Why Stratford Pageant is an cost-effective team journey location for theater fans

For individuals who adore reside theater, the Stratford Festival delivers Broadway-quality productions set in a countryside arts retreat.

Located a lot less than two hrs west of Toronto, the Canadian hometown of Justin Bieber is recognised for productions that selection from modern takes on Shakespeare performs to popular musicals. The 2024 time will supply 12 productions, from the musical comedy “Something Rotten!” to Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” The time starts in April and runs by means of October with Halloween-themed performances. Early-hen pricing runs by way of early February.

Extra than 5% of the festival’s annual 50 %-million people occur by constitution bus—and about a quarter of that site visitors will come from the U.S. The competition tends to draw tour groups from Ontario, Quebec, Michigan, New York, and Illinois.

“Stratford has perennial enchantment,” reported Mindy Miller, Director of Revenue for Tour Operators at Witte Vacation in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This year, the Stratford Pageant wowed us at Bus & Motorcoach Information with various productions, “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” “Rent,” “King Lear” and “A Wrinkle in Time” which shipped spectacular performances paired with unbelievable costumes and sets. We weren’t on your own in our rave critiques. The musicals have been extended into November since of their popularity.

Made out of financial want

The festival was born about 70 decades ago when the community’s financial engine died as the railway pulled out of the Ontario group in the early 1950s. Journalist Tom Patterson experienced an thought for respiratory new lifetime into his indigenous city’s economic climate: a competition of Shakespearean theater.

In 1952, the City Council gave him a grant of $125 to seek out creative advice in New York. Though he failed to join with Laurence Olivier as hoped, Canadian theater pioneer Dora Mavor Moore was ready to set him in touch with famous British director Tyrone Guthrie. Intrigued by their phone call, Guthrie visited Stratford to see if Patterson’s strategy may be feasible – and finished up getting to be Stratford’s very first inventive director.

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“We wanted to uncover something else to continue to keep this lovely small location likely,” explains Melissa Mae Shipley, pageant spokesperson. “So the city went all in and established a festival and located an alternative economic system for alone. So you’ll obtain that just about each and every business enterprise operator in the metropolis is listed here to produce a desired destination and to obtain solutions.”

The Stratford Pageant is a good in good shape for team excursions by bus since of several factors, from the abundances of theater seats to hassle-free parking to affordability. Here’s our breakdown. 

Variety of performances and functions. Every single time Stratford delivers a mix of musicals, comedies and Shakespeare. Typically, there are two performances at the exact same time, 2 times a working day. “There’s very a large amount that can be custom-made for team tours,” Shipley stated. “We provide that solution where anyone doesn’t even have to see the exact exhibits. “Once you are in the town, everything is 10 minutes absent. It is such a walkable, simple, open area. If you want to have time on your have away from the team, there’s no draw back to not acquiring your auto for the reason that everything’s so obtainable by foot. Workshops or shows, as effectively as personalized ordeals, are out there to groups. Selling prices commencing from $10 for every human being as well as tax, minimum of 20 people today. “A team of retired nurses booked a “Chicago” dance workshop. They have been in their 80’s and loved it,” Shipley said.

Stratford Festival

Loads of seats. 4 venues host additional than a dozen productions all through the year. Stratford Festival’s primary theater has a stage in a semi-round arc and seats well over 1,800 folks, nevertheless no spectator is additional than 65 ft from the phase. “We’re happy to have as quite a few seats as we do so we can welcome significant teams fairly consistently,” Shipley stated. 

Reasonably priced. For People in america, the festival’s spot in Canada offers a lot of bang for the buck, offering U.S. visitors roughly a 30% advantage from the trade charge. On top rated of that, the festival generally offers up to 25% price savings on group tickets and just one free of charge ticket for each and every 20 acquired. It also has “flexi-teams,” which present a one of a kind marketing code so group associates can reserve on their have and take pleasure in group price savings.“We provide the most effective pricing on the weekdays since we have the most need for weekends as a total. So we surely supply a lot more marketing options on weekdays, all through the spring, June, and tumble. Our promotions drop on the weekdays, and that tends to be when the operators decide on to arrive with us,” Miller reported. “Our busiest time for groups is in the drop. We’ll have our early fowl pricing for teams available till early into the new yr, almost certainly until eventually about early February, and will probably be on sale in late this calendar year. Simply click right here to understand much more about team specials.

Very best occasions for group journey. Tour operators are inclined to take a look at all through the weeks when there are a lot more offers and the climate can be unpredictable, rainy or cold. Which is April by way of June and September by Oct. “We have these cozy areas and stunning outdoor, but indoors is only just a step absent, and there’s loads of capacity,” Shipley claimed. The period wraps up with Halloween-encouraged occasions, these kinds of as “Goblin:Macbeth” and haunted ghost story tours.


Bus parking and bus-helpful accommodations. The festival has on-internet site parking, and general public parking also is nearby. “We work carefully with the metropolis and their facilities to make guaranteed that there is locations wherever buses can get their company to the theater easily and then park their vehicle. We have a particular mapping tutorial just for group buses,” Shipley mentioned. Arden Park and Shakespeare Inn are between the inns that cater to big teams with parking place for buses. Click listed here for a lot more details about motorcoach parking.

No hurry. The competition is orchestrated so attendees have time for leisurely foods or getting out to explore the city amongst the two day by day performances. The riverwalk from downtown to the theaters tends to make for a stress-free stroll. “There’s often plenty of spacing,” Shipley reported.”Everything’s in walking length. It’s a pleasant working day excursion, but it is a definitely calming, tranquil, snug area to commit a several days and sort of truly feel like you’re section of this creative community.” 

Sturdy culinary scene. Stratford has developed a track record for a diverse restaurant scene, thanks to a area culinary school turning out talented chefs. The festival also provides the solution of picnics that can be purchased in advance and picked up onsite or delivered to your bus. The picnics are great for lunch right before a matinée or a gentle supper on a bus journey property. 

Concierge service. The festival has a focused crew for team excursions, led by a extremely skilled, specialised group liaison. Furthermore, the Stratford Tourism Alliance is keen to help motorcoach operators configure itineraries by telephone or e-mail. Also, a digital concierge at visitstratford.ca can help. “Our range-1 idea that we have for any operator is if you just reach out and request our group’s guide, then we’ll know that you function with groups, and we’ll continue to be in contact with you in the course of the booking time and make confident that you receive all the delivers and options,” Shipley stated.