Shaw Festival Theatre ready for 2018

Posted March 2, 2018 by Rod Charles in Ontario
Jeff Meadows as Christmas Present and Michael Therriault as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Shaw Festival’s production of A Christmas Carol. Photo by David Cooper.

Jeff Meadows as Christmas Present and Michael Therriault as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Shaw Festival’s production of A Christmas Carol. (Photo Courtesy David Cooper of Shaw Festival)

Story by Rod Charles Deputy Editor

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONTARIO — Shaw Festival Theatre is ready to hold court in 2018 with brand new plays and a re-branded stage and as usual I am wearing myself out trying to decide what to see.

So many fabulous choices and you can’t go wrong with any of them. It all boils down to personal taste but there are two on my list that have peaked my interest.

Henry V (By William Shakespeare, Co-Directed by Tim Carroll and Kevin Bennett) is a brilliant and fun twist on an old story. Starring Gray Powell as Henry, Natasha Mumba as Catherine and Yanna McIntosh as Alice, the play is about a troop of Canadian soldiers. Hunkered down in a dugout during WWI with some copies of Shakespeare’s Henry V for company they enter the death-haunted, morally ambiguous world of the play and the play enters theirs. This imaginative spin on Shakespeare is a powerful exploration of what it means — and costs — to fight for king and country.

Design by

Shaw Festival Henry V Poster. (

The second play on my list to see in 2018 is the timeless classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The play is about Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserable old miser who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. I never get tired of watching this story.

Several New Plays to Celebrate in 2018

This year, Shaw Festival will expand the use of the newly renamed Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre with three productions, including The Orchard (After Chekhov) (By Sarena Parmar, Directed by Ravi Jain) and The Baroness and the Pig (By Michael Mackenzie, Directed by Selma Dimitrijevic).

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Festival Theatre will feature The Magician’s Nephew (By C.S. Lewis, Adapted for the stage by Michael O’Brien and Directed by Tim Carroll) and Grand Hotel (Directed by Eda Holmes) a winner of five Tony Awards.


The interior of the Royal George has been completely restored in the style of a mini-Edwardian opera house. (Photo Courtesy Shaw Festival)

The newly restored Royal George Theatre will feature five plays including Stage Kiss (By Sarah Ruhl, Directed by Anita Rochon) and Of Marriage and Men: A Comedy Double-Bill (Bernard Shaw, Directed by Philip Akin).

The Court House Theatre, which has housed Shaw Festival productions since 1962, will be repurposed as a rehearsal, training and education facility.

“The Court House is an important part of the Shaw’s legacy and future, but as a true historic building, it is also the least physically accessible venue we work in, and that has presented a real concern. It is important to us to re-examine how we want audiences to interact with us. We want to remove physical challenges or barriers and welcome everyone to our theatres. By repurposing the spaces, we actually are able to keep our programmatic depth while making progress toward ever greater inclusivity,” says Tim Jennings, Executive Director and CEO.


Address: 10 Queen’s Parade
Phone: 1-800-511-7429 

About the Author

Rod Charles

Rod has previously worked for and is currently freelancing for Huffington Post Travel. He’s also written travel articles for the Toronto Star and Up! Magazine. Living in Toronto but raised in the small central Ontario village of Holstein, Rod is a country boy at heart who has never met a farmer’s market he didn’t like.

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