Spring is in the air, which means the Stratford Festival's season is getting underway, so it's about time for me to put together a handy guide to the plays that will be appearing on their myriad stages this year. This season the theme is "Questions of Identity".
We start with one of my all-time favorite musicals:
Then we have one of my all-time favorite piratical swashbucklers:
And then this play. I guess it's a classic of some sort, I dunno...
From Shakespearean classic to Gilbert and Sullivan classic:
I've written a theme song for this next play. It goes like this: "Who lives in a hole and acts quite beastly? SPONGETIMON ATHENSPANTS! Embittered and dirty and misanthropic is he. SPONGETIMON ATHENSPANTS!"
Then, for all your gender-bending needs, we have what is probably my favorite Shakespearean comedy:
It may seem like writing a three-panel summary of a play is a fairly straightforward endeavor. Unfortunately, this is only true when the play itself is relatively straightforward, unlike our next offering:
"After many confusions" is code for "too much stupid stuff happened for me to adequately distill in this format."
Then it's time for a play by one of Shakespeare's contemporaries, Thomas Middleton:
There's a whole complicated subplot that I haven't even bothered to address here. Anyways. Keeping with the "bodies everywhere" theme, we have this classical offering:
Up next are a couple of new plays, so I may not be 100% accurate with these summaries. First is a follow-up to The Last Wife, Kate Hennig's play about the life of Katherine Parr. This one revolves around a young Elizabeth I and her highly-problematic relationship with Thomas Seymour:
The Breathing Hole is another new play by Colleen Murphy. I may not have all the details right, but the important thing to remember here is that it stars a polar bear.
These two new Canadian plays are followed by a pair of French plays, one classic:
...and one a bit more contemporary:
The final play of Stratford's season is The Komagata Maru Incident. It's framed in a very metatheatrical way, which I'm going to totally skip over here and just tell you what is being metatheatrically portrayed.
(Stick figures don't do "metatheatrical" very well....)
And that's the Stratford Festival's 2017 season! Speaking of which, I will be participating in the Festival's Forum this season as part of a panel entitled "Willy Shakes: Fanboy". Here are the details:
WHO: Me and the Kill Shakespeare guys (Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery)
WHAT: A panel discussion on Shakespeare, comics, graphic novels, and whatever else.
WHEN: Tuesday, September 6, 10:45am
WHERE: The Chalmers Lounge at the Avon Theatre, Stratford, ON
WHY: Because they asked me to and it sounded really cool.
HOW: You can check out the details and buy tickets online!
If you're in the Stratford area, I hope to see you there!