arrow_downarrow_leftarrow_rightarrow_upbookmarkArtboard 6bubbleicon_arrow_lefticon_birdicon_calicon_facebookicon_mailicon_searchicon_twittericon_websiteicon-emailicon-facebookicon-ldicon-twitterArtboard 6review_countsigthumbs_downthumbs_uptop_allArtboard 6top_yearw-negw-nonew-nutw-pos

Shaw Festival 2019 playbill and casting news

By C.L.Shoemaker, Nov. 2, 2018

Tim Carroll has announced casting for the exciting Shaw Festival 2019 playbill.

Citing a desire to look to the past, Carroll noted that the Shaw Festival 2019 playbill will revisit favourites like Shaw’s “Getting Married” and, “Man and Superman” and Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac,” providing a mix of family friendly and familiar shows.

Along with the familiar will be some challenging plays. Says Carroll “Love it or hate it, we have something to delight- or provoke- everyone.”

The Shaw Festival 2019 playbill includes fifteen productions. At the Festival Theatre, director Christine Brubaker will tackle the world premiere of C.S. Lewis’ “The Horse and His Boy.” The adaptation by Anna Chatterton unveils a magical Narnian tale that follows a family friendly hero’s journey.

For musicals, the theatre will produce Lerner and Loewe’s classic “Brigadoon,” a fantastical account of a mythical town that appears only for one day. In addition, Tim Carroll will direct Graham Linehan’s dark comedy “The Ladykillers” and Kimberley Rampersad will direct a limited engagement production of “Man and Superman with Don Juan in Hell.”

At the Royal George Theatre patrons can catch a psychological thriller “Rope” directed by Jani Lauzon, and Shaw’s “Getting Married” directed by Tanja Jacobs. Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch’s one act “The Russian Play” will be directed by Diana Donnelly as a lunchtime one act. And Toronto director Chris Abraham, who recently directed Bard on the Beach’s “Macbeth,” will present the classic “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmond Rostand.

At the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre, the Shaw Festival 2019 playbill showcases three productions that deal with the heartbreak, passion and the frustration of love. László Bérczes will spearhead Tennessee Williams’ classic “The Glass Menagerie” while Peter Hinton will tackle Mae West’s play “Sex,” a work deemed very controversial when it was first produced. The controversy doesn’t end with Mae West as Tim Carroll directs Howard Barker’s “Victory,” a play “not for the squeamish,” that examines death, burial, treason and the British monarchy during the restoration.

Back this year is the popular secret theatre which allows artists to curate surprising and unique experiences. Another not-to-be missed production is Why Not Theatre’s “Mahabharata: Beginnings,” written and directed by Ravi Jain.

The Shaw Festival 2019 playbill:

The Horse and His Boy

April 6 to July 21
By C.S. Lewis
Adapted for the stage by Anna Chatterton
Directed by Christine Brubaker

Shaw Festival 2019 playbill returns to Narnia with the world premiere of “The Horse and His Boy.” Two runaway children – Shasta, played by Matt Nethersole of 2018’s “Magician’s Nephew” and “Grand Hotel,” and Aravis, played by Shaw veteran Jay Turvey – quickly find themselves at the centre of a battle with the fate of Narnia at stake. This classic hero journey will include pre-show workshops where families can become part of the magic they see on stage.

“The Horse and His Boy” also features David Ball, Kristi Frank, Jane Johanson, Krystal Kiran, Madelyn Kriese, George Krissa, Julie Lumsden, Stewart Adam McKensy, Drew Plummer, Genny Sermonia, Jacqueline Thair and Jenny L. Wright.

May 5 to October 13
Book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner; music by Frederick Loewe
Original dances created by Agnes de Mille
Directed by Glynis Leyshon

Travelers Tommy Albright (George Krissa) and Jeff Douglas (Mike Nadajewski) stumble into Brigadoon, a Scottish town that only appears one day, once a century. The town is bustling with Charlie Dalrymple’s (Matt Nethersole) upcoming nuptials which cause headaches for Archie Beaton (Michael Therriault) whose son is in love with the bride. The local lasses Fiona MacLaren (Alexis Gordon) and Meg Brockie (Kristi Frank) make merry with the visitors who soon find themselves smitten with the town and the women.

“Brigadoon” also features David Ball, Peter Fernandes, Kyle Golemba, Patty Jamieson, Jane Johanson, Krystal Kiran, Madelyn Kriese, Julie Lumsden, Marie Mahabal, Stewart Adam McKensy, Peter Millard, Drew Plummer, Travis Seetoo, Genny Sermonia, Gabriella Sundar Singh, Jacqueline Thair, Jay Turvey, Kelly Wong and Jenny L. Wright.

The Ladykillers
June 11 to October 12
By Graham Linehan
From the motion picture screenplay by William Rose
Directed by Tim Carroll

Based on one of the best-loved British films of all time, the North American premiere of this comedy tour-de-force about a group of would-be murderers trying to kill one little old lady stars Damien Atkins as Professor Marcus and Chick Reid as Mrs. Wilberforce.

“The Ladykillers” also features Kristopher Bowman, Fiona Byrne, Martin Happer, Andrew Lawrie, Steven Sutcliffe, Ric Reid and Tara Rosling.

Man and Superman with Don Juan in Hell
By Bernard Shaw
August 17 to October 5
Directed by Kimberley Rampersad

John Tanner (Gray Powell) doesn’t want to get married, least of all to Ann Whitefield (Sara Topham). And yet something seems to be making it inevitable. Bernard Shaw’s joyous, life-affirming comedy includes Kyle Blair as the smitten Octavius, Martha Burns as anarchist Mendoza and The Devil, and Tom McCamus as the self-made man Malone.

“Man and Superman with Don Juan in Hell” also features David Adams, Sharry Flett, Jeff Irving, Claire Jullien, Sanjay Talwar and Shauna Thompson.

With only 17 performances, “Man and Superman with Don Juan in Hell” is a limited engagement special event with a luncheon interlude featuring farm-to-table menus from Niagara’s finest chefs, paired with regional wines.


April 12 to October 12
By Patrick Hamilton
Directed by Jani Lauzon

Two college students – Wyndham Brandon (Kelly Wong) and Charles Granillo (Travis Seetoo) – in 1920s London commit murder and host a party for the victim’s friends including their former prep school headmaster (Michael Therriault) with the hidden body as the centerpiece… just to see if they can pull it off.

“Rope” also features Kyle Golemba, Alexis Gordon, Patty Jamieson and Peter Millard.

Getting Married
May 10 to October 13
By Bernard Shaw
Directed by Tanja Jacobs

They were supposed to tie the knot. But a pamphlet has arrived warning them of the dangers of getting married. So now they’ve called it off, sending the entire family into a frenzied, fireworks-filled debate about marriage, society’s best-loved institution.

Showcasing Bernard Shaw’s signature wit are Martin Happer as General Bridgenorth, Marla McLean as Mrs. George Collins, Tara Rosling as Lesbia Grantham, Ben Sanders as St. John Hotchkiss, Graeme Somerville as Bishop Chelsea and Steven Sutcliffe as Reginald Bridgenorth.

“Getting Married” also features Damien Atkins, Katherine Gauthier, Cameron Grant, Andrew Lawrie, Monice Peter and Chick Reid.

The Russian Play
June 8 to October 12
By Hannah Moscovitch
Directed by Diana Donnelly
Lunchtime One-Act
Mature Content

This story of a small-town flower girl’s ill-fated love with a gravedigger features Gabriella Sundar Singh as Sonya and Peter Fernandes as Piotr, along with Marie Mahabal and Mike Nadajewski.

Cyrano de Bergerac
July 27 to October 20
By Edmond Rostand
Translated and adapted for the stage by Kate Hennig
Directed by Chris Abraham

Cyrano de Bergerac (Tom Rooney) is a swashbuckling 17th century swordsman who can do anything … except tell Roxane (Deborah Hay), the woman he loves, how he feels. He’s just too self-conscious about his unusually large nose. Roxane is in love with words, so when Cyrano is offered the chance to ghost-write love letters to her from Christian (Jeff Irving) an inarticulate, love-struck cadet, he takes it.

“Cyrano de Bergerac” also features David Adams, Kyle Blair, Sharry Flett, Patrick Galligan, Claire Jullien, Emily Lukasik, Michael Man, Marla McLean and Kiera Sangster.

The Glass Menagerie

May 22 to October 12
By Tennessee Williams Directed by László Bérczes

In his autobiographical masterpiece, Tennessee Williams – Tom (André Sills) – recalls growing up in the Depression-era Midwest with his shy sister (Julia Course) and their overbearing mother (Pamela Sinha). A gentleman caller (Jonathan Tan) seems to offer the chance of a new life – perhaps for all of them.

June 21 to October 13
By Mae West
Directed by Peter Hinton

Margy LaMont (Diana Donnelly), a quick-witted, sharp-tongued prostitute in Roaring Twenties Montreal who is looking for a better life. When she meets Jimmy Stanton (Julia Course), a rich and ardent young lover, she seems to have hit the jackpot. The trouble is he doesn’t know the truth about her, but his mother (Fiona Byrne) is well aware of his new girlfriend’s business.

“Sex” also features Kristopher Bowman, Katherine Gauthier, Cameron Grant, Monice Peter, Ben Sanders, André Sills, Pamela Sinha, Graeme Somerville, Ric Reid and Jonathan Tan.

Age Recommendation: Grade 9+

July 14 to October 12
By Howard Barker
Directed by Tim Carroll
Warning: Victory is deliberately offensive: not for the squeamish.

Brutal and brilliant, this controversial play by Howard Barker is set in the aftermath of Charles II’s Restoration on the throne of England. Mrs. Bradshaw (Martha Burns), a 17th century widow, is fighting to give her puritan husband a proper burial — but to achieve this, she must take on a world where base instincts are rampant and language is wielded as a weapon. This powerhouse cast features Sara Topham as Devonshire, Patrick Galligan as Scrope, Gray Powell as Ponting, Tom Rooney as Ball and Tom McCamus as Charles Stuart.

Victory also features Deborah Hay, Emily Lukasik, Michael Man, Kiera Sangster, Sanjay Talwar and Shauna Thompson.

Age Recommendation: Grade 12+

Mahabharata: Beginnings
Written and directed by Ravi Jain
Developed in partnership with Why Not Theatre, Toronto
The Shaw Festival 2019 playbill features a series of experimental performances as Ravi Jain adapts the classic Sanskrit poem of ancient India. “Mahabharata: Beginnings” forges the way for the full presentation of this epic South Asian masterpiece during the 2020 season. Developed in partnership with Why Not Theatre, these performances are exclusive to Friends of The Shaw.

Secret Theatre
Secret Theatre returns for a third season of surprising and engaging artistic experiences.

Casting for “Holiday Inn” and “A Christmas Carol” will be announced in 2019.

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn
Based on the film from Universal Pictures
Music and lyrics by Irving Berlin; book by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge Directed by Kate Hennig

This toe-tapping delight follows Jim Hardy as he leaves showbiz behind for life on a farm, but soon discovers he isn’t quite the farmer he hoped he’d be. Jim’s outlook begins to change when he falls for a local woman named Linda. Together with a group of his Broadway buddies, they transform his farmhouse into an inn featuring stunning performances that ring in every holiday with song, dance and celebration.

A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens
Adapted for the stage and originally directed by Tim Carroll
Directed by Molly Atkinson

Nestled in the heart of the ultimate Christmas village, the charming holiday favourite returns to the Shaw Festival’s Royal George Theatre.

Tickets for the Shaw Festival 2019 season go on sale to Friends of The Shaw beginning November 3 and the public on December 8. Patrons wishing to get front-of-the-line access to tickets can visit or call 1-800-657-1106 x 2556 to become Friends of The Shaw.


Sign up for ticket deals, contests and more.

* indicates required





Traditional arts journalism is in decline. Now more than ever, this independent website and our podcast fill a growing void. We've had over 1.5 million page views, and are grateful that you are here. We rely on readers — and a handful of advertisers who share our values — to make our work possible. When we raised funds for our podcast, The "Performers Podcast," the average donation from people like you was $96. Now we hope you’ll join us in augmenting our coverage of arts in the region by making a one-time donation today.

Founder Stratford Festival Reviews
Donate Now

Shaw Festival 2019 playbill and casting news

Keith Tomasek
2 November 2018
News and Rumors

What did you think?

Share This Post:

Share This Tweet This Email This