Stratford’s Festival Theatre opens

On today’s date in 1957, the new Stratford Festival Theatre, on the banks of the Avon River in Perth County, Ont., is officially dedicated. It would replace the original tent theatre and incorporate the revolutionary “thrust stage”, created to artistic director Tyrone Guthrie’s specifications by designer Tanya Moiseiwitsch.

Canada Post featured the upgraded Festival Theatre on this 8-cent postcard in 1972.

Canada Post featured the upgraded Festival Theatre on this 8-cent postcard in 1972.

The following day, on July 1, 1957, the Festival Theatre opened with artistic director

Michael Langham’s production of Hamlet.

In 1999, Canada Post featured the Stratford Festival on one of 68 millennium stamps issued in a hardbound book, Canada Post The Millennium Collection: Expressions of a People. The stamps were printed two to a page. The following year, Canada Post re-issued the millennium stamps in panes of four. The souvenir sheet with the Stratford Festival stamp was released Feb. 17, 2000.

The Stratford Festival millennium stamp shows actor William Hutt as Prospero from the Tempest, a role that Hutt played four times in his 39 seasons at Stratford.

The Stratford Festival is an internationally acclaimed drama festival. It offers a

Canada Post also featured the Stratford Festival on this millennium stamp.

Canada Post also featured the Stratford Festival on this millennium stamp.

program of classical and modern plays and musical productions. The festival has grown appreciably since the inaugural season of 1953 that lasted only 6 weeks and offered 42 performances. The season now often runs 31 weeks with more than 700 performances.

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