When the Shaw Festival is able to finally launch its 2021 season in July it will feature al fresco performances on a new outdoor stage.
That's the plan as of now, with early performances of “Charley's Aunt” and the full run of “The Devil’s Disciple” will take place on the stage in front of the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre.
“The Devil's Disciple” debuts July 6 and beginning July 7 audiences can enjoy “Charley's Aunt” under a canopied stage set amid the Shaw's gardens.
“A Short History of Niagara,” a commissioned puppetry piece originally set at Fort George, moves to the festival grounds with shows starting on July 29.
“The opportunity to present these shows amid the beauty and magic of Niagara’s outdoors – in the light of day or under the early evening stars – allows us all to experience them in an entirely new and special way,” artistic director Tim Carroll said in a media statement.
“Theatre is about connection – human connection – and our outdoor performances are one way that more of us can come together safely and experience live theatre again,” he said.
Shaw executive director Tim Jennings said he hopes the increase in vaccination rates and continued adherence to public health guidelines bring COVID-19 case numbers down over the summer.
“We continue to remain optimistic that our American patrons will also be allowed to join us at the Shaw and in Niagara-on-the-Lake before the end of summer,” he added.
If restrictions permit, the Shaw plans reduced-capacity indoor performances of “Flush” at the Royal George Theatre, starting July 8, and “Sherlock Holmes and The Raven’s Curse” at the Festival Theatre, beginning July 23.
“Charley’s Aunt” will move back to the Royal George Theatre’s stage in August.
After directing “Serving Elizabeth” at the Stratford Festival, the Shaw’s associate artistic director Kimberley Rampersad returns to take over the directorial duties of “Desire Under the Elms.”
Performances of the Eugene O'Neill masterpiece were to start in July but have been delayed until Oct. 15. It will run concurrently with “A Christmas Carol” and Irving Berlin’s “Holiday Inn.”
The 2021 season, now set for July 6 to Dec. 23, also features “Trouble in Mind,” “A Short History of Niagara,” and a yet-to-be announced series of outdoor concerts and activities.
For more information, visit shawfest.com.