Canada’s internationally renowned repertory theatre festival which usually runs from April to October in Stratford, the Stratford Festival is launching a film festival offering free streaming of 12 Shakespeare productions captured as part of its Stratford Festival On Film series. Stratford Festival On Film was launched by Cimolino and Executive Director Anita Gaffney in 2014 as an initiative to capture all of Shakespeare’s plays on film.
Each film is captured live with a full audience at the Stratford Festival during a single performance.
For the first time, full-length versions of Stratford productions are being streamed free with the launch of King Lear on Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23. King Lear, directed by Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino and featuring Colm Feore in the title role, has received Canadian Screen Award for the Best Performing Arts Program.
Stratford Festival: Shakespeare Film Festival Schedule
Each film will debut with a 7 p.m. viewing party and remain available for free for a three-week period on the Stratford Festival website.
King Lear: April 23 to May 14
An aging monarch resolves to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, with consequences he little expects. His reason shattered in the storm of violent emotion that ensues, with his very life hanging in the balance, Lear loses everything that has defined him as a king – and thereby discovers the essence of his own humanity.
Coriolanus: April 30 to May 21
Directed by genre-defying theatre artist Robert Lepage, the production was included in the “Best Theatre of 2018” lists in The Washington Post, the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and NOW. The New York Times called it “riveting” and “jaw-dropping.” The Chicago Tribune’s critic said it was “the greatest contemporary staging of this play that I ever have seen.” If you missed the “electric world premiere” (NOW) in Stratford, now’s your chance to see this “astonishing” production (Capital Critics Circle). Watch
Macbeth: May 7 to 28
Surrender to a haunting story of ambition and its dark consequences, as a military hero and his wife conspire to seize the throne of Scotland.
The Tempest: May 14 to June 4
The stage production was a true theatrical event, featuring the great Martha Henry as Prospero, more than five decades after she made her Stratford debut as Miranda in the 1962 production of the play. The New York Times called it “an elaborate production with eye-popping costumes,” adding: “real magic and grandeur come from Martha Henry as Prospero.” The Chicago Tribune called Henry “one of the true greats.” She gave a performance full of “passion and power,” said The Globe and Mail. Watch
Timon of Athens: May 21 to June 11
Timon’s compulsive generosity makes him the most popular man in Athens – until his funds run out. Now, embittered by ingratitude, what will he do when his city comes under attack?
Love’s Labour’s Lost: May 28 to June 18
Four young men swear off women to devote themselves to learning – only to fall for four attractive newcomers. Shakespeare’s language reaches its most virtuosic heights in a vivacious comedy that will dazzle and delight.
Hamlet: June 4 to 25
A ghostly visitor with a shocking secret, a daughter devastated by loss, a deadly duel – and the most famous question in all of drama. Just some of the reasons why Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy will hold you spellbound.
King John: June 11 to July 2
War is the inevitable result when the King of France demands that John relinquish his crown in favour of his nephew, the young Prince Arthur. Excommunication, attempted atrocity, rebellion and assassination all contribute to a political and personal turmoil that finds devastating expression in an anguished mother’s grief for her son.
Pericles: June 18 to July 9
A storm at sea brings love into the life of Pericles, Prince of Tyre; another snatches it away. Many years must pass before fate guides the wandering hero to a poignant reunion with the family he thought he had lost forever.
Antony and Cleopatra: June 25 to July 16
Reason and judgement prove no match for the tsunami of mutual passion engulfing Mark Antony, one of the three joint rulers of the Roman republic, and Cleopatra, the seductive queen of Egypt. Surrendering everything to their desires, they open the floodgates to a civil conflict that will shake the very foundations of their world.
Romeo and Juliet: July 2 to 23
Falling headlong in love, two teenagers defy the long-simmering hatred between their families. But daring to love one’s enemy comes with a terrible cost, as the needless sacrifice of young lives brings this heartbreaking story to its tragic conclusion.
The Taming of the Shrew: July 9 to 30
Courtship or conquest? The breaking down of a defiant spirit – or a breakthrough that liberates a heart deprived of love? Will you ever see a battle of wills that’s fiercer or funnier – or more hotly controversial?