by Shelby Farnham

A group of students from Almonte District High School attended the 64th annual Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario in mid-October.

The students viewed three shows for the festival: School For Scandal, Twelfth Night, and Guys and Dolls.

They also had the opportunity to take a tour of the warehouse containing props, costumes, and other set pieces from all previous productions by the Stratford Festival since 1953. The group had a fun time playing dress-up when they were allowed to try on some of the costumes. The tour also included information and insight on the making of more intricate costumes and props.

The students greatly appreciated the works of Shakespeare after seeing School for Scandal and Twelfth Night.  They also enjoyed a stop at the Shakespearean Gardens, a peaceful location with a statue commemorating Shakespeare’s successes.

Everybody was entranced by the extravagant performance in “Guys and Dolls”; taking place in 1920s New York, the comedic musical introduces several characters who capture some of the issues surrounding the era and filled the stage with colourful dances and songs.

Not only was it a learning experience for the students; it was also heartwarming for the teachers to see the students so inspired by the different aspects that make a theater show great. The students are sure to keep this in mind while preparing for year’s school play!

The Stratford Festival has been known as one of the most outstanding art festivals in Canada. Stratford holds 4 theaters dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of theatergoers and tourists each year.

“The Stratford trip was an awesome opportunity for me as an aspiring actor because it allowed me to see some incredible talent onstage, and what my future could hold if I continued in the arts. it was a lot of fun, and even though there was lots of driving it was totally worth it,” says Callum Leroy.

It was a truly rewarding experience for the staff and students who participated.   A big thank  you to Jenny Sheffield, Paula Jones, and Andy Cruthers who arranged for the trip.