About Shaw Festival Theatre - Shaw Festival Theatre

The Shaw
World-class theatre — in blissful Niagara wine country. 14 plays on 3 stages, April to October, plus countless events & activities.

The Shaw wishes to acknowledge and honour the land upon which we gather as the historic and traditional territory of First Nations peoples. In particular, we recognize and thank the Neutral Nation, the Mississauga and the Haudenosaunee for their stewardship of these lands over millennia.

The Shaw Festival Story

In 1962, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, lawyer and playwright Brian Doherty parlayed his love for the work of Irish playwright Bernard Shaw into a summer theatre festival, producing eight performances of Don Juan in Hell and Candida in the Court House auditorium.  In this singular act of passion for theatre and culture, the Shaw Festival was born.

Today, with 10 or more productions each year performed in four theatres for an audience of more than 250,000, the Shaw Festival has grown to become a major Canadian cultural icon, a gem in this country’s rich cultural heritage. Inspired by the wit and passion of Bernard Shaw, the Shaw Festival is a contemporary theatre that features a smart, provocative, potent and diverse mix of plays from the past and present, performed by our celebrated repertory theatre Ensemble. The result is theatre that is challenging, surprising, often funny and always entertaining. These plays are lovingly and artfully brought to the stage each year by a talented team of actors, directors, and designers, showcasing the incredible tapestry of talent that this country contributes to the world.

With the end of the 2016 Season, The Shaw said good-bye to Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell after 14 great seasons. Now Tim Carroll (TC) is at the artistic helm and in this, our 57th Season, offers 13 productions from April 4 to October 28, including Stephen Fry’s Mythos: A Trilogy – Gods. Heroes. Men., two musicals, three plays about the centenary of the end of the Great War and more Secret Theatre. Plus A Christmas Carol on stage at the Royal George Theatre from November 14 to December 23.

Recipient of Trip Advisor’s “Certificate of Excellence” and recommended by the Wall Street Journal

“directly comparable in scope and quality to such ambitious south-of-the-border classical festivals as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. If you’re up for a weekend—or a whole week—of first-class theater, you should give very serious thought to going there”

The Shaw in historic Niagara-on-the-Lake … the perfect intermission from life.


Bernard Shaw

BERNARD SHAW (1856-1950), the acclaimed dramatist, critic and social reformer, was born in Dublin where he grew up in an atmosphere of genteel poverty. He attended four schools ...

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The Shaw Festival is a theatre company inspired by the work of Bernard Shaw. We produce plays from and about his era and contemporary plays that share Shaw’s provocative exploration of society ...

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Artistic Director’s Message

What does Artistic Director Tim Carroll have in store for 2018?

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