Stratford Festival releases 2021 play bill

(BlackburnNews.com file photo)

The Stratford Festival have released plans to go outdoors this summer, with a new play bill released for the season.

In a release on April 7th, the Stratford Festival states they are transforming for this summer into an outdoor festival with 6 plays and 5 cabarets. The performances will be held under large canopies, which is reminiscent of the festival’s founding in 1953 when performances were held under tents. The release from Stratford Festival states they are hopeful that lockdown measures and a ramp up in the provincial vaccination program lead to a successful summer season.

The full list of planned plays and cabarets is as follows:

The 2021 season includes two Shakespeares, Romeo and Juliet – called simply R + J for this production – and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Two plays from the 2020 playbill will also be presented, Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women and Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters.

The playbill is rounded out by two new plays: one about race and royalty, and one, a musical about the playwright to whom the Festival is dedicated. Marcia Johnson’s Serving Elizabeth and I Am William, with text by Rébecca Déraspe, and music by Chloé Lacasse and Benoit Landry

As large-scale musicals are not possible under COVID restrictions, the Festival will present a series of five cabarets with a blend of musical theatre and other repertoire.

Why We Tell the Story: A Celebration of Black Musical Theatre, is curated and directed by Marcus Nance with music director Franklin Brasz; featuring Marcus NanceRobert Markus and Vanessa Sears.

You Can’t Stop the Beat: The Enduring Power of Musical Theatre, is curated and directed by Thom Allison with music director Laura Burton; featuring Alana HibbertGabrielle JonesEvangelia Kambites and Mark Uhre.

Play On! A Shakespeare-Inspired Mixtape, is curated by Robert Markus along with Julia Nish-Lapidus and James Wallis, who will also co-direct, and music director Reza Jacobs; featuring Gabriel AntonacciCeleste CatenaJacob MacInnis and Jennifer Rider-Shaw.

Freedom: Spirit and Legacy of Black Music, is curated and directed by Beau Dixon, who is also the music director; featuring Robert BallBeau Dixon and Camille Eanga-Selenge.

Finally There’s Sun: A Cabaret of Resilience, is curated and directed by Sara Farb and Steve Ross, with music director Franklin Brasz; featuring Noah BeemerSara FarbGermaine Konji and Steve Ross.