Tom Patterson Theatre

The Stratford Festival

Tom Patterson Theatre

Do you want to know about the Stratford Festival ?

The Stratford Festival started back in 1952 by journalist, Tom Patterson, and has become world-renown for its repertory theatre, the largest in North America.

The first season of the Stratford Festival began in July 1953 with a performance of Richard III and All’s Well That Ends Well and was originally called the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.  These are the first two productions this year, 2022, which are presented at the opening of the new Tom Patterson Theatre, which I  think is very apt.  Nowadays, while Shakespearean plays remain a primary focus of the Stratford Festival, there are also other performances such as works by Moliere and Shaw,  rousing musicals, entertaining comedies and original works by Canadian and international playwrights.

Personalities such as director Tyrone Guthrie and designer Tanya Moiseiwitsch were instrumental in the development of the Stratford Festival.  Actors such as Alec Guiness, James Mason, Irene Worth, Maggie Smith, Brian Denehey,  William Shatner, and Christopher Plummer are among the ranks of those who have graced their stages over the last 70 years.

There are now four  theatres, The Festival, The Tom Patterson, The Avon, and The Studio. Each theatre has several performances happening at each one, depending on the time of the year. The Season runs from the middle of April to the end of October and is often extended, depending on the popularity of the production. One year, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was extended until December – it was fabulous!!!   Murray and I are fortunate to be able to see many productions early in the year so we can discuss them and compare notes with our guests at the breakfast table.

This year there are three productions at the main Stratford Festival Theatre, three at the new Tom Patterson Theatre, one at the Avon Theatre, and three at the Studio Theatre. The Company is repertory, with actors taking different parts in at least two productions concurrently. You can go to this page on our website to see which productions are being presented this year. We are so excited to have been able to get the tickets we wanted !

Don’t miss a look into some of the “behind the scenes” activities that the Stratford Festival runs.  They regularly have tours Backstage, at their Costume Warehouse and the Festival Archives. There are Forum Events, and the occasional meet the cast or director sessions. You’ll find the info for all of this (and more) on their website.


The information you gave us about the Festival and its tours was invaluable to us.  We especially enjoyed the tours of the Tom Patterson Theatre and the Costume Warehouse. Thanks very much!  Rita L.  Lansing, MI.”


Have you seen our Free guide?  Go here to access your copy now to find out “What to Do and What to See in Beautiful Stratford Ontario ” .