• Search The Shaw Festival’s News Room

Rhythms of Ragtime herald the start of Shaw’s 2012 season

“It was the music of something beginning, an era exploding, a century spinning …”

Media Release #4

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, April 11, 2012 . . . The Shaw Festival embarks on the first season of its next 50 years by proudly initiating a provocative conversation through the Tony Award-winning musical Ragtime. Based on E.L. Doctorow’s novel of the same name, Ragtime is directed by Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell and brought to life by The Shaw’s renowned acting Ensemble. This powerful and complex story of a young America on the cusp of defining itself and the hopes and dreams of its citizens continues to gain resonance today. Surpassing all expectations, early tickets sales to the Shaw Festival’s production of Ragtime are nearly 20% above projected totals, while early April and May ticket purchases for special matinees are already 80% sold out. Yesterday’s preview performance of Ragtime received a rousing standing ovation. 

With musical direction by Paul Sportelli and choreography by Valerie Moore, the Shaw Festival’s production of Ragtime features Thom Allison as Coalhouse Walker Jr., Patty Jamieson as Mother and Jay Turvey as Tateh, with Benedict Campbell, Kate Hennig, Alana Hibbert, Julie Martell, Evan Alexander Smith, and Kelly Wong. The cast of Ragtime also includes Guy Bannerman, Neil Barclay, Jaden Carmichael, Jeremy Carver-James, Aadin Church, Saccha Dennis, Ijeoma Emesowum, Elodie Gillett, Morgan Hilliker, Eden Kennedy, Billy Lake, Nichola Lawrence, Anthony Malarky, Stewart Adam McKensy, Brandyn McKinson, Marla McLean, Peter Millard, Louie Rossetti, Kiera Sangster, Jivaro Smith, Jacqueline Thair, Aidan Tye and Jenny L. Wright.  

Set against a background of social unrest and the growing pains of a country, ragtime’s syncopated tempo of weaves its way through this heady tale of love lost and won and lives lost and saved. Buoyed by the sentiment of Ragtime’s signature song, Wheels of a Dream, the struggles, successes, hopes and dreams of a brilliant future are seen through the intimate stories of three archetypal families – a white, upper-middle class family in New Rochelle, an African-American musician and his girlfriend in Harlem, an Eastern European immigrant and his daughter in the Lower East Side. Interwoven with their stories are the triumphs, scandals and stars of the era including magician Harry Houdini, civil rights leader Booker T. Washington, political activist Emma Goldman, mogul J.P. Morgan, inventor Henry Ford and Evelyn Nesbit – the famous Girl on a Swing.

Production credits for Ragtime include set and costume design by Sue LePage, lighting design by Alan Brodie, projection design by Beth Kates and Ben Chaisson, and sound design by John Lott. The stage management team includes Stage Manager Diane Konkin and Assistant Stage Managers Amy Jewell and Leigh McClymont.

Ragtime begins preview performances Tuesday, April 10, opens Saturday, May 26 and plays in repertory until Sunday, October 14. Ragtime is sponsored by TD Bank Group.

Book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, music by Stephen Flaherty
Based on the novel Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
Presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)

The Shaw Festival’s 2012 season begins April 10, 2012, runs until October 28, 2012 and proudly features 11 productions presented on the Festival’s four Niagara-on-the-Lake stages. For more information on our 2012 season, performance schedule and ticket information, please visit www.shawfest.com.

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

Follow us on:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/shawfestival
Twitter – twitter.com/shawtheatre
You Tube – www.youtube.com/theshawfestival


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.

Image Bank
Our digital image bank features 300 dpi photographs of the 2012 season handbook photo illustrations, members of the Ensemble, photographs of our theatres, Bernard Shaw and the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. To access our image bank, please 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

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.