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When the Rain Stops Falling

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, August 10, 2011…When the Rain Stops Falling, Andrew Bovell’s stirring generational story, begins previews Thursday at The Shaw’s Studio Theatre.

An apocalyptic torrent of rain. An unexpected phone call from an estranged son. A fish falls from the sky. So begins a journey that delves back across time, space and four generations exposing two family’s multilayered history and their unexpectedly intricate connections. A complex contemporary mystery, When the Rain Stops Falling is epic in its scope, yet surprisingly intimate and desperately moving.

Directed by Peter Hinton, When the Rain Stops Falling features Donna Belleville as Elizabeth Law (older), Wade Bogert-O’Brien as Andrew Price, Krista Colosimo as Gabrielle York (younger), Jeff Meadows as Gabriel Law, Peter Millard as Joe Ryan, Ric Reid as Gabriel York, Tara Rosling as Elizabeth Law (younger), Graeme Somerville as Henry Law and Wendy Thatcher as Gabrielle York (older).

The creative team includes set and costume design by Camellia Koo, lighting design by Kevin Lamotte, music composition/sound design by Richard Feren. Stage managed by Dora Tomassi and assistant stage manager Kristopher Weber.

First produced as part of the Adelaide Festival of the Arts at the Scott Theatre, University of Adelaide, Australia, in 2008, When the Rain Stops Falling has premiered at London’s Almeida Theatre and New York’s Lincoln Center Theater. This production of When the Rain Stops Falling is its Canadian premiere and marks the first time an Australian play has been performed at the Shaw Festival.

When the Rain Stops Falling begins preview performances Thursday, August 11; opens Friday, August 26; and plays in repertory until Saturday, September 17. more…

Distinguished Canadian actor Al Kozlik dies of stroke

January 13, 2011, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada – The Shaw Festival mourns the passing of distinguished Canadian actor Al Kozlik. Mr. Kozlik died peacefully on January 11 at the Greater Niagara General Hospital after suffering a stroke. He leaves behind his spouse of 41 years, Scott Sunderland.

Upon making the announcement, Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell noted: “Al was a most beloved and generous Company Member with an enthusiasm for, and love of, actors and acting that was endlessly infectious. I feel blessed to have witnessed his final performance as “Firs” in The Cherry Orchard last season, a part he had always wanted to play and which he embodied so beautifully.”

Mr. Kozlik had been a member of the Shaw Festival Ensemble for twenty-eight years. He was a Vancouver Playhouse alumnus who arrived at The Shaw in 1980 when Christopher Newton became Artistic Director. Reflecting on his long-time association with Mr. Kozlik, Artistic Director Emeritus Christopher Newton said: “I worked with Al for over 45 years. He was a great trooper, he was a great company member and he was one of those people who simply loved to be on the stage. Whether playing a small or large part, they were always alive vibrant and fully realized — Al Kozlik was a consummate company member.” more…

Shaw Festival Castings for the 2011 Season

Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell proudly announced today the casting and creative teams for the Shaw Festival’s 50th season. This milestone season will run from April 7 to October 30 on the Festival’s four Niagara-on-the-Lake stages and will feature a dazzling array of theatre. See Shaw re-envisioned by both directors and writers, newly commissioned works, plays by a new generation of provocative playwrights, re-explored classics, returning Festival favourites and a special 50th season two-day event, The Speed of Ideas – A Theatrical Forum.

Alluding to the significance of this season, Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell stated: “Planning our 50th season has been an amazing journey – how to combine a celebration of our illustrious past and provide a clear vision for the future – showing that we are up and ready to be a vital part of the national and international theatrical conversation for the next 50 years! We are confident that the following plays and the brilliant selection of theatre artists, who will put their hearts and souls into bringing them to you, will achieve all of the above and most likely more!”

The extraordinary collection of Canadian acting talent has been assembled and all are poised to bring this landmark 50th season’s playbill to life. The Shaw warmly welcomes back 2010 Company members Michael Ball, Guy Bannerman, Neil Barclay, Anthony Bekenn, Kyle Blair, Donna Belleville, Wade Bogert-O’Brien, Norman Browning, Benedict Campbell, Krista Colosimo, Diana Donnelly, Saccha Dennis, Sharry Flett, Patrick Galligan, Jonathan Gould, Mary Haney, Deborah Hay, Patty Jamieson, Gabrielle Jones, Lorne Kennedy, Peter Krantz, Catherine McGregor, Patrick McManus, Thom Marriott, Julie Martell, Marla McLean, Jim Mezon, Peter Millard, Moya O’Connell, Laurie Paton, Melanie Phillipson, Gray Powell, Ric Reid, David Schurmann, Graeme Somerville, Ken James Stewart, Steven Sutcliffe, Wendy Thatcher, Jay Turvey, Mark Uhre and Jenny L. Wright. In keeping with the Festival’s emphasis on nurturing the careers of emerging theatre artists, participants of the Slaight Family Foundation’s 2010 inaugural Mandate Intensive — Julia Course, Ijeoma Emesowum, Robin Evan Willis, Billy Lake, Colin Lepage, Anthony Malarky, Craig Pike, Cherissa Richards, Louie Rossetti, Ben Sanders, Jacqueline Thair and Kelly Wong return, along with new members of the Company Heather McGuigan and Jonathan Tan. more…

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Free: Learn to Sing at the Shaw Festival

Are you a shower soprano? A bathroom bass or baritone? A timid tenor? Ever wondered if you could sing like the pros? The Shaw Festival invites all singers of all levels to take part in a free musical theatre workshop on Saturday, September 25, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Festival Theatre’s rehearsal hall as part of the inaugural national Culture Days.

Conducted by Music Director Paul Sportelli and Associate Conductor Ryan deSouza, members of the Shaw Festival’s ensemble will guide participants through the process of how to Sing Like the Pros! and provide a rare behind the scenes glimpse into the world of musical theatre. Enter through the stage door and become part of The Shaw’s renowned acting ensemble for the day. more…

Bernard Shaw’s The Doctor’s Dilemma at the Shaw Festival

Life does not cease to be funny when people die, any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.


The Doctor’s Dilemma, the first of two productions by the Shaw Festival’s namesake, begins previews June 10th at the Festival Theatre. Morris Panych directs this comic piece that poses some very relevant questions: when medical resources are limited, should a doctor decide who receives treatment and should those who can afford treatment be the first in line to receive it?

With his usual distinctive wit, Shaw tests the humanity of a doctor and presents a moral dilemma. Sir Colenso Ridgeon (Patrick Galligan) has discovered a lifesaving cure, but faces an ethical quandary. With only enough of his new cure for tuberculosis left for one patient, who should he save? Dr. Blenkinsop (Ric Reid), a kindly colleague who serves the poor, or the extremely talented but unscrupulous young artist Louis Dubedat (Jonathan Gould), who also happens to have a beautiful young wife (Krista Colosimo)? more…

Shaw Festival opens with Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husban

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – Through a curtain of humour, great ideas, struggles and relationships will be revealed and examined during the 49th season of the Shaw Festival.  Commencing with Oscar Wilde’s witty intrigue An Ideal Husband — a play about blackmail, political corruption and scandal, four other productions will also open this week: the Canadian premiere of the Tom Murphy version of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard; the Kurt Weill, Ogden Nash, S.J. Perelman madcap musical One Touch of Venus; the Mary Chase Pulitzer Prize-winning charmer Harvey; and the clever, cut-throat Clare Boothe Luce comedy The Women.

The Shaw Festival’s Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell joins The Shaw’s Board of Governors Chair Janet McKelvey and the rest of the Company in celebrating the start of the season and says of this week’s events: “After weeks of exploring, building, rehearsing, previewing and honing, we proudly open the first five shows in our 2010 season — a truly rich showcase for our wonderfully talented company.”

Shaw Festival Receives $2.6 Million Grant

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, May 14, 2010…Colleen Blake, Executive Director of the Shaw Festival, announced today that the theatre festival has received $2.6 million in continued funding through the Marquee Tourism Events Program (MTEP), the temporary two-year stimulus package introduced as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

Funding will also impact entire Niagara Region and community partners

“The Shaw Festival is very grateful to our MP, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, and to the Government of Canada for their ongoing support of the Shaw Festival,” said Blake. “MTEP proved to be extremely helpful in 2009, contributing to a major increase in sales for The Shaw. This timely injection of financial support in 2010 will certainly have a significant economic impact for The Shaw, our community partners and the entire Niagara Region.” more…