Stage Door News

Niagara-on-the-Lake: Final three summer shows begin previews at the Shaw Festival

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Bernard Shaw’s brilliant dark comedy The Doctor’s Dilemma, the first of the final trio of main season shows, begins previews July 16 at the Festival Theatre. On July 27, Cicely Hamilton’s funny and prophetic Just to Get Married begins previews at the Royal George Theatre, while August Wilson’s haunting Gem of the Ocean begins previews on August 5 at the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre.

Diana Donnelly follows up her acclaimed 2019 Festival directorial debut The Russian Play with Bernard Shaw’s timely and ever-popular masterwork, The Doctor’s Dilemma. Wrestling with questions of life, death and medical ethics in this 2022 production are Alexis Gordon as Jennifer Dubedat, Sanjay Talwar as Dr. Colenso Ridgeon, Johnathan Sousa as Louis Dubedat and Sharry Flett as Dr. Patricia Cullen. Rounding out the cast are David Adams as Dr. Ralph Bloomfield Bonington, Jason Cadieux as Dr. Blenkinsop, Katherine Gauthier as Minnie Tinwell, Nathanael Judah* as Newspaperman, Claire Jullien as Emmy, Allan Louis as Cutler Walpole and Michael Man as Redpenny.

The Shaw’s production of The Doctor’s Dilemma has set designed by Gillian Gallow, costumes designed by Rachel Forbes, lighting designed by Michelle Ramsay and sound designed by Ryan deSouza. The show is stage managed by Andrea Schurman and Ashley Ireland, assistant stage manager. The Doctor’s Dilemma begins previews July 16 and is eligible for review beginning August 18 at the Festival Theatre. The Doctor’s Dilemma is recommended for audiences 12+.

Last seen on-stage at the Festival in 2010, Severn Thompson returns to make her Festival directorial debut directing The Shaw’s production of Cicely Hamilton’s long overlooked comedy jewel, Just to Get Married. Kristi Frank is Georgiana Vicary – a clever but poor woman everyone assumes must be desperate to find a husband and settle down – but everyone might be wrong. Kristopher Bowman is the shy Adam Lankester, apparently the perfect catch for Georgiana. Also featured are the acting talents of David Adams as Dobbins, David Alan Anderson as Sir Theodore Grayle, Katherine Gauthier as Bertha Grayle, Claire Jullien as Lady Catherine Grayle, Andrew Lawrie as Tod Grayle, Monica Parks as Mrs. Macartney, Johnathan Sousa as a Footman and Sophia Walker as Frances Melliship.

Just to Get Married’s creative and production team includes set designer Michael Gianfrancesco, costume designer Ming Wong, lighting designer Bonnie Beecher, composer and sound designer Thomas Ryder Payne; movement director Jaz 'Fairy J' Simone, stage manager Allan Teichman and assistant stage manager Théa Pel.

Just to Get Married begins previews July 27 at the Royal George Theatre and is available for review beginning August 18. This show is recommended for audiences 12+. 

At the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre, Philip Akin directs August Wilson's poetic, mystical masterpiece Gem of the Ocean – the initial play in the American Century Cycle, Wilson’s legendary ten-play cycle documenting the African-American 20th century experience. Monica Parks as Aunt Ester, the 285-year-old “washer of souls”; David Alan Anderson as Solly Two Kings, Nathanael Judah* as Citizen Barlow and Allan Louis as Caesar Wilks lead a cast that includes Jason Cadieux as Rutherford Selig, Jeremiah Sparks as Eli and Sophia Walker as Black Mary.

The Shaw’s production of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean features set designed by Camellia Koo, costumes designed by Laura Delchiaro, lighting designed by Kevin Lamotte, projection designed by Cameron Davis and original music and sound designed by Miquelon Rodriguez. The production team includes stage manager Andrea Schurman and assistant stage manager Théa Pel.

August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean begins previews August 5 and is available for review beginning August 19 at the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre. Sponsored by TD Bank Group, it is recommended for audience members 14+. 

*RBC Emerging Artists are sponsored by the RBC Foundation and RBC Emerging Artists.

The Shaw Festival’s 2022 season 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, A Christmas Carol and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. This season’s Outdoors @ The Shaw includes Coffee Concerts, Fairground, Shawground, A Short History of Niagara, A Year with Frog and Toad – in Concert, Gospel Choir, 1922 – in Concert, Speakeasy and What’s in your Songbook. Tickets are available through the Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW and online at

While wearing masks is now optional at the Festival, their use continues to be highly recommended indoors in all theatres and spaces and remains at the discretion and comfort of the individual. The Shaw’s Duty of Care remains in place. While these measures include a commitment to ensuring the health and safety of audiences, company members and communities, there remains an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any public place where people congregate. The Festival continues to work closely with public health experts to ensure all necessary and reasonable precautions are being met to reduce the chances of exposure; however, patrons are encouraged to take what precautions they deem necessary to protect themselves and others. Patrons are also requested to refrain from attending any performance or event if they are presenting COVID-19 symptoms.