Stage Door News

Niagara-on-the-Lake: The Shaw Festival extends the cancellation of performances through June 30

Monday, April 6, 2020

The Shaw Festival is extending the cancellation of all public events and performances through June 30. This decision has been made in response to the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s declaration of a state of emergency and cancellation of all in-person events, meetings and programming through to the same date.

“You wouldn't believe how much great work this company is still doing, in spite of all the obstacles and uncertainty. Of course it is frustrating to be pushing back the date when we hope to perform, but I know we will be ready with deeper and better artistry than ever before. And I also know, because they tell me every day, how happy our audience will be to share it,” said Tim Carroll, Artistic Director. “I'd like to acknowledge the incredible support and love we have received from the whole theatre community. We are sending it back to all of you, with this thought: if there was ever any question that theatre satisfies a real human need, this experience has answered it.”

The Shaw will continue to monitor the situation to see if additional cancellations are required based on the direction and guidance of the municipal, provincial and federal governments, along with the public health units of Niagara, the province and the country. 

Ticket holders to the affected performances will have the full value of their tickets held on their account. At this time, the Shaw Festival’s administrative and box offices are closed by provincial order until April 20, however there is a small team of box office representatives working remotely to contact ticket holders impacted by cancelled performances to offer exchanges and refunds. In the meantime, any ticket-related questions can be directed to

During this time of limited operational capacity, patrons are asked to be patient as the box office staff is reduced. Response time will be longer than usual, but all patron concerns will be addressed.

These further cancellations impact The Shaw’s ability to realize the season. The Shaw Festival is committed to paying the almost 400 company members who are currently on payroll through to April 19 and will continue to evaluate payroll on a week by week basis. The Festival will not be recalling company members currently scheduled to start after April 12 until The Shaw is able to return to the stage. This difficult decision impacts approximately four dozen company members. 

“These increased measures and the loss of so much of the season are deeply upsetting. We are dedicated to supporting all of our company members as best we can. We continue to work closely with government agencies around the various new programs being put in place and also with our bank, funding agencies and other business partners to do what we can to remain solvent,” said Tim Jennings, Executive Director/CEO. “That said, we have stretched our resources nearly to the breaking point and need this outside help to come very soon if we are to maintain that solvency.  ”

Jennings continued, “In these difficult times, we have been humbled and honoured by the tremendous support we’ve received from our patrons, neighbours in Niagara and the theatre community. On behalf of all of us at The Shaw, I want to say thank you. You bolster our spirits every day and we look forward to the time when we can gather together in our theatres again.”

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