Stage Door News

Stratford: Here For Now presents a six-production open-air theatre festival starting July 17

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Independent Stratford-based theatre company Here For Now is thrilled to announce their 2020 Open-Air Theatre Festival in the backyard lawns of The Bruce Hotel. Local artists are coming together to create a season that will include six shows with small audiences, adhering to the latest public health regulations.

  • The Canadian premiere of A Hundred Words for Snow, written by Tatty Hennessy, starring Siobhan O’Malley and directed by Jonathan Goad. A Hundred Words For Snow is about being an explorer in a melting world. It's a coming-of-age story, with polar bears.

  • The world premiere of Infinite Possibilitiesa one-person, comedic phantasmagoria which takes an amusing look at the strange days we are living in through the prism of the past. Written and performed by Mark Weatherley, directed by Monique Lund.

  • The Dark Lady: Jessica B. Hill would like to properly introduce you to Emilia Bassano, England’s first professional female poet, England’s first feminist writer and potentially, the woman behind the ‘dark lady’ of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Shall we hear her side of the story? Join Jessica for an intimate poetry reading of both Emilia Bassano’s and Will Shakespeare’s works, highlighting their similarities, their differences and leaving you musing at their intertwining spirits.

  • A re-mount production of the wildly successful world premiere of Whack!, written by Stratford’s own Mark Weatherley.  Whack! tells the true story of Angelina Napolitano, an Italian immigrant who murdered her abusive husband in turn of the century Canada. Whack! stars Fiona Mongillo, Olivia Viggiani and Siobhan O’Malley and is directed by Lucy Jane Atkinson. Associate director Monique Lund will bring the show to life at the Bruce.

  • The core ensemble of Sidewalk Scenes, and An Undiscovered Shakespeare, bring you INSTANT THEATRE - a completely improvised one act play, based on your suggestions. Mayhem, music, mystery, and mirth…no two shows are ever the same! Starring Ijeoma Emesowum, Bruce Horak, Kevin Kruchkywich and Rebecca Northan. 

  • Poet, actor, storyteller Roy Lewis takes us on a cattle drive with legendary African American cowboy Nat Love. Join Roy as we explore together this forgotten history through story and poetry. Entertaining, impressionistic and powerful, I SEE THE CRIMSON WAVE is a vivid reimagining of the old west which comes to life in the captivating persona of Roy Lewis.

ltimately, Mongillo and her fellow festival organizers opted to approach Bruce Hotel owner Jennifer Birmingham about hosting an outdoor theatre festival in The Bruce’s backyard – a space where the number of audience members can be controlled and other public-health guidelines can be followed to ensure the safety of actors and audience members.

Our intention is to create intimate and authentic theatre with a strong focus on storytelling as a way to connect to each other. Like troubadours of the past, wandering storytellers who would mount a contingent form of theatre for small gatherings, we feel this is a particularly apt form for us now as we begin to emerge from a pandemic.

We will be working closely with the Huron Perth Public Health unit to ensure the safety of our audiences and creative teams. The festival will run from July 17th- August 30th, with performances at The Bruce Hotel Friday through Monday. Readings and performances will take place in late afternoon through early evening. In addition, we may have some performances down by the river, details on that to come. For more information and to book your tickets, please visit

We are extremely excited to be presenting this season of intimate outdoor shows at the fabulous Bruce Hotel. If you would like to make pre-theatre dinner plans before the start of your desired showtime, please call The Bruce Hotel 1-855-708-7100. Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes early if you would like to order a craft beer or a glass of wine to enjoy during the performance.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit