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A theatre by any other name...

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STRATFORD, Ont. -- The Stratford theatre festival is taking the word Shakespeare out of its official name.

The southwestern Ontario organization will now be known as The Stratford Festival -- the same name it had until 2008, when the Bard's name was inserted.

The renowned repertory theatre festival has also unveiled a new logo as it tries to establish itself "as an unrivalled theatrical, intellectual and emotional retreat."

The name and logo changes were announced Thursday as Antoni Cimolino officially took over as artistic director from Des McAnuff.

"Stratford Festival is the name that we have used for most of our 60 years," Cimolino said in a statement.

"It is simple and direct, it resonates with people and it carries our legacy of quality and success. The name connects powerfully with audiences and allows us to best convey the breadth and depth of the seasons we are planning to present.

"We have discussed this idea for some time and it has broad support amongst artists and staff, as well as members of the board, who agreed this was the right time to make the change. When I spoke to Des McAnuff about my decision, he gave his complete and enthusiastic support."

The festival's 2013 season will include Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Fiddler on the Roof, The Three Musketeers and Tommy.

Tickets go on sale to members on Nov. 11 and to the general public on Jan. 5.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2012 D6

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