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About The Lab

Founded by Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino in 2013, the Laboratory is the Stratford Festival’s research and development wing: a suite of experiments and investigations that drive our artistic and organizational evolution in an era of exciting cultural change.

Advancing inclusive and innovative practice, the Lab…

  • INCUBATES NEW WORKS for our stages by supporting long-term and unconventional development processes.
  • CONDUCTS EXPERIMENTS through our resident Lab Ensemble, to build our capacity to support other forms and cultural protocols, and to create new relationships with artists from across Canada and beyond.
  • BUILDS CONNECTIONS with the national artistic community by hosting and supporting gatherings of makers to share practices, questions, challenges and strategies.
  • FOSTERS ENSEMBLE by offering full-company sessions to encourage horizontal learning and build a shared spirit among the huge group of artists who come together at the Festival every season.
  • OPENS DIALOGUE, internally and externally, by creating spaces to reflect on the Festival’s role as a heritage institution and the growth and change necessary to ensure that it remains a vital asset to Canada’s cultural ecology.

Like any successful R&D wing, the Lab will be agile and flexible in its response to the changing landscape. The scope of its activities will expand and shift as we identify new challenges and opportunities to serve our community of artists and audiences, locally, nationally and beyond.

Support for the Laboratory is generously provided by the Dalio Foundation and an anonymous donor.


Banner credits

From left: Richard Lam as Matt, Rose Tuong as Annabel, Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah as Grace, Stephen Jackman-Torkoff as Smash and Verónica Hortigüela as Crystal in Every Little Nookie (Stratford Festival, 2022). Written by Sunny Drake. Directed by ted witzel. Set design by Michelle Tracey. Costume design by Joshua Quinlan. Lighting design by Jareth Li. Sound design by Dasha Plett. Photograph by David Hou.

Sean Arbuckle (left) as Thomas and Krystin Pellerin as Diana in Casey and Diana (Stratford Festival, 2023). Written by Nick Green. Directed by Andrew Kushnir. Designed by Joshua Quinlan. Lighting design by Louise Guinand. Sound design by Sinha Debashis. Photograph by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Members of the company in A Wrinkle in Time (Stratford Festival, 2023). Adapted by Thomas Morgan Jones from the book by Madeleine L’Engle. Directed by Thomas Morgan Jones. Set design by Teresa Przybylski. Costume design by Robin Fisher. Lighting design by Kimberly Purtell. Sound design by Deanna Haewon Choi. Photograph by David Hou.