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Advance ticket sales for the Shaw Festival’s 2011 season hit $1 million as 49th season comes to an end

Media Release #29

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, November 17, 2010 . . . Excitement and enthusiasm for the Shaw Festival’s upcoming golden 50th season has been building exponentially since final details of the coming season were disclosed at The Shaw’s 2011 season launch in Toronto last week. A strong response to the entire playbill has resulted in ticket sales hitting the $1 million mark — an increase of 14% over the same time last year.

The Shaw Festival’s milestone season begins April 7, 2011, runs until October 30, 2011 and features eleven diverse productions on the Festival’s four Niagara-on-the-Lake stages. The landmark season includes productions of My Fair Lady, Heartbreak House, The Admirable Crichton, Drama at Inish – A Comedy, On the Rocks, Maria Severa, Candida, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The President, Topdog/Underdog, When the Rain Stops Falling and a special 50th season two-day event, The Speed of Ideas  – A Theatrical Forum. Shaw Festival Members were able to purchase tickets to the Shaw Festival’s 50th season beginning November 6 and the response has been overwhelming.

After the successful hold-over of the audience and critical favorite Harvey, the Shaw Festival’s 49th season closed on Sunday. Executive Director Colleen Blake today revealed that attendance for the 2010 season reached 262,000 or 67.3% of capacity for 749 performances, a 3.6% increase over last season’s attendance numbers (2009 attendance reached 253,000), and Box Office revenues reached approximately $14.1 million.

“We are thrilled that the 2010 season closed with such strong box office results,” stated Ms. Blake. “Though advance tickets sales for the 2010 season were slow, we made great strides in ticket sales once our productions began their respective runs and the season gained a momentum that is now carrying on in sales for our 50th season.”

Beginning December 4, Visa Infinite cardholders can purchase tickets to the 2011 season by phone and online until December 23. Tickets go on sale to the general public online at www.shawfest.com beginning January 10 and by phone and in-person on January 15. Ticket prices range from $24 to $30 for youth, $41 for seniors and $32 to $106 for regular priced tickets. Call 1-800-511-7429 to become a Member or to order tickets.

Audited financial reports will be available January 28, 2011 at the Shaw Festival’s Annual General Meeting, to be held at the Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

As a Niagara Region tourism partner, the Shaw’s Box Office revenues translate to an overall economic impact of close to $100 million annually for the Niagara Region.

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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.

Please visit www.shawfest.com/news for other Shaw Festival media releases. For more information, or to download images from our image bank to accompany this release, members of the media may contact:

Odette Yazbeck
Public Relations Director 
905-468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2222
odette@shawfest.com                                                     

Jenniffer Anand
Public Relations Coordinator
905-468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2224
janand@shawfest.com

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