Shaw Festival 2016 features a wide variety of plays within Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario Canada. The festival is its own theater company, and offers plays from within its own repertory (the second biggest in the country) that include unique, under-rated, or emerging plays from Shaw’s era (late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries). Located in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake near Niagara Falls, Shaw Festival Ontario draws hundreds of thousands of theater lovers to see almost 1,000 plays in a dozen theaters, annually between the months of May through November.
Shaw Festival History and Facts
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright born in 1856. Before his death in 1950, he wrote more than 60 stage plays. He is the only person to have ever been awarded both an Oscar and the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature. He wrote plays, mainly on social issues, including religion, marriage, government, education, and health care, that were laced with comedy for a more palatable approach.
In 1962, playwright Brian Doherty began an event called Salute to Shaw, which debuted in the local courthouse and featured two of Shaw’s most famous plays: Candida and Don Juan in Hell. It was an immediate and major success. By 1966, the festival had gained international success. Several esteemed artistic directors took Shaw Festival Ontario to higher ground, and by 1973 the festival had a new home theater, called Festival Theater, that welcomed the likes of Queen Elizabeth and Indira Ghandi. In recent times, the festival has tightened focus around premiering works written specifically during Shaw’s life from 1856 to 1950.
Tickets to Shaw Festival
With Shaw Festival Ontario 2016 tickets, fans can see one play or multiple plays. Tickets are available for individual plays, while purchasing three or more play tickets reaps a savings. Other ways to save on tickets to Shaw Festival include seeing a play preview before officially opening, booking early, seeing a Sunday performance, or choosing a one of a limited number of discount balcony tickets. Tickets go on sale in January. Festival goers under 30 years of age, seniors, and students each receive additional discounts on tickets to Shaw Festival Ontario 2016.
Directions to Shaw Festival
Located at the north end of the beautiful Niagara Parkway, getting to The Shaw Festival is fairly direct, from within Canada and from the United States. From Toronto, take the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) across the scenic Garden City Skyway within St Catharines and continue on the 38B Niagara-on-the-Lake exit. Take a right at the stop sign, a left at York Road and a right onto Airport Road. At Niagara Stone Road merge right and continue to the golf course, then take aright directly into the downtown area of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Park by Market Street and walk to one of the four downtown theaters only two blocks away.
From Detroit and Windsor use highways 401 and then 403 to Hamilton which then joins the QEW and the same directions from Toronto.
Lodging near Shaw Festival
There are many options available for lodging near Shaw Festival theaters. Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to many charming bed and breakfasts, quaint hotels, vintage hotels, and inns that pay perfect complement to watching plays from a historic era. About a fifteen-minute drive is Niagara Falls, a hot stop on Canada tours and an exciting destination to spend a few days in. Niagara Falls is home to several casinos, like Fallsview Casino, and dozens of hotels that play host to thousands of visitors each year. There are options from lower-end budget hotels to five star luxury hotels available. The third option is to make the hour and forty-five minute drive from Toronto past alongside both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.
Image: Cast of Serious Money / David Cooper