Canada's Shaw Festival Has Major Barbara, Guys and Dolls, Light in the Piazza, Oscar Wilde and More in 2013
By Kenneth Jones
The Shaw Festival on Ontario announced Sept. 24 that its 2013 season will include 10 productions, including George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara, the musicals Guys and Dolls and The Light in the Piazza, Tom Stoppard's Arcadia and Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's fan, among others.
Shaw's 1938 play Geneva will be adapted into a new play by Canadian playwright John Murrell (Waiting for the Parade).
The 52nd season on four stages in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, will have the customary mix of plays by Shaw or his contemporaries, plus (new and old) in the Shavian tradition. Dates for the works, to be seen in rep, will be announced.
Artistic director Jackie Maxwell will direct Major Barbara, Shaw's story of a munitions mogul and his Salvation Army daughter, at the Victorian-style Royal George Theatre.
Polish director Tadeusz Bradecki will direct the Frank Loesser musical Guys and Dolls at the Festival Theatre.
Also at the flagship Festival mainstage will be Enchanted April, Matthew Barber's Tony Award-nominated stage adaptation of Elizabeth von Arnim's best-selling novel about English ladies renting a home in Northern Italy. Maxwell will direct.
The final production on the Festival stage is Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan, directed by Peter Hinton.
Jay Turvey, who directed Trouble in Tahiti in 2012, will direct the intimate Court House Theatre staging of Craig Lucas and Adam Guettel's musical The Light in the Piazza. The tale of a mother and daughter in Italy won the Tony for Best Score.
Also at the three-quarter-configured Court House will be the "re-examination" of Shaw's late-career play, Geneva, "a still-pertinent tale of international cooperation and the lack thereof." Murrell has re-titled it Peace in Our Time: A Comedy. It "still maintains the provocative ideas of Shaw's original work, giving us a dazzling world where politics meets the Marx Brothers." Blair Williams directs.
The popular Lunchtime entries (one-acts in the afternoon) at the Court House Theatre will be a pairing of Susan Glaspell's Trifles and Eugene O'Neill's A Wife for a Life, "which examine the stresses of marriage from two very different points of view."
At the proscenium Royal George, also expect W. Somerset Maugham's Our Betters, the "provocative comedy about free-spirited American social climbers who travel to Britain in search of aristocratic husbands," directed by Morris Panych.
Brian Friel's Faith Healer, "a play that centers on a charismatic but deeply flawed 'healer' and the night that changes his life," will be directed by Craig Hall, also at the Royal George.
The Shaw's Studio Theatre, a home for contemporary plays in the tradition of Shaw, will house Stoppard's acclaimed Arcadia, "a mysterious love story is played out in the past, then revised in the present with poetry, algebra and landscape gardening all playing a part," directed by Shaw's artistic associate Eda Holmes.
Tickets to the general public go on sale Jan. 12, 2013. The festival runs April to November. For more information, visit shawfest.com.
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