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Students Attend Stratford Festival in Ontario

by Victoria Stearns, Public Relations Writer

For more than 40 years, Cedarville University students have had the unique opportunity to travel to the internationally renowned Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. This year a group of 15 students, led by Sandra Harner, M.A., senior professor of technical communications, spent September 18-20 at the annual festival.

The Stratford Festival, formerly known as the Stratford Shakespearean and then the Shakespeare Festival, is an internationally recognized annual celebration of theater running from April through October. 

The festival is held in the Canadian city of Stratford, Ontario, named after Stratford-upon-Avon, hometown of William Shakespeare. 

“The Stratford trip gives visitors a glimpse into a different culture,” said Harner. “You can experience the food, the shopping and the people of Stratford, but the most important focus of the trip is to experience theater at a level of national acclaim. It is a memorable experience for anyone who loves theater.”

Over the course of the three-day trips, students enjoyed two evening play performances and one matinee presentation. 

Shakespearean classics “Hamlet” and “The Taming of the Shrew” were presented in the historic Festival Theatre featuring an Elizabethan apron-thrust stage.

“The Taming of the Shrew’ was my favorite play, although all three were excellent,” said Allison Roberts, sophomore nursing student from Beavercreek, Ohio. “I read ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ in high school, so it was exciting to see the familiar story dynamically portrayed on stage.”

The group also had the unique opportunity to attend a select backstage tour of the theater, gaining a comprehensive perspective on the inner workings behind every production assembly. 

“Through the backstage tour, I learned some technical aspect about the Stratford Festival, and the stage in general, that were previously unknown to me," said David Widder-Varhegyi, a senior theatre major from Charlottesville, Va. 

Not only did the students observe Shakespeare’s works, but they also attended a contemporary comedy production called “She Stoops to Conquer,” by Anglo-Irish author Oliver Goldsmith. 

“She Stoops to Conquer” was performed in the Avon Theatre, which features a classic proscenium stage and viewing from traditional box and leveled seating. 

For more information on the Stratford Festival, visit

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 18 87, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings

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