The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0619  Sunday, 2 November 2008

From:       Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Sunday, 2 Nov 2008 11:21:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject:    Stratford (Ont.) Main Stage to be Destroyed

Hi All,

According to this article - http://stratfordgazette.com/stratford/article/59540, 
plans are already underway at the Stratford (Ontario) Shakespeare Festival to 
demolish the stage at the Festival Theatre in an effort to "modernize."  The 
article states:

[quote]  It is a place of innovation and deep theatrical history for future 
generations, a place of immeasurable value. It is the Tanya Moiseiwitsch thrust 
stage, the flagship stage of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. And it is going 
to be destroyed.

The original Tanya stage was built at the insistence of Sir Tyrone Guthrie 
because of its importance to the spoken word of Shakespeare. Through the 1950s 
it evolved into a piece of brilliance from one of the world's best theatre 
designers. It is piece of heritage for the City of Stratford, their tradesmen 
and volunteers who built it. It is the first of its kind since the late 1600s 
and has been copied by admiring and respected theatres around the globe.

However, the new artistic leadership at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival has 
blueprints ready to turn the Tanya stage into a "modern" facility in which they 
hope to mount "modern productions of spectacular proportions." These plans 
involve the destruction of the Tanya stage, the platform of well trodden oak, 
capable of lasting centuries, on which acting titans like Christopher Plummer 
began their careers.

If these plans go ahead, no "replacement replica down the road" will be able to 
replace the heritage lost. It will not be original, it will not be special. The 
great pride and awe it inspires will be greatly diminished.

[end quote]

If you wish to voice your opinion on this matter, the Stratford Festival website 
is www.stratfordfestival.ca. There are not a lot of helpful contacts listed, but 
the administration phone number is 1-519-271-4040.

Tanya Gough

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