Jackie Maxwell, Shaw Festival Artistic Director

Artistic Director’s
Message

Listen.JM

Welcome to our 2015 Season

I have always found that theatre is at its best when the audience spans several generations – a guarantee that the story being told onstage is being taken in and reacted to in a variety of ways, enriching the experience for all.

This season we are presenting several pieces that are ideal for this kind of visit, inviting families to share it together or simply encouraging a broader audience range. Let’s start with Peter and the Starcatcher, a magical adventure that ultimately explores the choices we have to make when we “grow up”. Told with imagination and humour, this is indeed for grown-ups of all ages! Our Shaws this year are undoubtedly two of his most accessible. Pygmalion, the timeless story of the unlikely relationship between Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins has had continuously wide appeal since it premiered over a hundred years ago and director Peter Hinton’s contemporary take on the piece should set all abuzz once more! You Never Can Tell – Shaw’s breezy seaside comedy is another delight for all ages. Sweet Charity will make for singing and dancing unlike any before on the Festival Stage – ‘Big Spender’, ‘The Rhythm of Life’, ‘If They Could See Me Now’, anyone? And for fans of backstage comedies, we have Moss Hart’s hilarious Light Up the Sky.

For those of you who seek the really provocative fare that we take on with gusto here at The Shaw, we have a range of classic and contemporary writers to sate you all! A rarely produced Ibsen romance – The Lady from the Sea – in a refreshing new version by Erin Shields will join Caryl Churchill’s celebrated exploration of female “liberation”, Top Girls, in the Court House Theatre. We have a world premiere of a play especially written for us by Quebec playwright Michel Marc Bouchard – The Divine – inspired by actress Sarah Bernhardt’s tumultuous visit to Quebec City in the early 1900s. In our Studio, as always, we are taking on groundbreaking work by what we call ‘Contemporary Shavians.’ The brilliant Tony Kushner’s most recent play really rattles the notion of “accepted” contemporary values – his epic family drama questioning them all: social, family, professional and personal.

All this, plus our lunchtime gem, J.M. Barrie’s The Twelve-Pound Look and a new cabaret slot featuring the music of Kurt Weill offers you and yours an unparalleled breadth of theatrical experience.

Make your choices and add your experience to it all!

Jackie Maxwell, Artistic Director