Stratford’s indie theatre and arts festival: Springworks

Jessi Seguin's picture

Stratford’s indie theatre and arts festival is celebrating its sixth season with a line-up of more than 40 artists and companies. Running from May 12 to 22, SpringWorks 2016 features an eclectic mix of theatre, music, dance, poetry and visual art. Following a successful launch last year, the SpringWorks Puppet Festival will return on Victoria Day weekend.

Stratford’s indie theatre and arts festival: Springworks

“We’re delighted to be able to showcase a range of talent at SpringWorks,” says Eileen Smith, Artistic Producer. “After the success of our inaugural Puppet Festival, we knew we wanted to continue to build this stream of programming. I think this will be a very exciting season for our family audiences.”

SpringWorks announced their line-up at Gallery Stratford, which has timed its opening to coincide with the indie festival. Programming at the gallery will include a new poetry slam hosted by award-winning playwright Donna-Michelle St. Bernard.

SpringWorks 2016 also includes the following:

Opening night with Sharron Matthews. Ms Matthews serves up her signature irreverent wit with solid gold mash-ups by artists such as Lady Gaga, Guns ’N Roses, Radiohead, Beyonce, Queen and more in a comedic tour-de-force concert.

Dark Love,* by Governor General’s Award nominee Donna-Michelle St. Bernard. Developed at the National Arts Centre, this poetic interdisciplinary work is part of the 54ology, in which Ms St. Bernard writes a play for every country in Africa. 

The Immigrant, by Giuseppi Condello. Within the silence of mime, in relationship to spoken stories, The Immigrant is based on the themes of manual labour and man’s quest for freedom.

Bone Rhythm, by Nicola Pantin, Robin Calvert Neesa Kenemy and Jeanine Henderson’s Infinity Dance. Movement, instinct and rhythm collide in this mixed dance program with acclaimed choreographers and Stratford school Infinity Dance.

Across Canada by Story, by Douglas Gibson. Author Douglas Gibson shares a coast-to-coast literary adventure.

Wake Up Sleeping Beauty, by Live Action Theatre Project. In a classic fairy tale with a twist, young audiences are invited into a choose-your-own-adventure tale where viewers decide what “happily ever after” looks like.


Stratford’s indie theatre and arts festival: Springworks


Part of SpringWorks’ series of works in progress.

Puppet Festival offers a weekend of family fun

Kids and adults will have the opportunity to explore a beloved art form at the SpringWorks Puppet Festival Family Weekend, running May 21 to 22. Day and weekend passes will provide access to puppet shows and related activities.

The 2016 Puppet Festival will include the following:

That’s Laughter-tainment, by Matthew Romain. With his trusty ukulele, Matthew and his puppet friends present a lively, hilarious musical variety show.

Animal Adventures, by Rock the Arts. The Creature Crew shows kids how to help the environment during an unforgettable field trip to the zoo.

Caisse 606, by Caroline Bélanger and Marie-Hélène Bélanger-Dumas (English and French versions). Two cashiers, encased to the waist by their registers, dream of a world of carrot ballets, soy sauce heartbreak, limbo lessons, and brilliant sunshine with a pineapple aftertaste.

Caisse 606. From Stratford’s indie theatre and arts festival: Springworks

Puppet Play Zone, with Kim Howe. Fun for all! Enjoy a puppet tea party or share a kiss at the puppet kissing booth.


“Each season, we’re delighted to welcome more and more visitors to SpringWorks,” says Ms Smith. “We’ve grown tremendously over the past six years, and I’m really looking forward to seeing new and returning audiences at our 2016 productions.”

A full program overview is available on the SpringWorks website. 

Dates: May 12 to 22, 2016
General admission: Adults: FREE to $20; Children: FREE to $10.
Puppet Festival Day Pass: Adults: $20; Children: $10.
Puppet Festival Weekend Pass: Adults: $30; Children: $15.
Package rates: Adult tickets: 3+ for $15 each; Family of 4 (max. 2 adults): $45. 
Flex passes (3 tickets): Adults: $45; Children: $25. 
All purchases add HST and service fees.
Contact: email[at]

Stratford’s indie theatre and arts festival: Springworks

Support for SpringWorks 2016 is generously provided by Canadian Heritage. 


Jessi Séguin is an actor, playwright, and arts administrator from Stratford, Ontario. Lately she has appeared as The Field Mouse in A Wind In The Willows Christmas (Alternative Theatre Works). Some favourite writing credits include The Cousins of Corsica (2015 SpringWorks’ People’s Choice Award), Thrown (Honourable Mention, Canadian International Film Festival 2014), Pickled Heart (SpringWorks 2014), and The Man with the Leek in his Cap (shortlisted for Robertson Davies Playwriting Award, University of Toronto Drama Festival). Jessi is a graduate of the joint Acting program at Sheridan College and the University of Toronto.