Stage Door News

Niagara-on-the-Lake: The Shaw Festival presents “This Is How We Got Here” starting February 9

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Shaw Festival presents the critically acclaimed Native Earth Performing Arts production of This Is How We Got Here from February 9 to 19 at the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre. Written and directed by multi-awarding winning artist Keith Barker, This Is How We Got Here is a simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming story about love, loss and letting go. This limited engagement at The Shaw features the talents of Kristopher Bowman, Jonathan Fisher, Nicole Joy-Fraser and Jenn Forgie.

Lucille, Paul, Liset and Jim — best friends, sisters, spouses — stumble 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.

Originally from Northwestern Ontario, Algonquin Métis playwright, actor and director Keith Barker is the outgoing artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts and a Governor General's Literary Award 2018 finalist for This Is How We Got Here. His complex and hopeful story won the 2020 Dora Award for Outstanding New Play, while the original production received three nominations in Outstanding Production (Independent Theatre), Outstanding Direction (Keith Barker) and Outstanding Scenic Design (Shannon Lea Doyle). That same year, This Is How We Got Here received the Playwrights Guild’s Carol Bolt Award. Barker is also the recipient of the Saskatchewan and Area Theatre Award for Excellence in Playwriting and a Yukon Arts Award for Best Art for Social Change for his play The Hours That Remain.

This is How We Got Here is on stage at the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre (10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake) from February 9 to 19. This Shaw Festival presentation is proudly sponsored by Sun Life Financial. The Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre is sponsored by Paradigm Capital Inc.

Recommended for ages 14+. Approximate running time is 75 minutes with no intermission.

Cast: (in alphabetical order)

Kristopher Bowman - Paul

Jonathan Fisher - Jim

Jenn Forgie - Liset

Nicole Joy-Fraser - Lucille

Creative & Production:

Keith Barker - Director & Playwright

Shannon Lea Doyle - Set Designer

Kara Pankiw - Associate Set Designer

Isidra Cruz - Costume Designer

Jennifer Lennon - Lighting Designer

Christopher Stanton - Composer & Sound Designer

Richard Comeau - Fight Director

Sara Allison - Stage Manager

The Shaw Festival’s 2022 season begins February 9 and runs through to December 23, with a playbill featuring Damn Yankees, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Cyrano de Bergerac, Gaslight, Chitra, Just to Get Married, This is How We Got Here, Too True To Be Good, Everybody, August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, Fairground, Shawground, A Short History of Niagara, a series of outdoor concerts and events, A Christmas Carol and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Tickets are available through the Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW and online at

Based on current government directives, This Is How We Got Here will open at 50% capacity with no food and beverage retail. As mandated by the government of Ontario, 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 a commitment to ensuring the health and safety of audiences, company members and communities. Mask wearing remains mandatory in all theatres and spaces during performances.