A favourite summer weekend or day trip for me is taking in a play at the annual Shaw Festival in the quaint town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. You can make a weekend trip by visiting the festival and the charming boutiques and cafes in Niagara-on-the-Lake, driving along the breathtaking Niagara Parkway, then heading to neighbouring Niagara Falls. The Shaw Festival 2017 is performing several comedies, dramas and musicals including headliners Me and My Girl, Saint Joan and Dracula at the Festival Theatre among others. Read further to find out what’s playing at the Shaw Festival in 2017.
History of The Shaw Festival
The Shaw Festival began in 1962 to showcase the plays of English playwright Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries. The festival’s original two theatres were the Royal George Theatre and the Court House Theatre on Queen Street. As the festival expanded to showcase plays that were written or set during the lifetime of Shaw, the festival’s bricks and mortar location expanded to include the Festival Theatre and the Jackie Maxwell Theatre.
Performances at the Festival Theatre in 2017
The following plays will be performed at the Festival Theatre, the Shaw Festival’s flagship theatre:
- Me and My Girl (book and lyrics) by L. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber. Book revised by Stephen Fry with contributions by Mike Okrent. A Cockney man finds out that he is the fourteenth Earl of Hareford and must get rid of his old lifestyle and girlfriend to claim the title. The play runs from Apr. 5 to Oct. 15, 2017;
- Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw: Shaw’s greatest play ponders whether Joan of Arc was a saviour, fraud or confused country girl. The play runs from May 3 to Oct. 15, 2017;
- Dracula adapted for stage by Liz Lochead from the novel by Bram Stoker: In this version, men in Victorian-era England are frightened not only of vampires, but of female sexual desire. The play runs from July 8 to Oct. 14, 2017.
Performances at the Royal George Theatre in 2017
These plays will be performed at the Royal George Theatre, which is located on Niagara-on-the-Lake’s main street, Queen Street:
- The Madness of George III by Alan Bennett: King George III loses his mind and bodily functions while the court wonders how to deal with this very human man, anointed by God. The play runs from Apr. 11 to Oct. 15, 2017;
- 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt by Rick Salutin: Farmers in Canada protest the distribution of their land to government leaders and are led by William Lyon Mackenzie in a march down Toronto’s Yonge Street. Play runs from May 7 to Oct. 8, 2017;
- Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel: Five sisters in 1930s Ireland struggle against poverty while pinning hopes on love and find a communal spirit in dance. The Play runs from May 14 to Oct. 15, 2017;
- An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, adapted from The Octoroon by Dion Boucicault: When a plantation in Louisiana is for sale, a neighbour plots to buy it and the biracial woman who lives there. The play runs from July 16 to Oct. 14, 2017.
Performances at the Court House Theatre in 2017
The Court House Theatre is located on Queen Street and will host the following plays during the Shaw Festival 2017:
- Androcles and the Lion by George Bernard Shaw: Androcles, a Christian tailor, removes a thorn from a lion’s paw just before he is about to be thrown to the lions at the Colosseum in ancient Rome. The play runs from June 6 to Oct. 7, 2017;
- Wilde Tales by George Bernard Shaw: These four Wilde tales including The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose, The Remarkable Rocket and The Selfish Giant feature magic and fantasy to delight children and the child within us. The play runs from June 8 to Oct. 7, 2017.
Performances at the Jackie Maxwell Theatre in 2017
The Jackie Maxwell Theatre is in the same building as the Festival Theatre on Queen’s Parade. The following plays will be performed at the Jackie Maxwell Theatre at the Shaw Festival 2017:
- 1979 by Michael Healey: This comedy is about Joe Clark’s short-lived career as a Canadian Prime Minister, who has been called one of the most honest politicians. The play runs from May 1 to Oct. 14, 2017;
- Middletown by William Eno: This play focuses on the ordinary people living unremarkable lives in an average North American town. Despite living in desperate circumstances, they all seek love. The play is performed from July 13 to Sept. 10, 2017.
Order your tickets for the Shaw Festival by calling 905-468-2172 or 1-800-511-7429. Connect with the Shaw Festival on social media:
…tag your posts with #shareyourshaw
Enter our giveaway to win 2 tickets to Me and My Girl, Saint Joan or Dracula at the Shaw Festival
This giveaway is open to Canada only, 18+. The winner will be able to choose the date of performance for either Me and My Girl, Saint Joan or Dracula from performances after May 30, 2017. Value $160-$200 depending on performance.
This contest appears on Contest Canada
Visiting NOTL to see a Shaw performance is a wonderful way to spend a day!
never been to Shaw Festival. This would be a wonderful prize to win!
yes I went to the Shaw Festival years ago, then my mother and I got lost coming home to London, ended up in TO, had to turn around and come back on the 401!!! Something my mother still teases me about! Would love to try it again, this time with GPS instead of reading a map! 🙂
I’ve never been to the festival but I would love to go.
We used to go to the Stratford Festival but have never been to the Shaw Festival.
I’ve been the to the Shaw Festival once before a few years ago.
Yes, but it has been a long time.
I’ve never been to the Shaw Festival before! Would love to bring my mum.
No, I still haven’t gone!
Well, perhaps you’ll win and can visit! Good luck! Lori
I have been only once to the shaw festival and it was amazing. It was a nice day out last year a nice sunny day and the best thing I liked was the Icecream and there was a model of a cow in black and spotted white in the store.
Never been there
This would be a great introduction
Love the Shaw!
I’ve never been but I’d love to go!
Yes I have been to the Shaw Festival although it has been awhile. I have always enjoyed going to their shows -great performers, well done plays, fabulous sights in the area
Yes, their shows are great, aren’t they! And the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is gorgeous! Good luck! Lori
I have been to the Shaw Festival many times. It used to be a yearly girls weekend away event for our family. My husband and I also try to go to Niagara on the Lake for a weekend get a away each summer. We have missed the last few years but plan make it there this season.
That would be a great girls’ weekend getaway! Good luck! Lori
No but I would love to go
Good luck! Lori
No, I have not been to the Shaw Festival.
No I have not been to the Shaw Festival, YET.
Yes I have attend the Shaw Festival a few times and always enjoyed our day trip experience in NOTL.
Isn’t NOTL gorgeous? And so close to Toronto and the GTA to make it a day trip! Good luck! Cheers, Lori
I have never been to the Shaw Festival before.
Crossing my fingers. Good luck! Lori
No I have never been to the Shaw Festival.
I hope you get to visit. Good luck! Lori
Never been to the Shaw Festival
Good luck! Lori
I have never heard of the shaw festival, but it looks like something I would love to attend! Very cool
The Shaw Festival puts on some great shows, but you would also want to check out the boutiques and cafes in downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake. Cheers, Lori
Never made it to Shaw but it is on my bucket list. This would be a wonderful prize to win.
Well, if it’s on your bucket list, good luck to you! Cheers, Lori
Yes I have been to the Shaw Festival.
one of my faves was guys & dolls.
I haven’t seen that show, but I’m sure it was good! Cheers, Lori
Try to make it at least once a year. Usually a great afternoon or evening.
It’s a great spot for an annual summer visit, isn’t it?! Cheers, Lori
Have often made it a 2 day, 3 play visit when all aligns properly. Love it there.
There are so many charming Bed and Breakfasts in Niagara-on-the-Lake so it’s a great place to stay overnight! Cheers, Lori
I’ve never been to the festival
I’ve never been to the Shaw Festival but I’ve always wanted to go!
no, I’ve never been but would love to go – my cousin lives in Fonthill and is always talking about going. I’d share the tickets with her.
Sounds like you have the perfect person to visit the Shaw Festival with! Good luck! Lori
I have never attended Shaw but have been meaning to!
I have been to the Shaw Festival and it is great to spend the day walking the shops on the main street of Niagara on the Lake
I have never been to the Shaw Festival but it is on my bucket list.
I’ve been once and a had a fantastic time!
No I’ve never been to the Shaw Festival
Lovely area to spend time, so much to do – visit wineries, go to the Shaw, golf, hiking, and so much good food!
Yes: it’s beautiful there!
Years ago yes , and would so love to go back . Would love to see Dracula . Thank you for giveaway !!
I’ve never had the chance to enjoy a show there yet, though walked past enjoying one of the streets ice creams instead.
I have never. been to the festival.My wife and I would like to go
I went with my parents a while back and had a really nice time 🙂
I don’t recall ever going to the Shaw Festival – maybe during my school years which was many years ago.
I have been to Stratford and not Shaw. Thanks for the opportunity to win one of your awesome prizes! Fingers crossed 🙂
I have never been to Shaw Festival.
Years ago,would be nice to see another one :).Thanks!
Yes,been to the Shaw Festival once and would love to go again!
I’ve never gone before but would love to take my partner!
I have never been.
I have never been but can’t wait to go this summer
I’ve never been hope to go this year
I have never been to The Shaw Festival but would live to do a girls weekend and hit the spa and festival.
I have never been and would love to go!
Shaw always has great actors and NOTL is so beautiful
No, I’ve never been to the Shaw Festival, but would love to go!
I actually have tickets for Me and My Girl and can’t wait to see it.
I haven’t been, but I’d love to
Yes, I have. I would like to go back to see another play.
[…] like royalty and enjoy afternoon tea at the historic Prince of Wales Hotel. Take in a play at the Shaw Festival 2017 or go for a stunning bike ride along the long and winding Niagara Parkway, which leads out of […]
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