The festival's mandate is plays written in — or about — the period that Irish playwright Shaw lived (1856-1950).
Artistic director Jackie Maxwell announced a slate that will include Morris Panych staging Shaw's You Never Can Tell and Joseph Ziegler directing Shaw's Major Barbara, both at the flagship house called the Festival Theatre. Gypsy gets a production at the Festival Theatre. Maxwell directs the musical about the origin of burlesque queen Gypsy Rose Lee. This will mark the first time a musical has played the Festival Theatre's stage; the company has so far avoided staging the obvious: My Fair Lady, the smash musical of Shaw's Pygmalion.
The 2005 playbill includes 10 productions at the Shaw Festival's three theatres situated in historic Niagara-on the-Lake, on the lip of Lake Ontario, downstream from Niagara Falls.
A remount of The Shaw's celebrated 2003 production of the Brecht/Weill musical Happy End, directed by Tadeusz Bradecki, will play at the Royal George Theatre.
Alisa Palmer directs Belle Moral: A Natural History, a new version of acclaimed Canadian playwright and novelist Ann-Marie MacDonald's early play The Arab's Mouth, at the Court House Theatre. In Belle Moral, "a young Scottish scientist seeks to uncover her family's secrets in this offbeat Gothic comedy. This new version of The Arab's Mouth was commissioned by The Shaw and has its premiere this season." Former Shaw artistic director Christopher Newton will direct R.C. Sherriff's drama of World War I, Journey's End, also at the Court House.
Renowned Canadian actor and director Martha Henry directs Lillian Hellman's The Autumn Garden at the Court House, while The Shaw's associate director Neil Munro directs Somerset Maugham's The Constant Wife and a new version of Georges Feydeau and Maurice Desvallière's one-act C'est une femme du monde, at the Royal George. In addition to Gypsy, Jackie Maxwell directs William Inge's Bus Stop, also at the Royal George.
Tickets for the 2005 season go on sale to Shaw Festival Members on Nov. by mail, fax, or online; on Nov. 27 by phone or in person. Tickets go on sale to groups on Jan. 3, 2005. For the general public, tickets go on sale Jan. 10 by mail, fax or online and on Jan. 15 by phone or in person.
For more information, visit www.shawfest.com.