Special Events

The Plays: Stratford 2012

Henry V by William Shakespeare
To unite in common cause a kingdom torn by civil strife, England's new monarch decides to enforce his claim to the throne of France. But after his invasion's initial success, he finds himself facing a vastly superior French force on the fields of Agincourt-and with it, the ultimate test of his leadership.

Cymbeline by William Shakespeare
Imogen, daughter of King Cymbeline, has married against her father's wishes - and his anger is only the beginning of her woes. When her husband is tricked into believing her unfaithful, Imogen must embark on a daring adventure to win back the man she loves.

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
As Claudio woos his beloved Hero, his friend Benedick and Hero's cousing Beatrice trade insults in their "merry war" of mutual disdain. But as Claudio's wedding day approaches, a series of deceptions - both friendly and malicious - brings about more than one dramatic change of heart.

The War of 1812 - by Michael Hollingsworth
When America declares war on Britain and her empire, a Native American confederation led by the Shawnee chief Tecumseh helps the British defend Canada. But after three years of bloodshed, who will emerge the winner - and what exactly will have been won?

The Matchmaker - by Thornton Wilder
With his eye ever fixed on the bottom line, wealthy merchant Horace Vendergelder, can't see the value of love - even as he searches for a wife. His matchmaker, Dolly Levi, however, is making her own plans for him, while his clerks pursue their hearts' desires in the big city.

The Best Brothers - by Daniel Maclvor (World Premiere)
Ardith "Bunny" Best has just died in an accident, leaving her sons Hamilton and Kyle to mourn in their very different ways. As each struggles to understand the other, the brothers begin to see more deeply into themselves and the unconventional woman who gave them birth.

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown - based on the comic strip "Peanuts" by Charles M. Schulz; Book, music and lyrics by Clark Gesner
It's a typically challenging day in the life of Charlie Brown, from trying to get his kite to fly to trying to find the nerve to talk to that cute little red-headed girl. Meanwhile, Charlie's friends - and even his dog, Snoopy - face challenges of their own in their pursuit of that fleeting thing called happiness.

Hirsch - Created and conceived by Alon Nashman and Paul Thompson
Orphaned in the Holocaust at age thirteen, Hungarian refugee John Hirsch finds sanctuary in Canada, where his fierce talent and stormy temperament win him acclaim as a brilliant theatre director, a galvanizing cultural force and, for five seasons, Artistic Director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

The Faculty Leader
William C. Johnson, Ph.D., Distinguished Teaching Professor, has been a faculty member in NIU’s Department of English since the fall of 1969. He has served as faculty host to Stratford in 2002, 2005, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Since 1982, he has served as Executive Director of the International English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, a 750+ chapter organization. He has also led many NIU Alumni Association trips to London, Australia, Italy, and New Zealand, and frequently teaches in NIU’s program at Oxford University.