In the historic village of Niagara-on-the-Lake, it's easy to feel pulled back in time to, say, the era of acclaimed playwright George Bernard Shaw.

Nearby this 19th century village with its horse-drawn carriages and cozy cafes are the rolling vineyards of wine country and the splendor of Niagara Falls. But for theatre lovers, the real draw is the world-class Shaw Festival with fans of George Bernard Shaw filling The Shaw's four theatres to view its repertoire of classics, comedies, and dramas.

Launched in 1962, The Shaw is the only theatre in the world specializing exclusively in plays by Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries, as well as plays about the period during which Shaw lived (1856-1950). Shaw, who was known for his wit and irreverence, wrote over 50 plays and is acknowledged as one of history's greatest playwrights.

“In the spirit of Bernard Shaw, the Shaw Festival provokes the mind and stirs the soul through a theatre experience so compelling that, year after year, ever broadening groups of artists, audiences and supporters are drawn to our work in Niagara-on-the-Lake and beyond,” says the festival's public relations director, Odette Yazbeck.

"Our playbill not only includes plays by Shaw, but also those by his contemporaries like Oscar Wilde, Chekhov and Noel Coward to name a few. The mandate has been expanded to include new plays about the period of Shaw’s lifetime (1856-1950) and most recently, to include plays by what we’re calling the 'new Shavians' -- playwrights who write in that same provocative way that made Shaw so intriguing a playwright!"

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Cynthia Ross Cravit