THE SHAW FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2020 SEASON PLAYBILL

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON — Artistic Director Tim Carroll and the Shaw Festival proudly announce the 2020 season.

“This is a season of classics across the board: classic musicals, classic comedies, classic dramas,” says Artistic Director Tim Carroll. “Every single one features the brilliant writing which has always been at the centre of our mission, and for which we have assembled one of the world’s great acting ensembles.”

The 2020 Shaw Festival playbill:

FESTIVAL THEATRE

Gypsy
A Musical Fable, Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Jule Styne, Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Suggested by memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee
Directed and choreographed by Kimberley Rampersad

The story of an obsessive mother who pushes her daughters June and Louise into showbiz. Through sheer will, Momma Rose shapes their stardom…at any price. Both daughters find fame, but not the way Momma Rose had envisioned. Inspired by the memoirs of famous striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee,
Gypsy explores the human cost of blind ambition.

The Devil’s Disciple 
By Bernard Shaw
Directed by Eda Holmes

Dick Dudgeon, notorious freethinker and rascal, returns to his childhood home where he learns – to the horror of his disapproving family – that he’s inherited the estate. As he settles in as the new head of the household, Dick’s devilish attitude put him on the wrong side of the local minister’s wife. But is he a devil or an angel in disguise? Set in New England during the War of Independence, The Devil’s Disciple is an action-filled comedy full of sparkling dialogue and sexual tension. Eda Holmes, former Associate Artistic Director at The Shaw and current Artistic and Executive Director at Centaur Theatre, directs this classic Shaw comedy on the Festival’s main stage.

Sherlock Holmes and the Raven’s Curse
By R. Hamilton Wright
Based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Directed by Craig Hall

Following the success of The Hound of the Baskervilles in 2018, the famous sleuth and his loyal friend Dr. Watson are back on the Festival Theatre stage in Sherlock Holmes and the Raven’s Curse. Sherlock Holmes returns to his childhood home to investigate the mysterious death of his uncle. Can he uncover the truth before the Raven’s Curse claims another victim?

Mahabharata
Adapted by Ravi Jain and Miriam Fernandes
Original concept developed with Jenny Koons 
A Why Not Theatre Production
Commissioned and presented by the Shaw Festival
Directed by Ravi Jain

Presented in conjunction with Toronto’s innovative Why Not Theatre, Mahabharata is a contemporary take on a Sanskrit epic that is more than four thousand years old and foundational to Hindu culture. This gripping story of a family feud is an exploration of profound philosophical and spiritual ideas. Mahabharata is a visually stunning spectacle that takes audiences on a journey through the past in order to write a thrilling new future.

Mahabharata is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter initiative. With this $35M initiative, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada. Mahabharata was developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund.

ROYAL GEORGE THEATRE

Charley’s Aunt
By Brandon Thomas
Directed by Tim Carroll

When their chaperone cancels, Jack and Charley must scramble to make sure their plans to woo Kitty and Amy aren’t ruined. Their friend Lord Fancourt Babberley quickly finds himself disguised as rich Brazilian widow Donna Lucia d’Alvadorez and thrust into the role of chaperone. But Babberley’s charming ways and slightly dodgy behaviour soon distract the girls from the adoration of their beaux.

Prince Caspian
Adapted for the stage by Damien Atkins
Based on the novel by C.S. Lewis
Directed by Molly Atkinson

One year after The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the four Pevensie children hear the horn of Narnia summoning them back to the magical land. They are surprised to discover over 1300 years have passed and Narnia is in ruins. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy join forces with Prince Caspian, the rightful heir to the Narnian throne, to defeat an evil king and restore peace to Narnia. This world premiere production will be accompanied by pre-show workshops in which audience members will be made ready to take part in the performance.

Flush
Lunchtime One-Act
Based on the novella by Virginia Woolf
Adapted and directed by Tim Carroll

Elizabeth Barrett only companion is her cocker spaniel, Flush. Although she is one of England’s most famous poets, her father has convinced her that she is an invalid who cannot leave her upstairs room. A fan letter from aspiring poet Robert Browning leads eventually to a meeting, and from there to one of the most romantic love stories of all time, told here from the perspective of woman’s best friend, who goes from being a pampered lapdog to a dog-about-town in Italy.

Assassins
Book by John Weidman
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
From an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr.
Directed by Meg Roe

Stephen Sondheim’s darkly comic musical revue presents the nine men and women who have attempted to kill an American president. A carnival of the macabre, this ground-breaking musical puts everyone from John Wilkes Booth to Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme on display and invites the question: what makes an assassin?

JACKIE MAXWELL STUDIO THEATRE

The Playboy of the Western World
By J.M. Synge
Directed by Jackie Maxwell

The Shaw Festival’s Artistic Director Emerita Jackie Maxwell returns to helm this legendary Irish comedy. In a small Irish town where the only entertainment is gossip, Christy Mahon’s arrival has everyone talking. On the run after the murder of his father, he finds himself a local celebrity, not so much condemned as admired, and even desired. Everything is going Christy’s way…until his Dad turns up.

Desire Under the Elms
By Eugene O’Neill
Directed by Selma Dimitrijevic

Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece of erotic desire takes a Greek tragedy and sets it on an American Gothic farmstead. The hatred of Eben Cabot and his new stepmother for each other is only matched by their desire. Containing some of the most powerfully charged scenes in all of theatre, Desire Under the Elms is a poetic tale of forbidden love hurtling towards disaster.

Trouble in Mind
By Alice Childress
Directed by Philip Akin

Willetta Mayer is a black actress rehearsing a white play about black people being saved by white people. The compromises and petty humiliations of the rehearsal bring into focus the question: how much can she take for the sake of a life in the theatre? Pioneering African-American playwright, Alice Childress’s Trouble in Mind is a painfully funny and truthful piece about race, privilege and power.

FORT GEORGE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

The History of Niagara
Created and performed by Mike Petersen and Alexandra Montagnese
Commissioned and presented by the Shaw Festival
In association with Parks Canada
Directed by Tim Carroll

From the Maid of the Mist to Laura Secord to the founding of the Shaw Festival, The History of Niagara is a charming thirty minutes of pure storytelling, the rich history of our region brought to life by wordless puppets.

HOLIDAY SEASON

A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens
Directed by Molly Atkinson
Adapted and originally directed by Tim Carroll

An instant classic beloved by audiences, this charming production of A Christmas Carol returns to the Royal George Theatre for its fourth year.

Me and My Girl
Book and Lyrics by L. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber
Book Revised by Stephen Fry, with contributions by Mike Ockrent
Music by Noel Gay
Directed by Ashlie Corcoran

Back by popular demand, the Shaw Festival remounts the toe-tapping hit of the 2017 season at the Festival Theatre as part of the holiday season. Bill Snibson, a proud Cockney and newly discovered Earl of Hareford, is torn between the love of his gal and his aristocratic duty. This audience favourite is full of hilarious moments and infectious songs like The Lambeth Walk that are sure to brighten everyone’s holiday season.

Tickets for the 2020 season will be available through the Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW (7429) and online at shawfest.com. The Shaw Festival’s 2020 season goes on sale to Friends of The Shaw beginning November 2 and the public on December 7. Patrons wishing to get front-of-the-line access to tickets can visit shawfest.com or call 1-800-657-1106 x 2556 to become Friends of The Shaw.

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