and followed by five more days of openings in one of the busiest weeks of the year for the festival. 

Artistic director Antoni Cimolino chose a theme of "breaking boundaries" for the 2019 season. 

"The plays in our season deal with people who dare to go beyond accepted norms or who must face challenges to the boundaries they have built around themselves. This breaking of boundaries makes for both gripping drama and delicious comedy," said Cimolino in a media release.

Cimolino pointed to Billy Elliot as a "perfect example" of how one of the festival's shows fits in with the notion of breaking boundaries: "A boy from a gritty mining town leaps beyond locally acceptable views of masculinity to become a dancer."

Six more shows open later in the summer, with some productions already extended to November.

Last year, its production of the Rocky Horror Show became the longest-running show in the festival's history, with its final show on Dec. 2. 

Opening this week:

Othello, by William Shakespeare
Runs: May 27 to Oct. 27
Directed by: Nigel Shawn Williams
Runtime: Approximately three hours, including intermission

Billy Elliott the musical, by Lee Hall and Elton John
Runs: May 28 to Nov. 3
Directed by: Donna Feore
Runtime: Approximately two hours and forty minutes, including intermission

Henry VIII, by William Shakespeare
Runs: May 29 to Oct. 20
Directed by: Martha Henry
Runtime: Approximately two and a half hours, including intermission

Private Lives, by Noël Coward
Runs: May 30 to Oct. 26
Directed by: Carey Perloff
Runtime: Approximately two hours and ten minutes, including intermission

Little Shop of Horrors, by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken
Runs: May 31 to Nov. 2
Directed by: Donna Feore
Runtime: Approximately two hours, including intermission

The Merry Wives of Windsor, by William Shakespeare
Runs: June 1 to Oct. 26
Directed by: Antoni Cimolino
Runtime: Approximately three hours, including intermission

Opening in June 

Mother's Daughter, by Kate Hennig
Runs: June 14 to Oct. 13
Directed by: Alan Dilworth
Runtime: Approximately two hours, including intermission

The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende, adapted by David S. Craig
Runs: June 15 to Nov. 3
Directed by: Jillian Keiley
Runtime: Approximately two hours, including intermission

Nathan the Wise, by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Runs: June 15 to Oct. 11
Directed by: Birgit Schreyer Duarte
Runtime: Approximately three hours, including intermission

Opening in August

Birds of a Kind, by Wajdi Mouawad
Runs: Aug. 14 to Oct. 13
Directed by: Antoni Cimolino
Runtime: unavailable

The Front Page, by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, adapted by Michael Healey
Runs: Aug. 15 to Oct. 25
Directed by: Graham Abbey
Runtime: unavailable

The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
Runs: Aug. 16 to Oct. 25
Directed by: Jonathan Goad
Runtime: unavailable
 

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