Stages of Summer

Great scenery isn’t just outdoors this summer. Two of Ontario’s most popular theatre towns set the stage for a unique getaway with an exciting collection of plays and musicals this August. Find out why you won’t want to miss what’s on this summer at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Shaw Festival.

Stratford Shakespeare Festival

During those magical summer weeks when Stratford Summer Music overlaps the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, you may have to hustle but you can fit it all in. Here’s a suggestion for an amazing day in Stratford:

  • Start by the Avon river, eating sandwiches while listening to the lunchtime concerts on the MusicBarge.
  • From there it’s a short parkland stroll to a Twelfth Night matinee at the Festival Theatre.
  • There’s just time for a pub snack before tapping your toes to Camelot
  • Round out your theatre blitz with a late supper and cabaret performance at the Church restaurant, where Stratford actors appear both onstage and off.

Don’t forget, there are plenty of restaurants and shops to explore in Stratford, and be sure to leave time for the behind-the-scenes experience of a costume warehouse tour.

Find out more about the Stratford Festival at www.stratfordfestival.ca.

Shaw Festival

Shaw Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Not bad for a festival that began as a 4 weekend experiment! Come celebrate with them by taking advantage of their 50th Anniversary packages.

This summer the always popular My Fair Lady runs until October 30th, 2011 at the Shaw Festival.

Transform your trip to the theatre into a true getaway by pairing it with a gourmet day of wine tasting. Here are a few suggestions for your trip:

  • Begin your day with a relaxing drive through wine country.
  • Enjoy a lunch on a winery patio overlooking the vineyards – visit Peller Estates to try out their signature chardonnay or sample the local flavour of Sunnybrook Farm Winery’s fruit wines.
  • Leave some extra time to stretch your legs with a stroll down Niagara-on-the-Lake’s historic Queen Street before taking your seats in the theatre. Don’t miss BeauChapeau Hat Shop to check out hats (& even fascinators!) with vintage flair.
  • Take your seat in the Shaw Festival theatre, then sit back and relax as the show begins.

Find out more about the Shaw Festival at www.shawfest.com.

Tell us: Where is your favourite place in Ontario to enjoy live theatre?

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