Stratford Festival announces 2023 season; 13 productions and a theme of Duty vs Desire

Stratford Festival Twitter page

Sept 21, 2022… Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino is pleased to announce the 2023 season, inspired by the theme of Duty vs Desire. The playbill includes 13 lively and thought-provoking productions across four theatres, along with a full slate of events in The Meighen Forum.

The 2023 season will run from mid-April through October, featuring four Shakespeare plays, King LearMuch Ado About NothingRichard II and Love’s Labour’s Lost, and two musicals, Rent and Monty Python’s Spamalot, along with Les Belles-SoeursA Wrinkle in TimeFrankenstein RevivedWedding BandGrand MagicCasey and Diana and Women of the Fur Trade.

The plays examine both sides of the Duty vs Desire debate, some through irreverence and comedy, others through the catharsis of tragedy. They look at social stigma and societal pressures, at selfishness and selflessness – at a time when we are all reexamining our place in the world. They also entertain and offer a healthy dose of laughter.

“We’ve always been told to follow our hearts,” says Cimolino. “But that hasn’t been so easy over the past few years. The pandemic has left us in dire need of pleasure, eager to fulfill our desires but often with no way to do so. At the same time it has brought us face to masked face with the vital importance of social responsibility. Here in the West, many of us have had the luxury of pursuing romantic notions for decades. Desire has fueled our economy. But what do we do when suddenly we must sacrifice our comfort for the greater good, when our heart’s not in what we do anymore, when we want to shirk responsibility even though we know that could have dire consequences? These are the questions and ideas that inspired the plays of the 2023 season.”



King Lear

By William Shakespeare

Director: Kimberley Rampersad


Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson

Director: Thom Allison

Choreographer: Marc Kimelman

Much Ado About Nothing

By William Shakespeare

Director: Chris Abraham

Les Belles-Soeurs

By Michel Tremblay

Translated by John Van Burek and Bill Glassco

Director: Esther Jun


Monty Python’s Spamalot

Book and Lyrics by Eric Idle

Music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle

A new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”

From the original screenplay by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin

Director: Lezlie Wade

Choreographer: Jesse Robb

World Première Adaptation:

A Wrinkle in Time

By Madeleine L’Engle

Adapted for the stage by Thomas Morgan Jones

Director: Thomas Morgan Jones

World Première

Frankenstein Revived

By Morris Panych

Based on the novel by Mary Shelley

Music by David Coulter

Director: Morris Panych

Movement choreographer: Wendy Gorling

Dance choreographer: Stephen Cota


World Première Translation:

Grand Magic

By Eduardo De Filippo

In a new English translation by John Murrell

Director: Antoni Cimolino

Richard II

By William Shakespeare

Adapted by Brad Fraser

Conceived by Jillian Keiley

Director: Jillian Keiley

Choreographer: Cameron Carver

Wedding Band

By Alice Childress

Director: Sam White


World Première

Stratford Festival Commission

Casey and Diana

By Nick Green

Director: Andrew Kushnir

Women of the Fur Trade

By Frances Koncan

Director: Yvette Nolan

Love’s Labour’s Lost

By William Shakespeare

Director: Peter Pasyk