STRATFORD, Ontario (CelebrityAccess) — The season opener of the Stratford Festival was canceled on Monday night in the face of a bomb threat.
According to the CBC, Police in Stratford, Ont., said they were called to Stratford’s Festival Theatre at about 6:35 p.m. after festival organizers reported receiving information about explosives being placed at the festival.
Police evacuated more than 1,800 people from the venue, including actors and staff before sweeping the area for dangers, the CBC said. The nearby Avon Theatre was also ordered evacuated.
The Stratford festival was to launch with a performance of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ by director Antoni Cimolino. Cimolino told the CBC that the cancellation was “hugely disappointing” both to the audience to the performance’s actors.
“There’s a lot of preparation that goes on for months leading up carefully to an opening night — different previews, rehearsals — everything is calculated to get you right to the point where you’re ready to open the play,” Cimolino told the CBC on Tuesday.
Stratford Festival officials said that future events would have more security, including bag checks at entry and metal detectors.
Ann Swerdfager, the publicity director at for the festival, said in a statement Monday night that all ticket purchases would be honored and ticket holders for Monday’s performance will be contacted by festival staff.