February 27, 2020: Greg Skinner, “Stratford Police Chief”, Jerry McEwin will introduce, and Roger Black will thank our speaker.
Head Table:  Our President Brent Shackleton, invites, Jerry McEwin, Rob Ritz, Peter Roach, Ralph Robinson, Paul Roulston and Rob Russell, to join him at the head table.
Today at Rotary:   Today’s theatre must be relevant to today’s audiences.  When we go to the theatre we should encounter the present not the past.   This theme of relevancy was the basis of the thoughtful and stimulating presentation from David Prosser, the Literary & Editorial Director of the Stratford Festival as he discussed the 2020 Season.
Guest speaker David Prosser talking about Patterson Theater. Welcome back President Brent.
Theatre cannot ignore societal changes rather it should mirror those changes. In Shakespeare’s time women were not even allowed to perform let alone lead so his strongest roles were generally written for men. But now women’s aspirations are quite different. Why shouldn’t a woman play the leading role?  That is exactly what the Festival has done this year in their production of Hamlet.  They have chosen a young woman who performed brilliantly during casting to take on the role of the Prince of Denmark. 
Plays are alive, they are fluid, they are dynamic and ever changing. Such has been the case in the past and it is certainly the case for the new production of Much Ado About Nothing. Set in Italy in a quasi-Elizabethan era, it too will have a contemporary feel because a prologue and extra dialogue by Erin Shields (Paradise Lost) has been added.  While many traditionalists will scream heresy at the idea of adding words to Shakespeare, it is this re-invention of the original that will give the play new life & vibrancy.
So much to look forward to and David highlighted some of the gems that will be coming our way:  A unique production of the musical Chicago as only Donna Feore can do; a new twist on the old Frankenstein classic from Morris Panych; and Hamlet 911 from Anne-Marie MacDonald.
The new Tom Patterson Theatre itself will be a vehicle for innovative ways to engage and interact with our audiences.  Improvisational Shakespeare, late night performances and new spaces for Forum presentations will enhance the experience. 
Scribe: John D. Wright
HPHA hospital  donating two X-ray machines to the Rotary Club of Stratford Charitable Foundation/COMMIT for Nandaime hospital in Nicaragua. Louann Plain is making the donation on their behalf. This will be the first x-ray equipment the Hospital in Nandaime has very gratefully received.
We will be holding the Honour Student Banquet this year on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at the Rotary Complex.
Guests: Laura Carter – Stratford, Laura Pogson - Festival City Rotary Club, Myrna Inglis - Walkerton Rotary Club, District grant chair
Foundation Draw: Donated by an Anonymous Donour and won by Basil Hurst.
Make-ups: no report
Please, if you do a make-up, please send me an email at naroutzidis@naeng.com.
February’s Attendance Committee: Ryan Erb (I/C), Rick Orr, Elizabeth Gaffney, Dan Kane, Debra Swan, Michael Fox, Katelyn Aitcheson, Clare McCallum, Wendy Anderson.