Stratford Shakespeare Festival


I realize I have been out of commission for quite a while and I apologize. Life is getting a little hard to handle, which is why I was in great need of a vacation. Well, I got my wish — I got to go to Canada for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival for the second year in the row. We left campus at 7am on Thursday and spent 10 hours in a van. Luckily, I went with a small group of friends and three English professors, so it wasn’t torture. That night, we ate dinner at a Thai restaurant where I ordered the most American thing on the menu: BBQ beef with white rice. I wasn’t feeling very adventurous; my friend Adam scolded me for it all night. After eating, we went to our first play: Ben Johnson’s The Alchemist. I knew nothing about the storyline but was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the play a great deal (the second half more than the first). It ended a lot differently than I imagined, too, so that was nice.


That night we went to the bar and I drank two purple rain’s, then went back to the hotel to play Euchre with the guys. Needless to say, I sucked. I ended up only sleeping for about four hours since I wanted to get up early. I believe that when you’re on vacation you should sleep as little as possible and do as much as you can. So I got up, caffeinated myself at Tim Hortons, and then went to (at least) five book stores with the only two people on the trip who were awake. I ended up buying five books: A Clockwork OrangeA Farewell to ArmsThe Bell Jar, Moby Dick, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. I’m sure you can imagine how broke I am now. Lunch was at a cute little cafe where I ate an incredibly fancy and delicious grilled cheese sandwich and a glass of Riesling wine. It was amazing. Then we finally got to go see the highlight of the trip: Shakespeare’s Hamlet. First of all, the actor was looking fine. Especially in his costume with a button-up and suspenders — hot damn. I was enthralled the entire time. By the actor as well as the performance. When he started reciting the “to be or not to be” speech, I almost died of happiness. I absolutely loved this play and it was worth every penny I spent to get there.


After that, dinner at a pub where I had Canada’s most famous dish: poutine. I feel dirty just saying it, but it’s actually quite delicious — french fries smothered in gravy topped with cheese curds. It’s fantastic and if you’re ever in Canada, please try it. I wanted more Riesling there, but they were all out, so I ordered two glasses of Pinot Grigio (I’m turning into my mother). I decided I needed two glasses because the final show we went to see was The Sound of Music. I am not a fan of the film and was dreading the musical. Unfortunately, it wore off by time the musical started. What a shame. My friend Connor knew all the words and sang them quite passionately to me. Surprisingly, though, I found the musical to be really good when preformed on stage. I’m mad at the film for making me believe I hated The Sound of Music. I just hate the film.

That night none of us slept — we just stayed up playing cards and talking and telling stories until our van pulled out of the parking lot at 7am. I was dead tired but fully satisfied. I got to know everybody really well (a little more than I expected, but hey, that’s okay). I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed so hard as I did while I was in Canada hanging out with my English major friends. I may have spent all my money and fallen behind in my studies and missed out of pledging activities, but hey, it was worth it. And I got a new achievement: I stayed up for 34 hours straight! I broke my previous record of 32 hours.

I’ll try to read and review more often; I’m currently reading three books at one time which is not something I enjoy doing, but I promise to keep you guys updated. And if you ever have the chance to visit Ontario during the festival, please do!

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