Here For Now Theatre was founded by Artistic Director Fiona Mongillo in 2012. The mandate of this independent Stratford-based company has been to produce theatre that tells the stories of complex female protagonists, with a focus on new works. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the evolving artistic environment, Fiona had the idea to create an open-air festival of intimate, tech-light theatre with a strong focus on storytelling as a way to bring the local community together and to provide artists with a creative platform.
“Like troubadours of the past, wandering storytellers who would mount a contingent form of theatre for small gatherings, we feel this is a particularly apt form for us now as we begin to emerge from the pandemic.” - Fiona Mongillo (Artistic Producer of HFN Open-Air Festival)
This year, as the festival began to take shape, a beautiful new theme emerged out of the stories that the dynamic team of local artists brought to the table - that of voices from the sidelines. Characters from our collective history who have been quiet for too long and are demanding to speak and to be heard. From Angelina Napolitano, an Italian immigrant to Canada in the early 1900’s who, in the face of a society that refused to help her, murders her abusive husband and is sentenced to hang (WHACK!), to the erased history of the African American cowboys in the old west (I SEE THE CRIMSON WAVE), to the writings of Emilia Bassano who is speculated to be (THE DARK LADY) of Shakespeare’s sonnets, to the story of a feisty young girl who defies convention and journeys to the Arctic on an odyssey of grief, loss and love (A HUNDRED WORDS FOR SNOW), to the various historic characters who pop out of a wormhole to set the record straight on the crooked tellings of their histories (INFINITE POSSIBILITIES) - the common theme is the other, the ignored, the overlooked. This season is comprised entirely of new works; a World Premiere, a Canadian Premiere, Readings and Workshops, and an Improv Show.
Here For Now Open-Air Theatre Festival will be working closely with Huron Perth Public Health to ensure the safety of our audiences and creative teams. The festival will run from July 17th-August 30th, with performances at The Bruce Hotel. In addition, we may have some performances down by the river, details on that to come.
The Company is extremely excited to be presenting this season of intimate outdoor shows at the fabulous Bruce Hotel. If you would like to make pre-theatre dinner plans before the start of your desired showtime, please call The Bruce Hotel 1-855-708-7100. Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes early if you would like to order a craft beer or a glass of wine to enjoy during the performance.
The Here For Now Festival would like to acknowledge the generosity of The Destination Animation Partnership Project, Jennifer Birmingham, Molly Berg and the whole team at The Bruce Hotel, The Stratford City Centre BIA, The City of Stratford and the Stratford Tourism Alliance who have made this festival possible.