LSM Newswire

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Shaw Festival: Mrs Warren's Profession Previews

Previews begin at the Shaw Festival for Shaw Shocker Mrs Warrens Profession

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, July 8, 2008 Ķ Previews began on Sunday in the Festival Theatre for the Shaw Festivals production of Bernard Shaws still provocative Mrs Warrens Profession, directed by Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell.

Shaws story of the ultimate test of a mother-daughter relationship is one of his most enduring and best-loved plays. Mrs Kitty Warren (Mary Haney) has worked hard to provide for her daughter Vivie (Moya OConnell), to give her the genteel upbringing she never had. Now that Vivie is about to embark on her own career, Mrs Warren decides that it is time for her feminist daughter to finally learn the truth about her mothers profession. The shocking news sets the stage for a battle royal between mother and daughter about sex, love, money and morality.

The brilliant, high-stakes battles of Shaws women in this 1893 play reflect struggles of women and of society that still resonate today. With his frank discussion of prostitution, Shaw angered critics and censors so much with Mrs Warrens Profession that it was banned from performance in England for many years and actors were arrested at its first performance in New York. Never one to shy away from controversy, Shaw wrote of the play in a letter, Ah, when I wrote that, I had some nerve. Ultimately, however, at the heart of Shaws provocative social commentary is a complex and moving story of a mother and a daughter.

Once again Ms. Maxwell teams up with designer Sue LePage. Last season the two worked together on another of Shaws searing social and political commentaries, Saint Joan, which was hailed by audiences and critics alike.

The cast of Mrs Warrens Profession also includes Andrew Bunker as Frank Gardner, Benedict Campbell as Sir George Crofts, David Jansen as Praed and Ric Reid as Reverend Samuel Gardner, as well as Esther Maloney and Jonathan Widdifield.

Lighting for Mrs Warrens Profession is designed by Kevin Lamotte and original music is composed by Ryan deSouza. The stage management team includes Stage Manager Allan Teichman and Assistant Stage Manager Barry Burns.

Mrs Warrens Profession began preview performances Sunday, July 6; opens Friday, July 18; and plays in repertory until Saturday, November 1. For tickets and information, visit www.shawfest.com or call 1-800-511-7429 or 905-468-2172 (local).

Mrs Warrens Profession is sponsored by Zenith Insurance Company.

The 2008 season is proudly presented by HSBC Bank Canada/HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

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