Two plays commissioned by the Stratford Festival, and developed through its Foerster Bernstein New Play Development Program, are being produced at theatres across Canada.
The Stratford Festival commissioned its first play in 1958 and since that time has commissioned or developed about 100 new plays, translations and adaptations.
Since 2008 the Foerster Bernstein New Play Development Program, under the leadership of Bob White, has invited almost 100 playwrights to spend time in Stratford. The program provides a much-needed place to write both in solitude and in the company of fellow writers and theatrical artists who can provide support and dramaturgical feedback.
After a virtually sold-out run in Stratford last summer, Kate Hennig’s “Mother’s Daughter” is being remounted at Toronto’s Soulpepper and will play there until February 9. As in Stratford, Alan Dilworth directs, with most of the Stratford cast appearing, including Shannon Taylor as Mary and Jessica B. Hill as Bess and Anne.
Here’s a review from Toronto’s Now Magazine: “Mother’s Daughter” is more entertaining than Harry and Meghan.”
The Festival’s 2018 production of Erin Shields’s wildly successful play “Paradise Lost,” an inventive take on John Milton’s epic poem, recently opened to great praise at Montreal’s Centaur Theatre, where it runs until February 2. Like the Stratford production, this remount is directed by Jackie Maxwell and features Lucy Peacock as Satan, Qasim Khan as Adam and Amelia Sargisson as Eve.
Here’s a review from The Montreal Gazette: Lucy Peacock’s Satan reigns in playful “Paradise Lost.”
New productions of “Paradise Lost” will be featured at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre (April 22 to May 3) and at Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach in the summer.
A third play, the 2019 production of “The Neverending Story,” directed by Jillian Keiley, artistic director of English Theatre at the National Arts Centre, will be remounted at the NAC, where it will run from January 29 to February 15, with most of the original Stratford cast. The show was originally mounted in Stratford in association with the NAC.
“It’s a pleasure to share the work of the Stratford Festival with sister theatres across Canada,” says artistic director Antoni Cimolino. “The Festival has become an important generator of new plays, including a significant number of powerful works by female Canadian playwrights, which have greatly enriched our programming. We hope these brilliant productions will delight audiences in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, and entice them to visit Stratford where more fun awaits.”