Stage Door News

Niagara-on-the-Lake: Shaw epic comedy “Man and Superman” begins previews August 17

Friday, August 16, 2019

Man and Superman with Don Juan in Hell begins its limited 17 performance run at The Shaw’s Festival Theatre beginning August 17. Directed by the Festival’s Intern Artistic Director Kimberley Rampersad, The Shaw’s production presents all four stimulating, life-affirming acts – including Don Juan in Hell, the often separately staged dream-act. Part romantic comedy, part social-philosophical debate and part fantastical fable, Man and Superman with Don Juan in Hell ponders life’s essential questions with classic Shaw repartee and wit. 

Ann Whitefield (Sara Topham) has been left in the care of her childhood friend Jack Tanner (Gray Powell), a radical thinker and confirmed bachelor. Tanner takes it as read that Ann will marry Octavius (Kyle Blair), the poet who hopelessly adores her, but it soon becomes clear that Jack could not be more wrong. What follows is a dynamic debate for the ages, in which surrender to the Life Force seems both irrational and inevitable. Man and Superman with Don Juan in Hell also features Martha Burns as Mendoza and The Devil, and Tom McCamus in the roles of Goatherd, Officer and Mr. Malone.

While set in the early 1900s, Camellia Koo’s scenic and costume design hints at a present-day sensibility. A constantly shifting set creates a feeling of openness and transparency, allowing elements of nature to infiltrate the ordered world of Edwardian society. Kevin Lamotte’s lighting completes and accentuates this production’s various landscapes and multiverses. Influenced by Mozart’s Don Giovanni, set and costumes for the show’s third act – the visit to Hell – presents their own distinct palette and style, along with an original period-to-electronic music composition by Joseph Tritt

Man and Superman with Don Juan in Hell is on stage at the Festival Theatre (10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake) from August 17 to October 5. Production sponsorship is proudly provided by Tim and Frances Price and Corinne and Victor Rice, with support from the Andy Pringle Creative Reserve.

Performances start at 11 a.m. with a 70-minute lunch break. Specially created menu options are available for purchase and can be ordered at the time of ticket purchase. Lunch pricing is per person and not included in the price of tickets. Information on lunch options can be found at

Recommended for ages 14+. Approximate running time: 6 hours including two intermissions and a 70-minute lunch break.

The Shaw Festival’s 2019 season is on stage April 6 through December 22 featuring a playbill that includes The Horse and His Boy, Brigadoon, The Ladykillers, Man and Superman with Don Juan in Hell, Rope, Getting Married, The Russian Play, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Glass Menagerie, Sex, VictorySecret Theatre, A Christmas Carol and Holiday Inn. Tickets for the 2019 Festival season are available through the Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW and online at

Photo: Gray Powell. © 2018 Peter Andrew Lusztyk.