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SummerArts: Theater

Shaw Festival (Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario)

10 Queens Street
Click here for schedule

(April 10 – October 28, 2012) There are many many Shakespeares out there, but there’s only one Shaw Festival. Located at gorgeous Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Shaw Festival is inspired by the work of the brilliant dramatist George Bernard Shaw. His writings are the focus of this annual Ontario theater festival, which is also dedicated to producing plays by Shaw’s contemporaries, as well as modern works set during the period of his long life, which lasted from 1856 to 1950. Only at the Shaw Festival will you see authentic spare-no-expense productions of Victorian dramas, rediscovered classics, and Canadian plays that otherwise go unproduced, either because they’ve been unjustly forgotten over the years or because most theater companies don’t have the resources necessary to put them on stage.

Though the chief joy of the Shaw Festival is seeing wonderful plays performed by its extraordinary acting ensemble in three handsome theaters, there are many other things to do when not taking in a show. Free Sunday concerts and educational seminars are offered as a part of the festival and Niagara itself has lots to enjoy, including markets and wineries, fishing and golfing, and historical sites such as Fort George.

Shaw Festival Information

  • Public Transportation: Good (bus, rail, and shuttle options are available)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Performances/Programs: 10–12 plays are produced each year April to October, with more than 800 performances. Performance schedule is generally Tuesday–Sunday
  • Admission: Ticket prices are $45–$105. Reading-series $18. Lunchtime one-act $27. Special discounts on regular and matinée performances are available for students and seniors. The $30 Under 30 program allows patrons between 19 and 29 years old to enjoy regularly priced performances at all three theatres for just $30. Ticket exchanges available with 24 hours notice and $4 fee
  • Group Discounts: Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more
  • Subscriptions: Several options are offered, including the Triple Play Flex Pass for $165, which allows subscribers to save up to 25% on three shows during the 2008 season; the Theatre Lovers Flex Pass offers subscribers four shows for $196 (save up to $104)
  • Educational/Community Outreach: Educational programs include Teacher Days, Career Days, tours, workshops, and pre- and post-show chats.