Stage Door News

Niagara-on-the Lake: The Shaw Festival extends its cancellation of shows through September 15

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Based on the Province of Ontario’s framework for reopening businesses and the further extension of the State of Emergency, it is clear that the Shaw Festival is not able to proceed with the season as scheduled. As a result, The Shaw must cancel all performances and public events through September 15. The further delay has forced the Festival to cancel most of the 2020 productions.

All 2020 performances of Gypsy, The Devil’s Disciple, Sherlock Holmes and The Raven’s Curse, Prince Caspian, The Playboy of the Western World, Assassins, Desire Under the Elms, Trouble in Mind and Me and My Girl are cancelled.

“We are all hungry for the special way that theatre allows us to join together and share a unique experience,” said Tim Carroll, Artistic Director. “Everyone in the company had been looking forward to bringing you a truly special season. It’s devastating to have had to put the season on hold; but I am determined that our audience will see as much of it as possible as soon as it is safe to share it with them.” 

“We have decided to remain optimistic and hopeful about presenting an abbreviated fall or holiday season, not only for ourselves and our audiences, but for the whole community of Niagara,” said Tim Jennings, Executive Director/CEO. “With that in mind, we are in the process of seeing what kind of reduced performance schedule we could offer. As one of the primary tourism and economic generators for the Niagara Region, we are keenly aware of the $220 million in economic impact The Shaw normally drives to the Region and the thousands of jobs that are reliant on us. Our theatres are in the heart of downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake and a schedule featuring Charley’s Aunt, Flush and A Christmas Carol might afford what we feel is the best way to help our community get back on its feet as soon as it is safe to do so. The question now is one of being able to do that safely and we await word from the Government and public health agencies on a variety of issues to ensure that is possible.”

Performances of Charley’s Aunt, Flush and A Christmas Carol after September 16 have not yet been cancelled in the hopes that The Shaw can safely welcome audiences into reduced-capacity theatres. The Festival will announce details of protocols and safety measures in the coming weeks, in conjunction with guidance from Public Health and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The Festival will continue to follow and exceed the directives of the local, provincial and federal governments and Canadian public health agencies.

The Festival will announce details of any updated fall and holiday schedule in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, tickets for Charley’s Aunt, Flush and A Christmas Carol continue to be available online at This truncated season will only happen if it is deemed safe by the Government and public health agencies to gather in the reduced capacity theatres.

At this time, the Shaw Festival administrative and box offices are closed until further notice. In the meantime, ticket holders to cancelled performances will have the full value of their tickets held on their account.

A team of box office representatives is working remotely to contact ticket holders to discuss options such as leaving money on account for future exchanges, converting the ticket value to a charitable donation or issuing a refund. Patrons can visit for more information and direct any ticket-related questions to