About Shaw Festival Theatre - Shaw Festival Theatre

About The Shaw
World-class theatre — in blissful Niagara wine country.

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 three 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.

Helmed by Artistic Director Tim Carroll (TC), this 61st Season runs from February 28 to December 23, including the world premiere of Mahabharata, Stephen Sondheim’s Gypsy, Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit and Bernard Shaw’s rarely produced The Applecart. James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner, Prince Caspian and The Playboy of the Western World will also take to our stages during our 2023 Season. Plus, two wonderful Holiday Season offerings: A Christmas Carol and the return of Lerner and Loewe’s romantic musical Brigadoon. Join us!

Recipient of Trip Advisor’s “Certificate of Excellence”, the Shaw Festival is … the perfect intermission from life.

“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” – Wall Street Journal

“I’ll be back.” – American Theatre

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.

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The Shaw Festival, home to Two-Way Theatre, is a place where people who are curious about the world gather to share the unique experience of live theatre.

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Artistic Director’s Message

"Try something new. That is my challenge to you this year. It is the principle on which I have done this job ever since I arrived."

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