Stage Door News

Niagara-on-the-Lake: Shaw Festival announces its 2022 season

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Artistic Director Tim Carroll and the Shaw Festival proudly announce the 60th anniversary season.

“We have a lot to celebrate as we look forward to our diamond anniversary season. In what might be our most ambitious programme ever, we intend to show off the range of experiences available at The Shaw,” revealed Artistic Director Tim Carroll. “In our theatres we have a mixture of classics, Festival favourites and new voices; in our gardens there will be so much going on you won’t believe it. I hope everyone will come and join the party!”

The 2022 Shaw Festival playbill: 



Words and Music by RICHARD ADLER and JERRY ROSS Book by GEORGE ABBOTT and DOUGLASS WALLOP Based on the novel by Douglass Wallop

“The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant”

Directed by Brian Hill

Previews April 23 — Available for review beginning May 19 — Closes October 9

Joe Boyd, an out of shape middle-aged man, makes a deal with the smooth-talking Mr. Applegate to save his beloved Washington Senators. The price: his soul. Now known as Joe Hardy, a young baseball phenom, he helps his favourite team beat the powerhouse New York Yankees. But when payment is due, can he outwit the Devil and save his soul? A twist on the Faustian legend wrapped up in a devilishly clever, romantic musical comedy.

Age Recommendation: 12+


By Oscar Wilde

Directed by Tim Carroll

Previews May 18 — Available for review beginning June 16 — Closes October 9

Subtitled A Trivial Comedy for Serious People, Oscar Wilde’s last and greatest masterpiece aims all his incredible wit and knack of observation into skewering Victorian attitudes and social structure. A play in three acts, this satire mingling truth, comedy with sarcastic and blistering banter was last seen at the Festival in 2004.


By Bernard Shaw

Directed by Diana Donnelly

Previews July 16 — Available for review beginning August 18 — Closes October 8

Last seen at the Festival in 2010, Bernard Shaw’s exploration of medical ethics continues to be relevant and timely. Pondering the moral questions concerning life and death: If one patient can only live at the cost of another’s life, who lives and who dies? What is the value of a human life? Queries which still have urgency are brought to thrilling life in this tragicomic tour de force.



By Edmond Rostand

Translated and adapted for the stage by Kate Hennig

Directed by Chris Abraham

Previews March 20 — Available for review beginning March 26 — Closes May 8

Swashbuckling 17th century swordsman Cyrano de Bergerac returns to The Shaw stage after its audience-pleasing run in 2019. Exceptionally accomplished and confident, he can do anything – well, except tell Roxane, the woman he loves, how he feels. Knowing words are the way to Roxane’s heart, but impeded by self-consciousness about his unusually large nose, Cyrano ghost-writes love letters to her for an inarticulate, love-struck cadet. Will there ever come a time when he will reveal himself to her? An eloquent and poignant tale for anyone who has ever loved from afar.


By Johnna Wright and Patty Jamieson

Based on the play Angel Street by Patrick Hamilton

Directed by Kelli Fox

Previews May 4 — Available for review beginning May 19 — Closes October 9

Bella Manningham thinks she’s losing her mind. In the evenings, she hears strange sounds and the gas lights dim for no apparent reason. Is she losing her grip on reason, or is it being loosened for her? Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 gripping thriller, that coined the word now used to describe an insidious form of mental abuse, has been reimagined in a new adaptation by Johnna Wright and The Shaw’s own Patty Jamieson.


By Rabindranath Tagore

Directed by Kimberley Rampersad LUNCHTIME ONE-ACT

Previews June 11 — Available for review beginning June 19 — Closes October 8

A warrior princess and a warrior hero in love. It sounds simple enough, but things are more complicated in Rabindranath Tagore’s one-act play based on a tale from the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. Chitra, a warrior princess raised as a boy, begs the gods for perfect beauty so she can win the affections of Arjuna. An enchanting poem of false appearance and true love, Chitra returns in 2022 as the season’s lunchtime production.


By Cicely Hamilton

Directed by Severn Thompson

Previews July 26 — Available for review beginning August 18 — Closes October 16

Georgiana is 29 in 1910, so the burning question faced by a poor, but clever woman is: when will she get married? She knows the only way a woman can gain any financial stability and independence is to get hitched, but when a suitable man proposes, will her conscience allow her to go through with it? Written by actress, journalist, playwright and suffragette Cicely Hamilton, this grown-up comedy is a classic ripe for rediscovery.



Written and directed by Keith Barker Produced by Native Earth Performing Arts Presented by the Shaw Festival

Previews February 9 — Available for review beginning February 11 — Closes February 19

Meet Lucille, Paul, Liset and Jim. Best friends, sisters, spouses – stumbling in the dark one year after a tragic loss. They struggle to find each other again, when a mysterious fox shows up with a curious gift. Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, This Is How We Got Here is a complex and hopeful story of letting go.


By Bernard Shaw

Directed by Sanjay Talwar

Previews May 12 — Available for review beginning May 26 — Closes October 8

Bernard Shaw takes aim at some of his favourite targets – doctors, preachers, the military and the aristocracy in this fantastical comedy featuring a talking microbe. Last seen at the Festival in 2006, Shaw’s ‘Political Extravaganza’, foreshadows the insanity that was about to engulf the world after the end of WWI. With a cavalier disregard for the unities of time and place, the play embarks on a journey into the heart of outdated public and private prejudices and errors.


By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Directed by László Bérczes

Previews June 8 — Available for review beginning June 17 — Closes October 8

A provocative modern riff on the 15th century medieval morality play Everyman by the author of An Octoroon. Everybody (played by one of five actors selected by lottery at the start of each performance) journeys towards life’s greatest mystery and confronts the enviable truth – Death comes to Everybody. A Canadian premiere.

August Wilson’s GEM OF THE OCEAN

Directed by Philip Akin

Previews August 5 — Available for review beginning August 19 — Closes October 9

Can redemption be gained for crimes of the past and a sense of purpose renewed? Aunt Ester, the 285-year-old “washer of souls” and fiery matriarch at the centre of Wilson’s poetic, mystical masterpiece, has an answer. When a young man drowning in guilt comes to her door, she sends him on an epic quest to find the mythical City of Bones. His spiritual journey through history takes place against a backdrop of very real events in 1904 Pittsburgh. This is the first of August Wilson’s THE AMERICAN CENTURY CYCLE, his legendary ten-play cycle on the African-American experience in the 20th century.



Created by Alexandra Montagnese and Mike Petersen

With original sound design by Ryan Cowl

Commissioned and presented by the Shaw Festival in partnership with Parks Canada

Returning in 2022, A Short History of Niagara is thirty charming minutes of pure storytelling. From the Maid of the Mist to Laura Secord to the founding of the Shaw Festival, wordless puppets, accompanied by sound effects and music, bring the rich history of the Niagara Region to life.


Fairground and Shawground return in 2022. These hour-long, fair-inspired interactive experiences guide participants through the wonderfully lush Festival Theatre grounds with charming charisma and end with an exhilarating finale. One features the tempting sensory delights of music, poetry and dance, while the other ignites the internal Shavian with lively deliberations, spoken word and spirited music from Shaw’s lifetime. So unique an experience, no two encounters are the same, but all created by a special group — The Shaw’s Ensemble.



By Charles Dickens

Adapted and originally directed by Tim Carroll

Directed by Molly Atkinson Royal George Theatre

Previews November 9 — Available for review beginning November 12 — Closes December 23

Ebenezer Scrooge is back! The Shaw’s charming production of the beloved classic A Christmas Carol returns to the Royal George Theatre once again to warm the cockles of the most frigid of hearts and rekindle childhood holiday memories in all.


Based on the Paramount Pictures film

Written for the screen by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama and Melvin Frank

MUSIC AND LYRICS BY IRVING BERLIN BOOK BY DAVID IVES and PAUL BLAKE Original stage production directed by WALTER BOBBIE Orchestrations by Larry Blank

Vocal and Dance Arrangements by Bruce Pomahac

Directed by Kate Hennig Festival Theatre

Previews November 18 — Available for review beginning November 26 — Closes December 23

Two former soldiers, now a successful song-and-dance duo, follow a sister double-act to Vermont. Together, they put on a show to save a nearly-bankrupt Vermont inn now owned by their former commanding general. This memorable musical featuring singing, dancing and a beloved title song by Irving Berlin is the Christmas everyone dreams of.

Casts, creative teams and the series of, yet to be announced, outdoor concerts and activities for the 2022 season will be announced at a later date. Further updates will also be available at

Tickets to the 2022 season will be on sale beginning November 6 for Friends of The Shaw and December 4 for the public. Orders can be placed through the Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW (7429) or online at Patrons wishing to get front-of-the-line access to tickets can visit or call 1-800-657-1106 x 2556 to become Friends of The Shaw.

The Shaw Festival plans to present the aforementioned shows as scheduled; however, performances will only take place if deemed safe to do so. As mandated by the government of Ontario for theatres and many other public gathering places, all Shaw Festival patrons will need to present proof of full vaccination status, with either a Health Canada or CDC authorized vaccine, and a government-issued photo ID. In addition to following and exceeding the directives of local, provincial and federal governments and their respective public health agencies, The Shaw has implemented a robust Duty of Care initiative. These measures include significant infrastructure improvements and a commitment to ensuring the health and safety of audiences, company members and communities.