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Shaw Festival continues bus subsidy for 2011 season

Live theatre shown to benefit student’s literacy and social skills

Media Bulletin #3

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, April 15, 2011 . . . In celebration of its 50th season and in its continued effort to bring the benefits and pleasure of live theatre to more young people, the Shaw Festival is proud to announce the continuation of its bus subsidy for school groups

Supported and funded in 2010 by the Marquee Tourism Events Program through Industry Canada, the Shaw Festival bus subsidy was received so enthusiastically by students and educators that the Festival decided to extend the initiative into its 2011 season. The bus subsidy, along with The Shaw’s study guides, pre-show and post-show chats and engaging backstage tours, allows The Shaw to deliver a high quality arts educational experience to students from across North America. The Shaw will reimburse 50% of the round-trip transportation to Niagara-on-the-Lake, to a value of up to $500, for Canadian and U.S. schools when a performance of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Admirable Crichton or Heartbreak House is booked during the 2011 season (a minimum group size of 30 tickets is required). Student tickets are $24 and $29 (plus tax and handling fee). For more information, please call the Group Sales office for details at 1-800-511-7429.

“It is our hope that experiencing theatre here at The Shaw will produce an appreciation for live performances that will inspire the next generation of theatre performers, creative teams and enthusiasts,” commented Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell.

“In these challenging economic times, The Shaw is thrilled to take a leadership role to ensure that more students can experience a live theatre performance,” added Executive Director Colleen Blake.

“Last November, the Shaw Festival provided a bus subsidy that gave our elementary students a fantastic opportunity to view professional, world-class theatre in their own backyard”, said Laurie Benson, from Prince of Wales School in Thorold. “Students were delighted with the Pulitzer Prize winning play, Harvey. For many of our students, it was the first time that they were able to see a production of this calibre. We look forward to being able to offer an encore theatre experience with the generous help of the Shaw Festival.”

Attending live theatre not only fosters a love for the creative arts, it has also been shown to help develop strong social and literacy skills, critical and creative thinking.

“The Shaw Festival is the most valuable resource in my teaching arsenal. The Shaw has so much to offer from outstanding curriculum driven resources, the Artist in the Classroom program, backstage tours, pre and post performance discussions and incredible student ticket prices,”explained Cheryl Caldwell, DSBN Curriculum Consultant: English, Literacy and ESL, 7-12. “The subsidized student bus initiative makes visiting the Shaw Festival an invaluable opportunity to enrich English and drama classes. More importantly, students recognize and appreciate the value of these performances and feel the experience was more immediate and interactive when comparing it to watching a movie.”

The Shaw Festival’s milestone season began April 7, 2011, runs until October 30, 2011 and features an array of diverse theatre on the Festival’s four Niagara-on-the-Lake stages. This momentous season also includes productions of My Fair Lady, Heartbreak House, Candida, The Admirable Crichton, On the Rocks, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Maria Severa, Drama at Inish – A Comedy, The President, Topdog/Underdog, When the Rain Stops Falling and a special 50thseason two-day event, The Speed of Ideas: A Theatrical Forum featuring award-winning playwrights Tony Kushner and Suzan-Lori Parks and author and renowned theatre critic Michael Billington. For more information on our 50th season celebrations, please visit www.shawfest.com/Home/Our-50th-Season. 

Visa Infinite is the official payment card of the Shaw Festival.

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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 our website at 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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