The Shaw Festival, still two months away from the end of its 2012 season, announced its 2013 lineup this week.
Its 52nd season in the sleepy community of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., will feature large-scale productions of the musical "Guys and Dolls," Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windemere's Fan" and "Enchanted April" on the Festival Theatre stage.
"Guys and Dolls," the much-revived 1950 musical with a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows and music and lyrics by the prolific Frank Loesser, will be directed by Tadeusz Bradecki. Peter Hinton, who directed the Shaw's 2011 production of "When the Rain Stops Falling," will take on "Lady Windemere's Fan," Wilde's comedy of marital infidelity and its attendant trials and tribulations. Shaw Festival Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell will direct "Enchanted April," Matthew Barber's adaptation of Elizabeth von Arnim's 1922 novel about four British women who escape the doldrums of post-WWI England for an eventful Italian vacation.
The festival's namesake, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, will be honored next year by productions of his acclaimed "Major Barbara" in the Royal George Theatre and "Peace in Our Time: A Comedy," described in a release as a "rethinking" of his 1938 play "Geneva," by Canadian playwright John Murrell in the Court House Theatre.
The Court House will also host a production of Craig Lucas and Adam Guettel's beloved 2003 musical "A Light in the Piazza," as well as the Shaw's popular lunchtime series. This year, that series features two short plays, Eugene O'Neill's "A Wife for a Life" and Susan Glaspell's "Trifles."
The Shaw Festival will also produce W. Somerset Maugham's "Our Betters," Tom Stoppard's 1993 play "Arcadia" and Brian Friel's "Faith Healer," which received a memorable production from the Irish Classical Theatre Company in 2008, in the company's small Studio Theatre space.
Shaw Festival members can purchase tickets for the 2013 season from Nov. 3 to 30, with tickets going on sale to the public Jan. 12. Dates and casting for the shows have not yet been announced.
Behind the curtain
For many Shaw Festival visitors, the mysterious mechanics behind the company's frequent set changes and the complexity of its designers' visions have long been a source of fascination. At 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the company is inviting curious theatergoers to tour its production facility in an event called "Behind the Scenes@the Shaw Festival."
Visitors will get tours of the wardrobe and wig department as well as a close-up view of an actor's dressing room. They'll also be able to peer beneath the stage to see the technological nuts and bolts behind the company's motorized set pieces. The tour is free, but the Shaw Festival recommends calling the box office to reserve a spot. Call (800) 511-7429 or visit www.shawfest.com.