In the spirit of Bernard Shaw, the Shaw Festival produces theatre that delights, provokes the mind and stirs the soul through an experience so compelling that artists, audiences and supporters are drawn to our work in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and beyond.
As the Festival embarks on the first season of its next half century, Shaw’s compelling quest for the truth will stalwartly remain at the heart of the Shaw Festival; while the Festival will continue to move forward – embracing new writers, revealing new worlds, exploring new approaches to classic plays. The Shaw Festival will showcase the best in Contemporary Theatrical Thought — past, present and future, while still celebrating what Shaw and the Festival so passionately believe in — provocative, challenging stories told with humanity and wit.
At its inception, the Shaw Festival specialized exclusively in plays by George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries and is renowned internationally for both single-handedly revitalizing and re-energizing the works of Bernard Shaw (as he preferred to be addressed) and for tackling the vast array of theatre pieces in the mandate period — presenting them anew to appreciative theatre audiences. In 2000, The Shaw’s mandate was expanded to include contemporary plays written about the period of Bernard Shaw’s life, 1856-1950. The mandate was expanded once again in 2009 to include the work of contemporary Shavians – writers whose work, like Shaw’s, continue to question the status quo and rail at the powers-that-be in new and different ways. Today, the Shaw Festival is a theatre company inspired by the work of Bernard Shaw; producing plays from and about his era and contemporary plays that share Shaw’s provocative exploration of society and celebration of humanity.
All really good theatre contains an element of surprise. Be it large – say an unforeseen political upheaval – or small – perhaps a personal moment of discovery – the effect is the same. We entered the theatre with a set of expectations and suddenly they have shifted. We must now sit up in our seats, lean forward and follow a new idea – just like the characters onstage. In other words, we are now fully engaged … perfect!
An open heart and a curious mind are all you need to be taken on the most wonderfully surprising journeys at The Shaw this season …
We will do the rest!