If you go to the Shaw or Stratford Festival

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Shaw Festival

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario; 250 miles by car from Pittsburgh; 53rd season; artistic director Jackie Maxwell. A colorful 52-page schedule and visitors guide to shows, accommodations, restaurants and attractions is available from the Shaw Festival, Box 774, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada L0S 1J0; phone 1-800-511-SHAW (7429); www.shawfest.com.

Tickets: Prices vary according to play or musical, theater and day of the week. The range is $45-$110 (Canadian and U.S. dollars are about on par), with many discounts for students and seniors. Also season passes, flex passes, special packages, family outings and selected 11 a.m. performances.

Accommodations: Through chamber of commerce (1-888-619-5981, www.niagaraonthelake.com); there is also a town Visitor's Guide available as a pdf. Similar services include the NOTL B&B Association (1-866-855-0123, www.niagarabedandbreakfasts.com); and BBSTAY NOTL and B&B Concierge (1-866-805-9188, bbstay.ca).


Festival Theatre (856 seats): Loesser, Swerling & Burrows, "Guys and Dolls" (through Oct. 12); Oscar Wilde, "Lady Windermere's Fan" (through Oct. 19); Matthew Barber, "Enchanted April" (June 25-Oct. 26).

Royal George Theatre (328): W. Somerset Maugham, "Our Betters" (through Oct. 27); Shaw, "Major Barbara" (through Oct. 19); Brian Friel, "Faith Healer" (June 13-Oct. 6).

Court House Theatre (327): John Murrell (adapted from Shaw's "Geneva"), "Peace in Our Time: A Comedy" (May 19-Oct. 12); Lucas & Guettel, "The Light in the Piazza" (July 4-Oct. 13); Lunchtime "Trifles": Susan Glaspell and Eugene O'Neill (May 29-Oct. 12).

Studio Theatre (176): "Tom Stoppard, "Arcadia" (July 14-Sept. 7).


Backstage tours; pre-show chats; post-show "Continue the Conversation" discussions; Tuesday Q&As; Sunday coffee concerts; picnics; winemakers' pass (28 wineries); Play Reading Series ("The Mountaintop," Sept. 1; TBA, Sept. 15; "Jerusalem," Oct. 13); "Join the Conversation" with Adam Guettel (Aug. 9); Garden Tour (June 8); hat-making workshop (Aug. 19-23); "Guys & Dolls" singalongs (Aug. 22, Sept. 28); various pre-performance events; Shaw Symposium (July 26-28); Shaw Seminar: Worlds Collide (Aug. 8-11); young people's programs; student packages; theater and dining packages; theater and hotel packages; and special programs for Shaw members.

Stratford Festival

Stratford, Ontario; 350 miles by car from Pittsburgh; 61st season; artistic director Antoni Cimolino. A well-illustrated 112-page visitors guide, including schedule and info on hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and more, is available from the Stratford Festival, P.O. Box 520, Stratford, Ontario, Canada N5A 6V2; phone 1-800-567-1600; orders@stratfordshakespearefestival.com; Facebook; www.stratfordfestival.ca includes trailers of shows.

Tickets: Prices vary according to play or musical, theater and day of the week. The Canadian and U.S. dollars are about on par. The range for Festival, Avon and Tom Patterson theaters is $58-$120 (plays) and $70-$175 (musicals); Studio Theatre $35-$90. Students $20-$29, seniors $35-$66 and children (up to 18) $35-$66.

Patron services: Accommodation bureau (1-800-567-1600, www.stratfordaccommodations.com. Stratford Tourism lists accommodations and more (800-561-SWAN, www.welcometostratford.com). The festival visitors guide lists several more B&B associations.


Festival Theatre (1,833 seats): Shakespeare, "Romeo & Juliet" (now in previews; through Oct. 19) and "The Merchant of Venice" (July 30-Oct. 18); Stein, Bock & Harnick, "Fiddler on the Roof" (in previews; through Oct. 20); Peter Raby (after Dumas), "The Three Musketeers" (May 18-Oct. 19).

Avon Theatre (1,079): Townshend & McAnuff, "Tommy" (in previews; through Oct. 19); Noel Coward, "Blithe Spirit" (May 16-Oct. 20); Shakespeare, "Othello" (Aug. 4-Oct. 19).

Tom Patterson Theatre (480): Friedrich Schiller, "Mary Stuart" (in previews; through Sept. 21); Shakespeare, "Measure for Measure" (May 18-Sept. 21); Samuel Beckett, "Waiting for Godot" (June 13-Sept. 20).

Studio Theatre (260): John Murrell, "Taking Shakespeare" (July 13-Sept. 22); Judith Thompson, "The Thrill" (July 28-Sept. 22).


Performances and showcases: "Dear Mary, Dear Elizabeth" (June 28, July 26, Aug. 31); "Stand Off," stand-up comics on season themes (June 13); "Playwrights Crucible" (July 11); "Late Night With Lucy" (July 5, 19, Aug. 9, 23); stage lighting (Aug. 11, 15, 17); Night of Improv (Aug. 15); Geraint Wyn Davies, "Wordplay," dramatic readings (June 14, July 9, Aug. 24, 29); "In Vitro: Airings From the Laboratory" (Oct., 15-19).

Speakers: A dozen programs such as "Shakespeare in Kabul," "Sex and Love in Verona, Venice and Vienna," etc.; Panels and Debates such as "The Power of Women" and "Does Shakespeare Still Matter?"; Adam Gopnik, "Food for Thought: Shakespeare and Feasting" (May 31); Conversations, including Brian Dennehy; Table Talk (buffet lunches with talks).

Chats (mainly free): Meet the Festival (July 3-Aug. 30); Talking Theatre with Antoni Cimolino (July 4-Aug. 29); Festival Friday Chats (post-show, most Fridays, July and August).

Tours: Costume and Props Warehouse; Festival Theatre Backstage; Archives.

Also: Full schedule of music programs; Active Explorations (swordplay in "Three Musketeers," song and dance in "Fiddler on the Roof," etc.); screenings of related movies; art exhibitions including talks; Symposia; education program for teachers and students; festival courses in voice, etc.; university courses; special interest theater packages.


First Published May 12, 2013 4:00 AM


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