Steven Page musical, Hamlet reimagining set for Stratford Festival’s 2020 season

The Stratford Festival in southwestern Ontario is looking to put a modern spin on the classics as it launches a new
theatre venue for its 2020 season.

Two shows are drawing from the Bard’s canon to tell new kinds of stories.

Hamlet-911, from notable theatre-makers Ann-Marie MacDonald and Alisa Palmer, is set to recast the tragedy of the Danish prince to touch on issues young people face today.

An Undiscovered Shakespeare is billed as 30 unique performances in which improvisers will dramatize an audience
member’s love story in iambic pentameter, a poetic rhythm used by Shakespeare.

The festival is also set to debut a new musical from former Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page, playwright Daniel MacIvor and director Donna Feore about the highs and lows of a rock duo in Here’s What It Takes.

Other musical offerings include mountings of Broadway hits Chicago and Monty Python’s Spamalot.

Actor Colm Feore is pictured at the site of the new Tom Patterson Theatre Centre in Stratford, Ont. The Stratford Festival has unveiled its 2020 lineup and Feore will be the title character in Shakespeare’s Richard III. (Photo by Chris Young)

New Tom Patterson Theatre to be unveiled

Acclaimed actor Colm Feore, who is returning to the festival for his 18th season, will help unveil the Tom Patterson Theatre Centre with a tribute to the past.

Organizers say Feore will deliver the first words on the stage as he assumes the leading role in Shakespeare’s Richard III in a nod to the festival’s inaugural play in 1953.

Also announced Tuesday are classics honouring the festival’s roots such as All’s Well That Ends Well, Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing.

Additional highlights include Frankenstein Revived, a new work from playwright and composer David Coulter that will focus on the horror story’s young author Mary Shelley; a staging of Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters; and Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women.

The Stratford Festival has made a promotional video for the 2020 season. You can watch it here: