Shaw Festival hopeful for a fall and holiday season amid pandemic

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The Shaw Festival says planning is already underway for a reduced fall and holiday season at the Niagara-on-the-Lake theatre.

Officials with Shaw say it is clear that the festival is not able to proceed with the season as scheduled, so they are cancelling all performances and public events through to September 15th.

The further delay has forced the Festival to cancel most of the 2020 productions.

All 2020 performances of Gypsy, The Devil’s Disciple, Sherlock Holmes and The Raven’s Curse, Prince Caspian, The Playboy of the Western World, Assassins, Desire Under the Elms, Trouble in Mind and Me and My Girl are cancelled.
 
Performances of Charley’s Aunt, Flush and A Christmas Carol after September 16th have not yet been cancelled in the hopes that The Shaw can safely welcome audiences into reduced-capacity theatres.

The Festival will announce details of protocols and safety measures in the coming weeks.
 
“We are all hungry for the special way that theatre allows us to join together and share a unique experience,” said Tim Carroll, Artistic Director. “Everyone in the company had been looking forward to bringing you a truly special season. It’s devastating to have had to put the season on hold; but I am determined that our audience will see as much of it as possible as soon as it is safe to share it with them.”
 
“We have decided to remain optimistic and hopeful about presenting an abbreviated fall or holiday season, not only for ourselves and our audiences, but for the whole community of Niagara,” said Tim Jennings, Executive Director/CEO. “With that in mind, we are in the process of seeing what kind of reduced performance schedule we could offer. As one of the primary tourism and economic generators for the Niagara Region, we are keenly aware of the $220 million in economic impact The Shaw normally drives to the Region and the thousands of jobs that are reliant on us. Our theatres are in the heart of downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake and a schedule featuring Charley’s Aunt, Flush and A Christmas Carol might afford what we feel is the best way to help our community get back on its feet as soon as it is safe to do so. The question now is one of being able to do that safely and we await word from the Government and public health agencies on a variety of issues to ensure that is possible.”