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Advocates, writers, activists and creators at Meighen Forum

Celebrated speakers Wole Soyinka, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Tomson Highway, Salman Rushdie and others are part of the vibrant 10th anniversary season
Tom Patterson
Tom Patterson Theatre is one of the venues for the Celebrated Speakers series.

The Stratford Festival has curated a season of speaking engagements to mark the tenth season of the Meighen Forum. These speakers will take listeners behind the curtain of this year's productions and explore the topics reflected in the 2022 playbill. 

“We are celebrating the tenth season of the Meighen Forum this year, with a brand new home in Lazaridis Hall,” Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino said in a release. “I am thrilled with the magnificent roster of guests who will join us in Stratford. Their contributions add enormously to the play-going experience for our patrons and help make a visit to Stratford a true escape, giving people an opportunity to tune into world events in a deep and engaging manner.”

The Meighen Forum will offer more than 160 events this season, including the Celebrated Speakers series, which will begin July 8 with Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka. The series continues throughout the Festival season and features artists such as Ann-Marie MacDonald, Tomson Highway, Adam Gopnik, Bev Sellars, Ray Dalio and Salman Rushdie. 

Wole Soyinka will join CBC's Nahlah Ayed to discuss Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth, his first novel in fifty years, and his seminal work Death and the King’s Horseman, which will be a highlight of the Stratford Festival’s 2022 season. This event will take place Friday, July 8 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Avon Theatre.

Author, actor and playwright, Ann-Marie MacDonald will be joined by Rachel Giese for a conversation about her writing career, her creative inspirations and her new play Hamlet-911, which opens at the Festival in August. MacDonald is scheduled to appear on Sunday, Aug. 7 from 10:30 a.m. to Noon. at Lazaridis Hall at The Tom Patterson Theatre.

Tomson Highway, one of Canada’s foremost Indigenous writers, will join Festival Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino for a talk about his music, his place in the Canadian canon, and his award-winning new memoir, Permanent Astonishment, on Sunday, Aug. 14 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Tom Patterson Theatre.

Highway will make a second appearance at the Meighen Forum with Songs in the Key of Cree, a cabaret featuring songs from some of his musicals Rose; The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito; The (Post) Mistress; and The Sage, the Dancer, and the Fool. It will be performed on Monday, Aug. 15 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., also at the Tom Patterson Theatre. Tickets are $29.

Award-winning author Adam Gopnik shares his thoughts with Antoni Cimolino on Molière’s talent for satire, his influence on theatre history and his continued resonance in the modern world, as we mark the 400th anniversary of the great French playwright’s birth on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 10:30 a.m. to Noon, at Lazaridis Hall.

Author and advocate Bev Sellars will premiere her play 1939 at the Festival this season. 1939 is partially based on her memoir, They Called Me Number One, and on her experiences in the residential institution St Joseph’s Mission. Hear her story and her thoughts on how to move with truth toward reconciliation on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Lazaridis Hall.

American philanthropist Ray Dalio is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Principles and founder of the investment firm Bridgewater Associates. Dalio was named to Time magazine’s “Time 100” list in 2012. He speaks with Antoni Cimolino on Friday, Oct. 7, from 10:30 a.m. to Noon at the Avon Theatre.

Award-winning author Salman Rushdie will end the 2022 season of Celebrated Speakers. Rushdie will examine and celebrate that age-old impulse in the two decades worth of essays, criticism and speeches that are now gathered together in his latest book, Languages of Truth. In this exclusive interview, Rushdie is joined by acclaimed journalist Nahlah Ayed for an intimate conversation about his life and work. Everyone attending this event will receive a copy of Languages of Truth signed by the author. The event runs Saturday, Oct. 22 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Avon Theatre.

Tickets for the Celebrated Speakers series at the Meighen Forum start at $27 and can be ordered by calling 1-800-567-1600 or by visiting the website,, where you can explore the entire Meighen Forum, including Comedy at the Forum, Funny Forum Fridays, CBC’s Ideas at Stratford, special events with visiting journalists from The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune, Peer into the Playbill, Monday Night Music, Contemporary Work, Play by the Book play readings and free Forum events: Meet the Festival, Talking Theatre and Lobby Talks. Meighen Forum events continue until Oct. 26.