Explore behind the scenes of the Stratford Festival this Summer

Explore behind the scenes of the Stratford Festival this Summer

Head of Automation Ian Phillips checks out a motorized platform used in Twelfth Night (2011).
Photo by Erin Samuell.
© Stratford Festival

The Stratford Festival counts among Ontario’s most beloved daytrip destinations. It sits just a stone’s throw away from The Parlour and right in the heart of Stratford Ontario’s theatre district.

Since the Festival began in 1953, it has undergone a number of name changes that reflect its classical theatre roots. Tom Patterson, a local journalist-turned-theatre-producer, founded the Stratford Shakespearean Festival. (It has also been known as the Shakespeare Festival and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival before finally getting its current name.) The festival’s success is responsible in large part for making Stratford the arts and culture center it is today.

Today, the Stratford Festival boasts four distinct stages that offer each theatre-goer a unique cultural experience. Aside from the Avon, there is the Festival Theatre, the Studio Theatre, and the Tom Patterson Theatre, named after the Festival’s founder.

Touring the Festival

For those visitors who really want to see what goes on behind the scenes, the costume and prop or the backstage tours are a must-see!

The Festival Theatre Tour introduces theatre enthusiasts to the artists who work behind the scenes. On any given day, people touring the backstage area of the theatre might meet scenic designers, shoemakers, or lighting engineers.

The costume and prop warehouse tours give you an up close and personal glimpse at the props and costumes for the season’s shows. It is often the costumes and the props that allow the actors to fully bring their characters to life.

Get Tickets for the Festival Theatre Tour

Or… the Warehouse Tour

Both tours run from June to November. Cameras allowed.


Get outside for a garden tour. These run from June to the middle of September and give festival visitors a breathtaking view of the Avon River. These stunning landscaped grounds fill the sense with spectacular delight. Of special note are the Elizabethan Gardens and the Arthur Meighen Gardens. Get tickets for the Garden Tours.

Staying in Stratford

Life in Stratford is the culture-lover’s dream. World-class restaurants, beautiful antiques, and not-to-be-missed shopping are just some of this town’s offerings.

Why not make the most of your weekend getaway with an accommodation package at The Parlour Hotel. It hearkens back to the simpler times when gentile manners and afternoon tea ruled the day.