Hello all! Welcome to another Stratford-centric post. It’s probably the last of the year so bear with me as I recount a few thoughts from this year’s trip…
C’s post from yesterday expressed (with all the eloquence I lack) the overall takeaway we both experienced this year. Stratford is now an old, familiar place for us but in the best kind of way… Full of warm fuzzy memories and the promise of more to come. It was a realization that occurred when Laura asked us how this year’s trip compared to last. Had we experienced the same excitement? Did we still feel as connected to Stratford and the festival? It was a wonderful question to ask of us because it made us take a closer look at the comparison of each trip and why -even without the shiny new sparkle – this trip was just as successful, if not more successful, than the last.
The old favorites beckoned to us with welcoming familiarity. Our room was the same, the path across the river was just as beautiful, the narrow street of downtown Stratford was exactly as we remembered, and the atmosphere was warm and polite and made up of like-minded people who enthralled in the theatrical event that draws so many to a quaint spot in the middle of Ontario. It was just as we remembered and then some (with the exception of Balzac’s having changed its tea… It’s fine. I found a new favorite blend).
The shows this year were a spectacular reminder of why the festival is considered “world class”. The designers outdid themselves in every way and the acting company was magnificent. We also took a tour of the festival archives and the warehouse so we got a double dose of the festival’s history along with Laura’s incredible home collection. Laura showed us programs from the festival’s first year as well as a scrap of the original festival tent. It’s incredible where the festival has come from and the growth it’s continuing to accomplish. I hope to be a part of that continued history. And by continuing our yearly visits we will absolutely leave our mark.