MSU Friends of the Theatre Stratford Trips

Written by Linda Dolecki.

Classic Travel has just escorted a wonderful group of MSU Friends of the Theatre once again to Stratford, Ontario and I would like to share a little history about this group. This group has existed for 24 years and it originally began under the auspices of the Dean’s Community Council probably in 1987 when the council was founded and continued annually until 2000 when the DCC was dissolved. After the demise of the DCC, the trip was sponsored by the Summer Circle Theatre formed in 1995 which evolved into the Friends of Theatre in 2008.

In the past the trips have appealed to people who have an appreciation for theatre and Shakespeare. They want good seats, nice accommodations, good food and the assistance of an escort, all of which we do. I suspect that the trips have been successful because we combine great theatre and good education with sociability and fun.

Ever since 1995 Professor Gochberg has been the “Professor in Residence” on the trip. He is a Shakespeare scholar and a retired professor from the Department of Humanities and the English Department of MSU. He is also a sometime actor in the Lansing area. He joins us because he loves theatre, Shakespeare, Stratford and teaching. Don lectures on the plays on the bus and at the hotel, while Joan, his wife, plays the piano for all to sing along to the tunes of the musical they will be attending.

On September 9-11, 2011, forty people including four MSU students, set out from East Lansing for Stratford, Ontario to attend the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. The trip sold out once again as it has for the past 2 years. The group attended three plays: Twelfth Night, Merry Wives of Windsor and Camelot. The one attraction that the group seems to enjoy is the group lecture/discussions that are held on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Sometimes the discussions are so animated that no one wants to stop for lunch.

Classic Travel has arranged these great trips for the past 3 years. The packages include three theatre tickets (A+ seats), travel on a luxury motor coach, accommodations at The Arden Park Hotel for two night and box lunches for both directions on the bus. We also reserve dining for Friday and Saturday night for those who would like to attend. Some people like to shop on Saturday, take a backstage tour or take in another show so we have the bus driver take them downtown and pick them up.

At the end of the trip we ask all passengers to fill out a survey and all who did considered it an extremely successful trip. We are looking forward in doing another trip in 2012 and will have all the plays and details out by January 2012. If anyone is interested in joining the Friends of Theatre or to be put on our mailing list for future trips please email or contact Linda Dolecki at Classic Travel at 517-349-6200 or

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