May 26, 2014… Colm Feore stars as King Lear as the Stratford Festival officially opens its 62nd season tonight with a production of Shakespeare’s masterpiece directed by Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino.
Six more productions will open as the week unfolds: Crazy for You, King John, Man of La Mancha, Mother Courage, Alice Through the Looking-Glass and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
|Colm Feore as King Lear with (from left background) Robert King and Xuan Fraser. Photo by David Hou|
Five more productions will follow in the coming months: Hay Fever, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Chamber Play, The Beaux’ Stratagem, Antony and Cleopatra, and Christina: The Girl King.
“All of these productions, in their very different ways, relate to the season’s theme of Madness: Minds Pushed to the Edge,” says Mr. Cimolino. “Human irrationality takes many forms – comical, tragical, historical and everything in between – and we explore that compelling, perplexing and sometimes dangerous territory through all of the plays this year. I hope this sense of wholeness, or thematic interconnectedness, adds to the unique pleasure that a season of theatre offers: the pleasure of venturing to the very edges of human experience, and coming safely home again.”
Reflecting on the opening of the 62nd season, Executive Director Anita Gaffney recalls the presentation of a lifetime pass to the Festival’s 26 millionth patron earlier this month: “When you consider that our first season in 1953 attracted 68,000 visitors, it’s pretty astounding how our attendance has grown over the past six decades. It’s also interesting to unpack that number of 26 million. It represents $7 billion in economic activity, 8 million international visitors, 3.5 million students, 36,000 performances of the Fanfares that herald the start of each performance at the Festival Theatre, and some 5 million glasses of wine! By any measure this is an extraordinary achievement.”
Watch the King Lear trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFTXwapHGIg
See King Lear production clips here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC59TPpJCVI
The 2014 season also includes the Stratford Festival Forum, a series of more than 200 activities and events, including concerts, debates, talks, comedy and interactive presentations, that offer theatregoers a unique opportunity to delve further into the ideas and issues raised by the 2014 playbill and its theme.
The 2014 season runs from April 21 to October 12, featuring King Lear; Crazy for You; two versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Beaux’ Stratagem; Man of La Mancha; Alice Through the Looking-Glass; Hay Fever; King John; Mother Courage and Her Children; Antony and Cleopatra; Christina, The Girl King; and more than 200 events in The Forum.