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Stratford Festival Opening Night 2022

By Keith Tomasek, June 6, 2022

The Stratford Festival, North America’s largest classical repertory theatre company, launched its 70th season this past week.

With an ensemble of 125 actors in ten productions, the season began with performances of “Hamlet,” “Chicago” and “Richard III.”

Photo Ann Baggley
More than 4,000 fans, critics and members of the local and creative communities converged on both the Festival and Tom Patterson theatres from June 2 through 4 to mark an emotional and triumphant return to live indoor theatre in the Festival city. Theatres were filled to capacity – the grounds and lobbies were buzzing with activity night after night.

A thrilling, contemporary production of “Hamlet” launched the season. Directed by Peter Pasyk with Amaka Umeh in the leading role, it’s already a hit with critics.

Hamlet Stratford Festival Amaka Umeh, Matthew Kabwe

Amaka Umeh, Matthew Kabwe. Photo David Hou
“Hamlet” was followed Friday night by Donna Feores’ much anticipated “Chicago,” the first major new production of the show outside New York and London in more than 30 years. With glowing reviews, including the Toronto Star’s Karen Fricker proclaiming “it would be a crime to miss this indecently thrilling show,” tickets are moving fast!

Chicago Stratford Festival Chelsea Preston as Roxie Hart

Chelsea Preston with members of the company. Photo Cylla von Tiedemann
Chicago Stratford Festival Reviews Amanda Lundgren Julius Sermonia

Amanda Lundgren, Julius Sermonia. Photo Cylla von Tiedemann
Saturday night marked the historic opening of Stratford’s new $72-million Tom Patterson Theatre with “Richard III” starring Colm Feore. Reviews have been positive with the Globe and Mail’s J. Kelly Nestruck noting that “Feore’s in top form here.”

Stratford Festival reviews Richard III colm feore

Colm Feore. David Hou

The new theatre’s 600-seat auditorium is an updated version of the former Tom Patterson theatre with its unique elongated thrust stage and state-of-the-art technology.

International design influences are evident throughout the award-winning architectural marvel. For example, each of the theatre’s three bars is carved out of unique marble, their high-top tables covered in the same material from Greece, Italy, or Turkey in each case.

The exterior is covered by a veil of Spanish bronze beams and Italian glass. Hand-made Danish brick is used on the walls. Regional design touches include a limestone pillar from Owen Sound, and the stage constructed of strips of Canadian birch sourced from a woodlot in Tobermory, located 250 kilometres north of Stratford.

Stratford Festival Tom patterson theatre

Photo doublespace photography
Upcoming playbill highlights include:

  • A new adaptation of “Little Women” opens on July 7.
  • “All’s Well That Ends Well” opens on July 8.
  • “Hamlet-911” by international best-selling author and playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald opens on August 25.

Bookmark this handy guide to the complete Stratford Festival 2022 playbill.

You can read all the reviews at the Shows page on this website.

The season runs until October 30th. Tickets move fast, and some performances have limited runs. To avoid disappointment book now.

Stratford Festival Telephone Box Office
Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Friday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

To purchase online visit

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Stratford Festival Opening Night 2022

Keith Tomasek
6 June 2022
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