Stage Door News

Stratford: The Meighen Forum at the Stratford Festival celebrates its 10th season

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

To mark the 10th season of the Meighen Forum, the Stratford Festival has curated a season of sought-after voices to take us behind the curtain of this year’s productions and to explore compelling, timely topics reflected in the 2022 playbill.

“We are celebrating the 10th season of the Meighen Forum this year, with a brand new home in Lazaridis Hall,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. “I am thrilled with the magnificent roster of guests who will join us in Stratford. Their contributions add enormously to the play-going experience for our patrons and help make a visit to Stratford a true escape, giving people an opportunity to tune into world events in a deep and engaging manner.”

The Meighen Forum will offer more than 160 events in the 2022 season, including the Celebrated Speakers series, which begins on July 8 with Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate and writer of Death and the King’s Horseman, the acclaimed play that will open at the Tom Patterson Theatre in August. The series continues throughout the season featuring artists and expert guests who will take us into the issues of the 2022 playbill and the season theme of New Beginnings. The Celebrated Speakers series also features Ann-Marie MacDonald, Tomson Highway, Adam Gopnik, Bev Sellars, Ray Dalio and Salman Rushdie.

Wole Soyinka has gone from political prisoner to Nobel Laureate in Literature, in an astonishing life filled with vastly diverse experiences. His writing career has been similarly diverse, spanning multiple genres. His poetry, essays, plays and novels, brimming with wit and rage, have borne witness to the tragedy and triumphs of his native Nigeria, as he tenaciously seeks to promote the voice for the African experience across the continent and into the diaspora. In a special Stratford appearance, Soyinka, 87, joins CBC’s Nahlah Ayed to discuss Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth, his first novel in fifty years, and his seminal work Death and the King’s Horseman, which will be a highlight of the Stratford Festival’s 2022 season. This is a not-to-be-missed event with a skilled storyteller at the height of his powers. Friday, July 8 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Avon Theatre.

Author, actor and playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald joins Rachel Giese for a candid conversation about her writing career, her creative inspirations and her new play Hamlet-911, which opens at the Festival in August. Sunday, August 7 10:30 a.m. to noon in Lazaridis Hall, Tom Patterson Theatre.

Tomson Highway, one of Canada’s foremost Indigenous writers, will join us for an onstage talk with Festival Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino about his music, his place in the Canadian canon, and his award-winning new memoir, Permanent Astonishment. Sunday, August 14 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Tom Patterson Theatre. Highway will make a second appearance at the Meighen Forum with Songs in the Key of Cree, a cabaret featuring songs from some of his musicals Rose; The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito; The (Post) Mistress; and The Sage, the Dancer, and the Fool. It will be performed at the Tom Patterson Theatre on Monday, August 15 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $29.

Internationally acclaimed and award-winning author Adam Gopnik shares his thoughts with Antoni Cimolino on Molière’s talent for satire, his influence on theatre history and his continued resonance in the modern world, as we mark the 400th anniversary of the great French playwright’s birth. Saturday, September 17 10:30 a.m. to noon in Lazaridis Hall in the Tom Patterson Theatre.

Author and advocate Bev Sellars formerly served as councillor and chief of Xatśūll (Soda Creek) First Nation in British Columbia. Her memoir, They Called Me Number One, about her experiences in the residential institution St Joseph’s Mission, formed a key part of the research for the play 1939, which receives its world première at the Festival this season. Hear her story and her thoughts on how to move with truth toward reconciliation. Saturday, September 24, 10:30 a.m. to noon in Lazaridis Hall in the Tom Patterson Theatre.

American philanthropist Ray Dalio is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Principles and founder of the investment firm Bridgewater Associates, which has grown from its beginnings in Dalio’s apartment into the world’s largest hedge fund and Fortune magazine’s fifth most important private company in the U.S. Dalio was named to Time magazine’s “Time 100” list in 2012. He speaks with Antoni Cimolino. Friday, October 7, 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Avon Theatre. 

Award-winning author Salman Rushdie will cap the 2022 season of Celebrated Speakers. From the plays of Shakespeare and Molière to the novels of today, the telling of stories reveals a fundamental human need: to seek essential truths about our shared experience through the exercise of the creative imagination. Rushdie will examine and celebrate that age-old impulse in the two decades’ worth of essays, criticism and speeches that are now gathered together in his latest book, Languages of Truth. In this exclusive interview, Rushdie is joined by acclaimed journalist and CBC Ideas host Nahlah Ayed for an intimate conversation about his life and work. Everyone attending this event will receive a copy of Languages of Truth signed by the author. Saturday, October 22 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Avon Theatre.

Tickets for the Celebrated Speakers series at the Meighen Forum start at $27 and can be ordered by calling 1.800.567.1600 or by visiting the website,, where you can explore the entire Meighen Forum, including Comedy at the Forum, Funny Forum Fridays, CBC’s Ideas at Stratford, special events with visiting journalists from The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune, Peer into the Playbill, Monday Night Music, Contemporary Work, Play by the Book play readings and free Forum events Meet the Festival, Talking Theatre and Lobby Talks. Meighen Forum events continue until October 26.

Support for the Meighen Forum is generously provided through an endowed gift from Kelly and Michael Meighen and the T.R. Meighen Family Foundation.

The 2022 season runs until October 30, featuring Hamlet, Chicago, The Miser, Little Women, Richard III, All’s Well That Ends Well, Death and the King’s Horseman, Every Little Nookie, Hamlet-911 and 1939.

Photo: Salman Rushdie. © Jemal Countess.