LSM Newswire

Friday, April 17, 2009

Previews begin for Shavian Restoration comedy In Good King Charles's Golden Days


Preview performances of In Good King Charless Golden Days, George Bernard Shaws Restoration romp begin Friday, April 17, 2009, at the Royal George Theatre.

A religious leader (Ric Reid), an artist (Ken James Stewart) and Charles II, the Merrie Monarch (Benedict Campbell), meet at Sir Isaac Newtons (Graeme Somerville) house. The set-up for a joke? No, its Shaws Restoration comedy, where debates on everything from geometry to art to love potions ensue.

First produced in 1939, Shaws history lesson in three acts is a witty and decidedly Shavian take on some great men (and women) of history. The plays subtitle, "A True History that Never Happened", gives insight into Shaws whimsical approach to this fascinating and humorous discussion piece. Shaw pondered what would happen if several prominent and influential men of history met at the height of their powers? What debates and discussions would this gathering inspire? And what if this discussion was, on occasion, interrupted by one or several of the Kings mistresses? The result is a lively dialogue spanning both the serious and comedic on a wide-range of topics.

Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell considers this brilliant ensemble piece a glorious opportunity for our actors to display their unparalleled gifts for Shavian comic mayhem. In Good King Charless Golden Days also features Shaw Ensemble members Laurie Paton, Esther Maloney, Mary Haney, Nicola Correia-Damude, Claire Jullien, Lisa Codrington and Andrew Bunker.

Directed by Eda Holmes, director of last seasons The Little Foxes and the highly acclaimed 2004 Shaw Festival production of the musical Floyd Collins, In Good King Charless Golden Days has set design by Camellia Koo, costume design by Michael Gianfrancesco, lighting design by Bonnie Beecher and fight direction by John Stead. The stage management team includes Stage Manager Beatrice Campbell, Assistant Stage Manager Barry Burns and Production Stage Manager Judy Farthing.

In Good King Charless Golden Days begins preview performances Friday, April 17; opens Thursday, May 21; and plays in repertory until Friday, October 9. In Good King Charless Golden Days is generously sponsored by the Producers Circle.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shaw Festival: Successful 47th Season Closes


Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, November 17, 2008 . . . The Shaw Festivals 47th season came to a close on November 16 with attendance 6% ahead of last season. After a successful hold-over of Shaws popular comedy, Getting Married, Executive Director Colleen Blake released the attendance results of the season, noting: Despite the many tourism challenges facing us throughout the 2008 season rising gas prices, a strong Canadian dollar and ongoing border issues we are thrilled that The Shaw has produced such strong box office results.

For the 2008 season, box office revenues reached $14.9 million (9% ahead of last season) with attendance reaching 281,000 or 70% of capacity for 792 performances. This represents an attendance increase of 6% over the previous year. The Shaws box office revenues represent an overall economic impact of close to $100 million on the Niagara region.

Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell commented on the artistic success of the season: It is both gratifying and heartening to see our audience respond so strongly and enthusiastically to all areas of our programming. From virtually unknown pieces such as The Stepmother and After the Dance to revisioned Shaw favourites, from Sondheim in the Court House and Bernstein in the Festival to our lunchtime smash hit, audiences embraced them all.

Tickets for the 2009 season went on sale to Shaw Festival Members on November 8. Sales to the general public begin January 5 by mail, fax and on-line and January 10 by phone or in person. Details are available on the Shaw website www.shawfest.com or by calling 1-800-511-SHAW (7429).

Audited financial reports will be available January 23 at The Shaws Annual General Meeting, to be held at the Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

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

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shaw Festival Announces 2009 Principal Casting

Shaw Festival Announces 2009 Principal Casting

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, October 29, 2008 Ķ Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell today announced the principal casting and creative teams for the Shaw Festivals 2009 season. The 2009 playbill includes full productions of each play in Nol Cowards Tonight at 8:30, a celebrated collection of ten brilliant short plays brought to life on all three of the Festivals stages. A world premiere, this marks the first time all ten plays have been presented together in repertory theatre history. On August 8, 29 and September 19 The Shaw presents all ten plays in one day, an event appropriately named Mad Dogs and Englishmen. The season also includes Bernard Shaws The Devils Disciple and In Good King Charless Golden Days, a limited run of John Osbornes The Entertainer in our new Studio Theatre, four additional full productions, and the popular reading series of contemporary Shavian writers. The season runs from April 1 to November 1 in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The Shaw Festival welcomes back Company members Michael Ball, Neil Barclay, Donna Belleville, Andrew Bunker, Fiona Byrne, Benedict Campbell, Krista Colosimo, Nicol Correia-Damude, Sharry Flett, Patrick Galligan, Mary Haney, Deborah Hay, Patty Jamieson, David Jansen, Gabrielle Jones, Claire Jullien, Lorne Kennedy, Peter Krantz, Thom Marriott, Julie Martell, Marla McLean, Peter Millard, Moya OConnell, Laurie Paton, Gray Powell, Ric Reid, David Schurmann, Goldie Semple, Graeme Somerville, Jay Turvey, Mark Uhre and Jenny L. Wright. In keeping with the Festivals emphasis on nurturing the careers of emerging theatre artists, several new members of the Company return in featured roles in 2009, including Kawa Ada, Beryl Bain, Lisa Codrington, Billy Lake, Ali Momen, Ken James Stewart, Richard Stewart, Jonathan Widdifield and Robin Evan Willis.

Festival favourites Evan Buliung, Patricia Hamilton, Corrine Koslo, Jim Mezon, Steven Sutcliffe and Wendy Thatcher return after absences from The Shaws stages. Newcomers Kyle Blair, Saccha Dennis and Kelly Wong are warmly welcomed to The Shaws Ensemble.

In making the announcement, Jackie Maxwell noted: The creativity and multi-faceted character of our world renowned Ensemble of actors, directors and designers allows us to embark with great brio on an ambitious season. The staging of Tonight at 8:30, in particular, requires great versatility in the acting company and innovation and imagination from our directors and designers. Im thrilled to welcome to The Shaw for the 2009 season and to welcome back many of Canadas top theatre artists.

The Festival is also pleased to announce that Blair Williams will direct the Tonight at 8:30 production Ways of the Heart, which will include The Astonished Heart, Family Album, and Ways and Means, in the Court House Theatre. A veteran Shaw actor, Mr. Williams made his directorial debut at The Shaw in 2008, to great critical and audience acclaim, with Ferenc Molnrs The President.

Creative teams and primary and secondary castings include the following:

FESTIVAL THEATRE

Tonight at 8:30:
Brief Encounters

(Still Life, We Were Dancing, Hands Across the Sea)

by Nol Coward

Previews April 11 Opens May 20 Closes October 24

Sponsored by: CIBC World Markets

Directed by Jackie Maxwell, designed by William Schmuck, lighting designed by Kevin Lamotte, original music and sound design by John Gzowski, video designed by Adam Larsen, choreography by Valerie Moore

Featuring Deborah Hay and Patrick Galligan, Corrine Koslo and Thom Marriott, with Krista Colosimo, Gray Powell and Goldie Semple.

Born Yesterday

by Garson Kanin

Previews May 5 Opens May 23 Closes November 1

Sponsored by: Sun Life Financial

Directed by Neil Munro, designed by Sue LePage, lighting designed by Alan Brodie

Featuring Deborah Hay as Billie Dawn, Thom Marriott as Brock, and Gray Powell as Paul, with Donna Belleville, Patrick Galligan, Lorne Kennedy and Ali Momen.

The Devils Disciple

by Bernard Shaw

Previews June 14 Opens July 9 Closes October 11

Directed by Tadeusz Bradecki, designed by Peter Hartwell, lighting designed by Kevin Lamotte

Featuring Evan Buliung as Dick Dudgeon, Fiona Byrne as Judith Anderson, and Peter Krantz as Anthony Anderson, with Donna Belleville, Jim Mezon, Peter Millard, Richard Stewart and Jonathan Widdifield.

COURT HOUSE THEATRE

A Moon for the Misbegotten

by Eugene ONeill

Previews April 28 Opens May 23 Closes October 9

Sponsored by: Scotiabank Group

Directed by Joseph Ziegler, designed by Christina Poddubiuk, lighting designed by Louise Guinand

Featuring Moya OConnell as Josie, David Jansen as James Tyrone, and Jim Mezon as Phil.

Albertine in Five Times

by Michel Tremblay, in a new translation by Linda Gaboriau

Previews June 24 Opens July 10 Closes October 10

Directed by Micheline Chevrier, designed by Teresa Przybylski, lighting designed by Ereca Hassell, original music and sound design by Marc Desormeaux

Featuring Nicol Correia-Damude, Patricia Hamilton, Mary Haney, Marla McLean, Wendy Thatcher and Jenny L. Wright.

Tonight at 8:30:

Ways of the Heart

(The Astonished Heart, Family Album, Ways and Means)

by Nol Coward

Previews July 21 Opens August 1 Closes October 11

Directed by Blair Williams, set designed by Sue LePage, costumes designed by Judith Bowden, lighting designed by Louise Guinand

Featuring Claire Jullien, Laurie Paton and David Jansen, with Michael Ball, Andrew Bunker and Lisa Codrington.

ROYAL GEORGE THEATRE

In Good King Charless Golden Days

by Bernard Shaw

Previews April 17 Opens May 21 Closes October 9

Sponsored by Producers Circle

Directed by Eda Holmes, set designed by Camellia Koo, costumes designed by Michael Gianfrancesco, lighting designed by Bonnie Beecher

Featuring Benedict Campbell as Charles II, Graeme Somerville as Isaac Newton, Laurie Paton as Catherine of Braganza and Ric Reid as Fox, with Andrew Bunker, Lisa Codrington, Nicol Correia-Damude, Mary Haney and Claire Jullien.

Sunday in the Park with George

Book by James Lapine, Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Previews April 1 Opens May 22 Closes November 1

Sponsored by: TD Canada Trust Music

Directed by Alisa Palmer, musical direction by Paul Sportelli, designed by Judith Bowden, lighting designed by Alan Brodie

Featuring Steven Sutcliffe as George/George and Julie Martell as Dot/Marie, with Sharry Flett, Jay Turvey and Mark Uhre.

Tonight at 8:30:

Play, Orchestra, Play

(Red Peppers, Fumed Oak, Shadow Play)

by Nol Coward

Previews June 9 Opens July 11 Closes October 31

Directed by Christopher Newton, musical direction by Paul Sportelli, designed by Cameron Porteous, lighting designed by Louise Guinand

Featuring Patty Jamieson, Jay Turvey and Steven Sutcliffe, with Wendy Thatcher.

Lunchtime:
Tonight at 8:30:

Star Chamber

Previews June 25 Opens July 11 Closes October 11

by Nol Coward

Directed by Kate Lynch, designed by William Schmuck, lighting designed by Kirsten Watt

Featuring Neil Barclay, Evan Buliung, Fiona Byrne, Sharry Flett, Gabrielle Jones, Marla McLean, Mark Uhre and Jenny L. Wright.

In the New STUDIO THEATRE:

The Entertainer

by John Osborne

Previews July 31 Opens August 15 Closes September 20

Sponsored by Paradigm Capital Inc.

Directed by Jackie Maxwell, designed by Peter Hartwell, lighting designed by Kevin Lamotte

Featuring Benedict Campbell as Archie, David Schurmann as Billy Rice, and Corrine Koslo as Phoebe, with Krista Colosimo and Ken James Stewart.

READING SERIES:

August 16 Ourselves Alone, by Anne Devlin, director TBA

August 30 Her Naked Skin, by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, directed by Eda Holmes

September 12 Topdog/Underdog, by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Philip Akin

September 27 Maria Severa, by Paul Sportelli and Jay Turvey, directed by Jackie Maxwell

Tickets for the 2009 season go on sale to Shaw Festival Members on November 8 and sales to the general public begin January 5 by mail, fax or online and on January 10 by phone or in person.

Tonight at 8:30 is generously supported by Lombard Insurance, Media Partners CTV and The Globe and Mail, and Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Shaw Festival Artistic Director To Receive Herbert Whittaker Award

Shaw Festival Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell to Receive Herbert Whittaker Award


Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, October 1, 2008 Ķ The Shaw Festival is thrilled to acknowledge that on Monday, October 6 Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell will be awarded the 2008 Herbert Whittaker/Drama Bench Award for Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Theatre.

The recipient of this prestigious award is chosen annually by the members of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association. Since 1982 the Award has been given to some of Canadas most respected theatre practitioners. Recent recipients include Joy Coghill, Monique Mercure, Brent Carver and Robert LePage.

On hearing that she was to receive the award, Ms. Maxwell said, How wonderful to receive this award which takes us away from the wear and tear of opening nights and reviews and focuses us on the long-term work we are all striving to do - making and celebrating theatre which will linger in our audience's minds and hearts long after the curtain falls. I am touched and honoured.

Under Ms. Maxwells creative leadership, the work produced on the Shaw Festivals stages has been characterized by a spirit of discovery, with classics from the period of Bernard Shaws lifetime reexamined with thoughtfulness and vitality and juxtaposed with contemporary explorations of the mandate.

Born and educated in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Jackie Maxwell studied Drama at the University of Manchester. She acted in both Ireland and England before coming to Canada in 1978. Throughout her long and varied career in Canada, Ms. Maxwell has worked extensively as a freelance director and been instrumental in programme creation at many theatre companies, including the National Arts Centre as Associate Director, Factory Theatre as Artistic Director (1986 to 1994), and the Charlottetown Festival as Head of New Play Development.

Ms. Maxwell has been dramaturge and teacher for several Canadian theatre schools, most notably the National Theatre School in Montreal. For eight years she was Guest Artist/Lecturer at the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama at the University of Toronto. In October 2005 Ms. Maxwell was the recipient of the National Theatre Schools prestigious Gascon-Thomas Award, recognizing her exceptional achievements in Canadian theatre, and last year she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities from the University of Windsor.

The Herbert Whittaker Award is named for the late Critic Emeritus of The Globe and Mail, who was also the Founding Chairman of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association. Mr. Whittaker had a long and distinguished career in Canada as a theatre critic and author.

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


Labels: , ,

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shaw Festival Announces Fall Lecture Series

Shaw Festival Announces Fall Lecture Series

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, September 24, 2008 Ķ The Shaw Festival is thrilled to announce its second fall celebrity lecture series: Four Lectures in the Provocative Spirit of Bernard Shaw. Funded by the Government of Ontarios Celebrate Ontario Festival and Event Enhancement initiative, The Shaw will present lectures by Seymour Hersh, Stevie Cameron, Tomson Highway and Dr. Samantha Nutt.

Inspired by the brilliance, bravery, humanity and humour of Bernard Shaw, the Shaw Festival is a crucible of progressive and provocative ideas which illuminate our understanding of todays world. Relevant and engaging theatre on the festivals three stages is enhanced each season with a robust education program. Like Shaws, the work of these four prominent and passionate speakers shines light on the dilemmas of our world, encouraging us all to take action.

On announcing this years lecture series, Shaw Festival Executive Director Colleen Blake said: The speakers we will present in our lecture series this year illustrate how the provocative spirit of Bernard Shaw still lives in discussions about todays critical world issues. We were thrilled with the audience reception to last years inaugural series, which included Ken Wiwa, Mary Walsh, Sir Salman Rushdie and Tim Flannery, and are delighted that, thanks to the Government of Ontario, we are able to continue the series this season.

Seymour Hersh October 12, 2008

Seymour Hersh is one of Americas most respected and groundbreaking investigative journalists. He has broken some of the biggest cover ups of the modern era -- from My Lai to Abu Ghraib -- and his work continues to uncover deceit and challenge corruption at the highest levels. In his analysis of U.S. foreign policy, he exposes the often shadowy world where official foreign policy stance meets political reality in other parts of the world. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Hersh is also the author of Chain of Command and The Dark Side of Camelot.

Stevie Cameron October 19, 2008

Award-winning journalist Stevie Cameron is also a successful author, commentator, humanitarian and founding editor of Elm Street Magazine. Cameron's passion for writing, uncovering and dissecting stories of the day have earned her acclaim as one of Canada's foremost investigative journalists. In her lectures, Cameron takes a critical look at Canadian politics, business, society and the future.

Tomson Highway October 26, 2008

Tomson Highway is a playwright, author, musician, multilingual speaker, member of the Order of Canada and recipient of five doctorates. Throughout his life, he has overcome incredible obstacles, including the residential school system, prejudice, and struggles to have his work recognized, to become one of Canadas foremost aboriginal and creative voices.

Dr. Samantha Nutt November 2, 2008

Dr. Samantha Nutt is Founder and Executive Director of War Child Canada. A medical doctor with over 13 years experience working in war zones and committed to peace, human rights and social justice, her ambition has always been to help war-affected women and children. Called one of 12 Canadians making a difference by Macleans Magazine, she has received numerous awards for her work, including Canadas Top 40 Under 40 Award.

Each lecture will be held at 11 am in the Royal George Theatre, 85 Queen St., Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Tickets are $20 each or $65 for the series and $10 each for students. Tickets are available online at www.shawfest.com or by calling the Shaw Festival Box Office at 1-800-511-7429 or 905-468-2172.

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

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shaw Festival Announces 2009 Season


The Idea

Shaw Ķ Coward Ķ Osborne? The ideas of these playwrights rocked society far beyond the confines of the theatre world. The Shaw Festivals 2009 season celebrates the brilliance of the work of these writers and opens up a new corner of its mandate to show the continuum of provocative theatre The Shaw is renowned for producing. In announcing the 2009 Season today, Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell said, Were thrilled to be embarking on our 2009 adventure. Two exciting events will be highlights of the season: a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of one of Bernard Shaws most famous contemporaries, fellow provocateur Noel Coward, and a new initiative in a new space with a new writer for The Shaw. Well do that and well present an additional six remarkable plays, while continuing our exploration of contemporary Shavian writers in our reading series. The choices made this season play to the strengths of our multi-faceted and extraordinary Company and are made in concert with our ongoing emphasis on nurturing the careers of emerging theatre artists and developing new work for our stages. Welcome aboard, and enjoy the ride.

The Reality

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, September 23, 2008 . . . Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell officially announced the Shaw Festivals 2009 season today. In 2009 The Shaw takes on a monumental and historic project with full productions of each play in Noel Cowards famous Tonight at 8:30 collection. The Shaws 2009 productions represent the first time all ten short plays have been performed in repertory by a professional company since they were first produced by Londons Phoenix Theatre in 1935-36. The plays will be performed in sets of three, one on each of the Festivals Niagara-on-the-Lake stages, with the tenth, the rarely produced Star Chamber, being the lunchtime production in the Royal George. And to celebrate this idea for the event that it is, on two separate occasions, we will present all ten in one day an event we are appropriately naming Mad Dogs and Englishmen.

Ms. Maxwell said of the collection: As the idea of doing all of Cowards Tonight at 8:30 came to me, and as I reread the plays, I was struck that each one is a brilliant jewel like the best short stories some well known, some not. As is typical of Coward who was always pushing the envelope in both form and content the ten plays vary hugely. There are out-and-out comedies, heart-wrenching dramas, fantasy musicals and historical tales. Coward is a brilliant miniaturist, a master storyteller, and any group of these plays, seen together, is a truly satisfying evening at the theatre. The experience of seeing them in one fell swoop, for those who are game, will be thrilling indeed.

English actor, playwright and composer Noel Coward (1899-1973) is renowned for his full-length plays The Vortex, Hay Fever, Easy Virtue, Bitter Sweet, Cavalcade, Private Lives and Design for Living, most of which have been produced by The Shaw. His ambitious Tonight at 8:30 cycle, which he wrote and starred in with his frequent stage partner Gertrude Lawrence, was originally written to be performed in combinations of three plays for a different playbill each night.

Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell will direct the first set of plays, in the Festival Theatre. Titled Brief Encounters, this includes Still Life, We Were Dancing and Hands Across the Sea. The Royal George set, directed by Artistic Director Emeritus Christopher Newton, titled Play, Orchestra, Play, will include Red Peppers, Fumed Oak and Shadow Play. The Court House group, director to be announced, titled Ways of the Heart, will include Ways and Means, Family Album and The Astonished Heart. Kate Lynch will direct the lunchtime Star Chamber. Music plays a huge role throughout Tonight at 8:30 and The Shaws Music Director Paul Sportelli will be Music Director for the whole project.

John Osborne (1929-1994), playwright, activist and the original inspiration for the phrase angry young man, revolutionized English theatre in 1956 with his play Look Back in Anger. An outspoken critic of The Establishment and the monarchy, as well as English theatre, Osborne combined unsparing truthfulness with devastating wit. In 2009 The Shaw will produce a limited run of Osbornes 1957 play The Entertainer, directed by Jackie Maxwell in the Festival Theatre Rehearsal Studio. The Entertainer, a boldly theatrical piece combining drama and vaudeville that Osborne wrote for Laurence Olivier, uses the metaphor of the dying music hall tradition to comment on the vicissitudes of post-war life in 1950s England. The production of both Tonight at 8:30 and The Entertainer in the 2009 season will create a vivid juxtaposition between Osbornes angry existential soul search and the polished work of Coward, while also revealing the deep connection between the two.

The 2009 playbill includes six additional full productions. The Shaws celebration of Cowards witty and subversive world sits perfectly beside the work of house wit and subversive, Bernard Shaw. Bernard Shaws exhilarating The Devils Disciple, last produced at The Shaw in 1996, is directed in 2009 by renowned Polish director Tadeusz Bradecki, and presented in the Festival Theatre. The upcoming American election and the ensuing new administration will provide a fascinating backdrop to Shaws drama of the struggles between England and her American colonies in the late 1700s. In the Royal George, Shaws hilarious satire of philosophy, playwriting and acting, In Good King Charless Golden Days, will be directed by Eda Holmes.

Garson Kanins classic comedy Born Yesterday, directed by Neil Munro, will share the Festival Theatre stage. An enduring story of a corrupt tycoon and his not-so-dumb blonde girlfriend, the play was a huge hit on Broadway in 1946 with Judy Holliday as Billie Dawn. Denouncing bribery, corruption and greedy corporate interests, this highly entertaining play could well have been written yesterday.

The Court House Theatre season also includes Eugene ONeills romantic drama A Moon for the Misbegotten, directed by Joseph Ziegler, who deftly handled ONeills Ah Wilderness for The Shaw in 2004. Continuing to programme Canadian classics, Michel Tremblays phenomenal Albertine in Five Times, in a new translation by Linda Gaboriau and directed by Micheline Chevrier, will complete the Court House season. The play, which provides a wonderful challenge for six female actors, is a brilliant deconstruction of the life of Albertine, a complex, troubled woman who appears in many of Tremblays plays and is one of theatres most mercurial characters.

Building on the success of the 2008 seasons A Little Night Music and Follies: In Concert, The Shaw continues to explore the work of Stephen Sondheim with a production of Sunday in the Park with George, directed by Alisa Palmer, which explores the eternal conflict between life and art through the story of the French Impressionist painter Georges Seurat. The piece is a perfect fit with the intimate jewel-box setting of the Royal George Theatre.

The Shaw Festivals popular reading series of contemporary Shavian writers continues to be an integral component of each season and an important area of growth for the Company. For the reading series, Jackie Maxwell and director Eda Holmes choose full-length plays that represent contemporary writing at its best witty and compelling, with a distinct modern-day perspective. Like Shaws, the work of these writers centres on the critical examination of the times and communities in which they live. The 2009 Reading Series focuses on diverse female playwrights with a political voice. It includes the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Topdog/Underdog, a bitingly funny, hard-hitting examination of poverty in America by African-American playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Obsidian Theatres Artistic Director Phil Akin, and further titles to be announced.

The reading series is often informed by The Shaws play development work. As part of the 2009 reading series The Shaw also presents a new musical based on the brief life of Maria Severa Onofriana, a famous Portuguese fado singer who achieved near-mythical status after her death. Maria Severa is written by Shaw Festival Music Director Paul Sportelli and Ensemble member Jay Turvey, whose musical Tristan received its world premiere at The Shaw in 2007.

The Shaws play development programme is actively engaged with writers, providing dramaturgical support, playwright-in-residence opportunities and workshops with actors, often working towards producing new work for The Shaws stages. In addition to Maria Severa, other projects in development include an adaptation of Oscar Wildes The Canterville Ghost by Robin Patterson, Artistic Director of St. Catharines Theatre Beyond Words; Kaj Munk by Dave Carley, The Shaws 2008 playwright-in-residence; an adaptation, by Associate Director Neil Munro, of Henrik Ibsens The Master Builder; and an exciting new project with Cahoots Theatre Projects exploring and developing work from Asia and China of the mandate period.

For theatregoers who like to dig a little deeper into the world of plays, playwrights, theatre artists, and the world backstage, the 2009 season is complemented by Shaw Enriched, an extensive offering of seminars, workshops and other entertaining and informative behind-the-scenes experiences.

Regular ticket prices for the 2009 season range from $30 to $110 including GST. For Special Matinees, student tickets are $25 and senior tickets are $40. Lunchtime ticket prices are $30. Sunday night performances are available all season from $45 to $60 and, for patrons aged 19-29, $30 tickets are available for most performances. Preview prices are $55 to $70. Family tickets are available in each theatre: for each regularly-priced ticket purchased, one or two youth tickets (18 years or under) may be purchased for just $30. New in 2009 are specially designated $30 seats for most Festival Theatre performances.

Tickets for the 2009 season go on sale to Shaw Festival Members according to Membership level starting November 8. Tickets go on sale to groups and schools on January 5. Tickets go on sale to The Shaws high-loyalty customers on January 3 and to the general public by mail, fax or online on January 5 and by phone or in person on January 10.

Tonight at 8:30 is generously supported by Lombard Insurance.

Shaw Festivals 2009 Season at a Glance

Production

Author

Director/

Designer

Previews

Opens

Closes

Stage

Sponsor

Brief Encounters (1935/36))

Noel Coward

Jackie Maxwell/
William Schmuck

April 11

May 20

October 24

Festival

CIBC World Markets

In Good King Charless Golden Days (1939)

Bernard Shaw

Eda Holmes/

Camellia Koo/

Michael Gianfresco

April 17

May 21

October 9

Royal George

TBD

Sunday in the Park with George (1984)

James Lapine/Stephen Sondheim

Alisa Palmer/

Judith Bowden

April 1

May 22

November 1

Royal George

TD Canada Trust Music

A Moon for the Misbegotten (1947)

Eugene ONeill

Joseph Ziegler/

Christina Poddubiuk

April 28

May 23

October 9

Court House

Scotiabank Group

Born Yesterday (1946)

Garson Kanin

Neil Munro/

Sue LePage

May 5

May 23

November 1

Festival

Sun Life Financial

Play, Orchestra, Play (1935/36)

Noel Coward

Christopher Newton/

Cameron Porteous

June 9

July 11

October 31

Royal George

TBD

Albertine in Five Times (1986)

Michel Tremblay, Linda Gaboriau

Micheline Chevrier/

Teresa Przybylski

June 24

July 10

October 10

Court House

TBD

Star Chamber (1935/36)

Noel Coward

Kate Lynch/

William Schmuck

June 25

July 11

October 11

Royal George

TBD

The Devils Disciple (1897)

Bernard Shaw

Tadeusz Bradecki/

Peter Hartwell

June 14

July 9

October 11

Festival

TBD

Ways of the Heart (1935/36)

Noel Coward

TBD/

Sue LePage/

Judith Bowden

July 21

August 1

October 11

Court House

TBD

The Entertainer (1957)

John Osborne

Jackie Maxwell/

Peter Hartwell

July 31

August 15

September 20

Rehearsal Studio

TBD

* titles and dates subject to change

Labels: , , , ,