STRATFORD FESTIVAL EXTENDS ANTONI CIMOLINO’S CONTRACT AS FESTIVAL REPORTS SIXTH STRAIGHT SURPLUS

Under Cimolino’s tenure as artistic director, the Ontario institution has seen six consecutive surpluses and attendance surpass the 500,000 mark.

Antoni Cimolino has been asked to stay on as artistic director of the Stratford Festival until 2024. (SCOTT WISHART)

There are two men who played a big part in a Stratford Festival season that saw a $1.9-million surplus and the festival’s highest ticket revenue in a decade.

One of them wore a corset, fishnet stockings and high heels onstage. The other, artistic director Antoni Cimolino, has been asked to stay on as head of the fest for an extra two years, until 2024.

Under Cimolino’s tenure as artistic director, the Ontario institution has seen six consecutive surpluses and attendance surpass the 500,000 mark.

In 2018, the festival’s longest season on record, attendance hit 502,605, up 10 per cent from the year before; about 105,000 of those patrons were newcomers, up from 86,000 the previous season.

Credit for those last figures must be shared with Dan Chameroy and the cast of The Rocky Horror Show, in which Chameroy starred as corset-clad, mad scientist transvestite Frank N. Furter.

Rocky Horror was a huge triumph and a big part of our success in 2018,” Cimolino said in a news release.

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