Stage Door News
Niagara-on-the-Lake: The Shaw Festival announces its 2024 season
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Artistic Director Tim Carroll revealed a Shaw Festival season of great theatre experiences highlighted by stunning new works, beloved favourites, diverse voices, timeless classics and delights galore in our Spiegeltent.
“Last season, we brought you an astonishing range of live performances in all our theatres – from new works, hidden gems and reimagined classics – plus a dizzying array of concerts and events throughout our gardens and in our dazzling Spiegeltent,” said Artistic Director Tim Carroll.
“In 2024, at the Festival Theatre, you will see My Fair Lady, one of the few perfect musicals; One Man, Two Guvnors, the funniest show on the planet; and a new Sherlock Holmes,” continued Carroll. “Over at the Royal George Theatre, there’s Agatha Christie’s best murder mystery, Witness for the Prosecution, Shaw favourite Candida and two new adaptations, one well-known –The Secret Garden – and one you won’t see anywhere else – The Orphan of Chao. Two more Canadian premieres, Marcus Gardley’s The House That Will Not Stand and Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s Snow in Midsummer will be presented in the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre. All this and a season of music, laughter and good company in our Spiegeltent. So, come and feed your imagination, your curiosity and your capacity to be delighted.”
The 2024 season begins April 6 and runs until December 22.
Lerner and Loewe's
✦ MY FAIR LADY
Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Adapted from Bernard Shaw's play and Gabriel Pascal's motion picture Pygmalion
Original production directed by Moss Hart
Co-directed by Kimberley Rampersad and Tim Carroll
Previews May 4 · Closes December 22
Based on Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, this timeless musical favourite returns to The Shaw. Eliza Doolittle, the spirited cockney flower girl, is the subject of a bet between Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics, and Colonel Pickering, a fellow linguist. The beloved musical features unforgettable songs such as “On the Street Where You Live,” “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?”
Age Recommendation: 9+/Grade 4+
✦ ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS
By Richard Bean
Based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni
With songs by Grant Olding
Directed by Chris Abraham
Previews June 6 · Closes October 13
All Francis Henshall wanted was some fish and chips. The perpetually hungry and one-time musician, turned bodyguard-minder, finds himself in a spot of trouble. In Brighton to collect a payout with his current employer, petty East End criminal Roscoe Crabbe, he takes another job with Stanley Stubbers, an upper-class buffoon. To prevent discovery and remain dually employed, Francis must do everything to keep these “two guvnors” apart. A comedy in the style of Commedia dell'arte, One Man, Two Guvnors is chock-full of comic romps, mayhem, spectacular sight gags and pratfalls.
Age Recommendation: 11+/Grade 6+
✦ SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE MYSTERY OF THE HUMAN HEART
By Reginald Candy
Based on characters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Directed by Craig Hall
Previews July 24 · Closes October 13
The master of deduction and observation returns to The Shaw. Filled with enough twists and turns to leave Sir Arthur Conan Doyle guessing, a new work by Reginald Candy introduces Sherlock Holmes to a villain so clever, so compelling and so lethal, he may have met his match. This production marks the third time the legendary detective, his trusted confidante Dr. Watson and landlady Mrs. Hudson have appeared on the Festival stage.
Age Recommendation: 12+/Grade 7+
ROYAL GEORGE THEATRE
✦ WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION
Directed by Alistair Newton
Previews April 6 · Closes October 13
Adapted from her short story Traitor’s Hands, Christie’s suspenseful puzzle of a play is regarded as one of her great stage mysteries. When a wealthy widow is found brutally murdered, there is only one suspect: her handsome, charming, and much younger gentleman friend. Full of clever twists, shocking revelations and mounting tension, this high-stake fight to escape the hangman’s noose will keep you guessing until the very end.
Age Recommendation: 14+/Grade 9+
✦ THE SECRET GARDEN
A Play with Songs
Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Adapted for the stage by Jay Turvey and Paul Sportelli
Directed by Jay Turvey
Previews May 31 · Closes October 13
The evergreen classic gets a new adaptation at The Shaw. After the death of her parents, unloved and spoiled Mary Lennox is uprooted and moved to Yorkshire to live with her reclusive uncle in his cheerless mansion. There she meets her sickly cousin Colin and Dickon, a boy who knows all about animals and nature. When she discovers a walled garden with a locked door on the manor grounds, her curiosity is sparked into life. She soon realizes flowers aren’t the only things that can bloom and thrive through constant care and devotion.
Age Recommendation: 8+/Grade 3+
✦ THE ORPHAN OF CHAO
Adapted by Michael Man
Based on the classical Chinese drama by Ji Junxiang
Directed by Courtney Ch'ng Lancaster
Previews June 13 · Closes October 5
Considered by many to be the Chinese Hamlet, this epic revenge tale is one of the oldest plays in the Chinese canon. After a violent palace power struggle leaves an infant orphaned, a benevolent doctor sacrifices his own son to keep the child – the last of the house of Chao – alive. Later adopted by his family’s killer as son and heir, the orphan of Chao discovers the truth about his identity and exacts vengeance for the death of his clan. Told through beautiful music and insightful dialogue, this new adaptation by Michael Man is a powerful game of thrones rooted in blood, family, sacrifice and secrets.
Age Recommendation: 14+/Grade
By Bernard Shaw
Directed by Severn Thompson
Previews July 13 · Closes October 12
Last seen at the Royal George in 2011, Shaw’s popular and enduring romantic comedy returns to the Festival. Caught in an emotional tug-of-war between her charming socialist vicar husband and her “foundling”, a young and aristocratic, but penniless, poet, Candida must ultimately decide which one truly needs her most.
Age Recommendation: 14+/Grade 9+
JACKIE MAXWELL STUDIO THEATRE
✦ THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND
By Marcus Gardley
Directed by Philip Akin
Previews June 12 · Closes October 12
Inspired by Federico García Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, this steamy family melodrama is about love, rivalry, passion and one woman’s struggle for survival. Set in early 19th century New Orleans, Beartrice, a wealthy free Black woman with three unwed daughters, finds herself at risk of losing everything after the death of her affluent, white common-law husband. No longer under French colonial rule, but governed by a new American government, she and her daughters face an uncertain future as racial divides widen and society begins to change.
Age Recommendation: 14+/Grade 9+
✦ SNOW IN MIDSUMMER
By Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig
Based on the classical Chinese drama,
The Injustice of Dou E That Moved Heaven and Earth
By Guan Hanqing
Directed by Nina Lee Aquino
Previews August 8 · Closes October 5
Adapted from a 13th century drama from the Yuan Dynasty, this reimagined work is part ghost story, murder mystery and family drama. Young widow Dou Yi is sentenced to death for a murder she didn’t commit. She curses her town with a devastating drought, which will only end when she is proven innocent. A visiting businesswoman and her young daughter may be the key to the town’s redemption and Dou Yi’s peace in the afterlife.
Age Recommendation: 14+/Grade 9+
✦ THE SHAW VARIETY SHOW
Created by members of the Ensemble, this good old-fashioned variety show is packed with comedy, music and magic.
Previews May 17 · Closes October 6
✦ THE ROLL OF SHAW
Created and directed by Travis Seetoo
An improvised and interactive adventure featuring members of the audience and Bernard Shaw's famous characters.
Previews May 30 · Closes October 2
A cabaret featuring music from Germany’s Weimar era.
Previews June 14 · Closes October 12
✦ COTTON CLUB
A musical revue full of sizzling numbers from the heyday of New York’s hottest nightspot.
Previews July 17 · Closes October 11
Revel in the hits from the Golden Age of Broadway.
Performances scheduled for July 6, August 3, August 24, September 21, September 27 and October 5
RETURNING IN 2024
✦ COFFEE CONCERTS
Classical music concerts performed by members of the Shaw Festival Orchestra.
June 9, July 28 and September 29
An evening of Jazz featuring Associate Music Director Ryan deSouza, members of The Shaw Orchestra and special guests.
July 27, August 31 and September 21
✦ WHAT’S IN YOUR SONGBOOK
An intimate and interactive evening of songs and stories. Accompanied by Associate Music Director Ryan deSouza, members of The Shaw’s acting ensemble sing songs from their audition songbooks and tell the stories that go with those songs.
July 30, August 23 and September 11
✦ GOSPEL CHOIR
Enjoy an inspirational and euphoric musical experience performed by the beautiful, uplifting and glorious voices of The Shaw Ensemble.
July 21, August 25 and September 22
✦ A CHRISTMAS CAROL
By Charles Dickens
Adapted and originally directed by Tim Carroll
Directed by Ryan G. Hinds
Royal George Theatre
Previews November 8 · Available for review beginning November 14 · Closes December 22
Ebenezer Scrooge returns! The Shaw’s charming annual production of the beloved classic
A Christmas Carol will once again warm the cockles of the most frigid of hearts and remind all what the holidays are really about.
Age Recommendation: 6+/Grade 1+
The 2024 season casts and creative teams will be announced at a later date. Further updates will also be available at shawfest.com. Dates listed are subject to change.
Tickets to the 2024 season will be on sale beginning November 4 for Friends of The Shaw and December 2 for the general public. Orders can be placed through the Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW (7429) or online at shawfest.com. Patrons wishing to get front-of-the-line access to tickets can call 1-800-657-1106 x 2556 or visit shawfest.com to become Friends of The Shaw.