Stage Door News

Stratford: Stratford Summer Music and SpringWorks PuppetWorks bring “World in a Weekend” to Stratford January 13-14

Friday, January 6, 2023

After hosting a successful first rendition of their World in a Weekend festival last summer, Stratford Summer Music and SpringWorks PuppetWorks! are bringing more music, dance and puppetry to Stratford next week.

Stratford Summer Music general manager Kendra Fry said bringing the festival back in January is meant to inspire joy and give locals a reason to come together and enjoy some world-class art at affordable prices in the dark of winter.

“Winter is dull. Summer here is fantastic, and there’s lots of things going on and we’re thrilled to be a part of that, but it’s nice to have something to do in winter, a place to be, a way to connect with each other. … We were (also) just fortunate on funding this year, so that’s why the ticket prices are so low because we received grants that allowed us to make that happen. So we thought, ‘Let’s pass that on to our loyal, local audiences,'” Fry said.

With events and shows ranging in cost from free to just $30, there will be plenty for Stratford and area residents to see and do during the festival.

Starting on Jan. 13 and running at half-hour intervals both evenings from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Quebec-based Le Crapaud Cornu puppetry company will present Shake les Costumes et Shake la Catin, an interactive dance party featuring enormous, luminescent puppet creatures dancing alongside the Lights On Stratford festival’s The Pool display in Market Square.

Fry said passersby will be invited to don complimentary rabbit masks to join glowing puppets as they dance amongst the interactive lights display.

Also on Jan. 13, members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra will join young musicians from the University of Toronto and dancers from Toronto’s Jörgen Dance at Avondale United Church for Side-by-Side: Winter Bach, an exploration through dance and music of living in the shadow and the light of a father and his son.

Directed by Stratford Summer Music artistic director Mark Fewer, the show will feature music by Johann Sebastian Bach and son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. It will conclude with a performance by six dancers to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Third Orchestral Suite. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 each.

“If you’ve ever wondered if you wanted to see dance and classical music and you weren’t sure about it, you can take a chance on it here,” Fry said. “It’s only $10, so you have nothing to lose.”

On Jan. 14, dancer and choreographer Nicola Pantin of Jörgen Dance will lead a two-hour dance masterclass workshop at Factory 163 for intermediate and advanced dancers aged 15 and older. Loosely based on the principles of Limon technique, the workshop will finish with a special short performance by three members of the dance company’s mentorship program. Tickets for the workshop are $25 for dancers and by donation for observers.

Also at Factory 163 later that day at 3 p.m., Montreal puppetry company Ombres Folles will present its shadow-puppet show, Quijote, recounting the unbelievable adventures of Don Quijote and his friendly squire Sancho Panza. The show is suitable for audiences aged eight and older, and tickets for pods of one to five people are $30 per pod.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

By Galen Simmons for

Photo: Maude Gareau and Alexandre Iannuzzi of Montreal-based puppetry company Ombres Folles will performing Quijote. © 2021 Jean-Michael Seminaro.