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Creative collaboration results in a celebratory PSA for the Shaw’s 50th

Media Bulletin #5

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, May 2, 2011 . . . An inspiring Public Service Announcement,  currently running on television networks across Canada to celebrate the Shaw Festival’s 50th season, was the product of a unique and unusual working partnership between the Shaw Festival’s artistic team and the production team from SpotDocs, a Toronto-based production house specializing in documentary style commercials.

The SpotDocs PSA production team worked in partnership with The Shaw’s creative team:  Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell worked closely with SpotDocs director Jay Ferguson, the Shaw Festival’s Musical Director Paul Sportelli wrote the music score and The Shaw’s Design Director William Schmuck created the look of the spot. It was a remarkable collaboration in an arena that usually has little to no integration.

“This PSA was a unique project for us and we were thrilled to be a part of it,” remarked SpotDocs Executive Producer Pamela McNamara. “It is rare to work with a client who has so many incredible creative resources to contribute. The partnership was so enjoyable. It was much more than a work project, it was an honour. We had worked on PSAs with the Shaw Festival the previous two seasons, so we were very familiar with the history and magic of this special client.”

Featuring Canadian artists, celebrities and personalities Seamus O’Regan, Erin Davis, Rick Mercer, Paul Gross, Sarah Slean, Karen Kain, Michael Kaeshammer, Ann-Marie MacDonald and Sheila McCarthy bestowing best wishes for The Shaw’s 50th season, the distinctive association brought together two diverse mediums: the art of film making and the art of theatre, and resulted in a 30-second celluloid celebration of the Shaw Festival experience.

Versions of the Shaw Festival 50th season PSA can be viewed via the following links: 

The Shaw Festival’s milestone season began April 7, 2011 and runs until October 30, 2011. It features productions of Candida, My Fair Lady, Heartbreak House, Drama at Inish – A Comedy, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Admirable Crichton, On the Rocks, Maria Severa, The President, Topdog/Underdog, When the Rain Stops Falling and a special 50th season two-day event, The Speed of Ideas: A Theatrical Forum with award-winning playwrights Tony Kushner and Suzan-Lori Parks and author and renowned theatre critic Michael Billington.

SpotDocs is the first commercial production house in Canada to be devoted entirely to the creation of documentary style commercials, web video and corporate video. For more information on SpotDocs, visit www.spotdocs.com.


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                   

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

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