Stage Door News

Stratford: Here For Now Theatre Company announces the playbill for its 2021 New Works Festival

Monday, April 26, 2021

Here For Now Theatre Company is thrilled to announce their 2021 New Works Festival, which features eight world premiere one-act plays and a reading series, centred around the timely theme of connection and relationship.

The season will run from June 15th to Sept 5th with 150+ performances for intimate, socially distanced audiences. This will be the second annual season the company has produced during the pandemic and the performances will once again take place on the bucolic north lawns of the Bruce Hotel in Stratford, Ontario. Here For Now will be working closely with Huron Perth Public Health again this year to implement all recommended Covid protocols to ensure the safety of patrons and artists alike.

Shows will take place Tuesday - Sunday at 3pm and 7pm, for audiences of 50. The stage and audience seating will be outdoors under an open-air canopy, courtesy of season sponsor The Bruce Hotel.

The box office will open in May, once health regulations for outdoor performances are in place. We are monitoring the fluid public health measures closely and will issue an updated release should circumstances and regulatory requirements change.

For more information, please visit

Season Details:

goldfish by Steve Ross

June 15th - July 7th

Directed by Steve Ross
Starring: John Dolan and Laura Condlln

Walter Norman is a retiree living a quiet life in a small town. Not much happens in his day; he’s content to sit in his chair on the front porch and watch the world go by. Enter Shannon. A busy mother of two who moves in across the street and opens a daycare. An unlikely friendship develops between these two and soon their visits become a daily ritual. Join Walter and Shannon as they sit and talk about everything from life to love to death to egg rolls. If only he could remember her name. Or what happened the day before. A year in the life of two lonely people who didn’t know how much they needed each other. Until they did.

Kroehler Girls created by Kelly McIntosh, Stacy Smith, Andy Pogson and Severn Thompson

June 15th - July 7th

Directed by Severn Thompson
Starring: Kelly McIntosh, Stacy Smith and Andy Pogson

It’s the bottom of the ninth, a full count with two down. The Kroehler Girls socked two hits and their heavy hitter is a star with the willow, is it enough to bring the title home?

Furniture and Softball. It’s the early 1950’s and Stratford’s all girls softball team is known for building furniture by day and dominating the ball diamond by night. Can the Kroehler Girls live up to their reputation after a devastating loss the previous season? Times are changing at a breakneck speed in these post-war days and this team, along with their hometown, have to prove they have what it takes. A new comedy that celebrates all that is Stratford in the early 50’s: the remarkable furniture company and their legendary softball team.

The Tracks book by Mark Weatherley, Music and Lyrics by Kale Penny

July 6th - July 25th

Directed by Monique Lund
Starring: Kale Penny and Lauren Bowler

“It's hard to move forward when you keep lookin’ back.” In the premiere of this witty musical featuring the original songs of singer / songwriter Kale Penny, worlds collide when a street corner busker encounters a classical violinist who finds herself at a crossroads.

Post Alice by Taylor Marie Graham

July 6th - July 25th

Director and Cast TBA

Inspired by four haunting characters from four iconic Alice Munro stories, Post Alice is a stunning new contemporary play which asks the question: what really happened to Mistie Murray? And what happens to all our missing girls? Come sit around the fire with four bright and hilarious Huron County women as ghost stories emerge, songs fill the air, family secrets are revealed, and mysteries unravel into those wonderful contradictions which live inside us all.

Janet and Louise by Deanna Kruger

July 27th - August 15th

Directed by Jeannette Lambermont-Morey

Cast TBA

Janet is determined to get over her mysterious ailments and keep her custodial job, so she's agreed to take doctor-prescribed art lessons. Louise’s art studio is floundering; there is endless roadwork outside and her prickly personality chases people away. Janet arrives but thinks she might quit. Louise can’tafford to lose another student. Then Janet finds a man’s tooth inside a jar. . . At turns funny and heartbreaking, this new play asks what happens when two strangers confront what they've tried so hard to keep hidden.

In Search of Catharsis by Jessica B. Hill

July 27th - August 15th

Director and Cast TBA

An old world God thaws from deep within the permafrost and comes down from the mountain to confront a confusing and unrecognizable new world. Tasked with the quest to save humanity, he sets off on a journey through the underworld to find like-minded supporters and makes some radical discoveries along the way. This ‘making sense of living’ thing is hard, no matter who you are.

The Wonder of it All by Mark Weatherley

August 17th - September 5th

Directed by Seana McKenna
Starring: Monique Lund and Mark Weatherley

If marriage is the right to annoy one special person for the rest of your life, then Charmaine and Kingsley have the perfect marriage. That is until a surprise from their past meddles with the certainty of their future. But after 25 years is it too late for them to discover the redemptive power of love?

So, how’s it been? Songs and Stories from our town co-created by Liza Balkan and Paul Shilton

August 17th - September 5th

Directed and written by Liza Balkan, with musical direction by composer Paul Shilton

Starring: Marcus Nance, Barb Fulton, Trevor Patt and Evangelia Kambites

In the summer of 2020, theatre artist and Stratford resident Liza Balkan first began interviewing people who live and work in this town, asking after how they were doing through the fulsome and challenging initial months of the pandemic. She met with business owners, employees, artists, nurses, retirees, actors, parents, kids, farmers... The months continued on and so have the interviews. So many stories.

Reading Series

Moments with You by Roy Lewis

Weekends in July

Moments With You is a modern Psalm; a dialogue offered in two voices chronicling the death of love, the ensuing struggle for understanding, and the peace found in grace and redemption. A poetic journey across the landscape of the heart written and performed by Roy Lewis with cellist Ben Bolt-Martin.

Pegeen and the Pilgrim by Brigit Wilson

Weekends in August

Twelve-year-old Pegeen O’Hara lives in the quiet town of Stratford, Ontario. She helps her mother run a boarding house after the death of her father and they are putting her brother Kerry through university. There just never seems to be enough time or money, and Pegeen’s dreams of becoming an actress seem hopeless. Then an extraordinary thing happens – a Shakespearean festival is planned for Stratford. As the festival develops, so does Pegeen. She learns a great deal about Shakespeare, the boarders at home, and she develops a new circle of friends, including a mysterious pilgrim. Adapted for stage by Brigit Wilson from the beloved novel by Lyn Cook.