Stratford Festival announces playbill, details for 2021 outdoor season

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The plan has been laid out for Stratford Festival’s upcoming 2021 season, which is expected to be set entirely outdoors.

According to a Wednesday news release, the outdoor festival will offer six plays and five cabarets all taking place under canopies.

“As butterflies shedding their cocoons, we are poised to emerge from this pandemic,” said artistic director Antoni Cimolino in the release. “This dream of transformation from our isolated lives informed my choice of theme for the 2021 season: Metamorphosis.

“The productions will embody our hope for a transition from lockdown to a new beginning, imbued with much needed social and political change.”

"Romeo and Juliet", "A Midsummer Night’s Dream", "Three Tall Women", "The Rez Sisters", "Serving Elizabeth", and "I Am William" will make up the six plays being put on, while "Why We tell the Story", "You Can’t Stop the Beat", "Play On! A Shakespeare-Inspired Mixtape", "Freedom: Spirit and Legacy of Black Music", and "Finally there’s Sun: A Cabaret of Resilience" will be the five cabarets.

Due to COVID-19 safety restrictions, no large-scale musicals will be offered, no cast will exceed eight members, and no actors will perform in a number of productions concurrently for the first time in the festival’s history.

Each performance will be roughly 90 minutes long with no intermission and start at either 11 a.m., 3 p.m., or 7 p.m.

The two canopied venues will be on the upper terrace of the Festival Theatre and at the Tom Patterson Theatre. Each will hold 100 people in physical distanced groups and are subject to change in response to public health guidelines.

Audience members and staff will be required to wear masks and undergo screenings, while Plexiglas barriers will be up to divide them from the performers.

Productions are also expected to be offered digitally as paid viewing parties.