Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, November 2, 2011 . . .The Shaw Festival witnessed a growth in attendance during its milestone 50th season, which also included an increase in the number of people who came to The Shaw to see the plays by its namesake.The 2011 season closed on October 30th and attendance results were revealed today by Executive Director Colleen Blake. The Shaw Festival’s 50th season attendance numbers reached 274,800, an increase of 13,000 (5%) over the 2010 season. The 2011 season also saw plays by Bernard Shaw experience a jump in attendance: 65,000 in 2011, compared to 52,500 in 2010 (50,000 in 2009). Another highlight of the 2011 season — almost 95,000 people came to see My Fair Lady, making it the best selling production in The Shaw’s history. This was also the strongest season for Shaw Festival family ticket sales.
“The 50th season was one of special celebration,” remarked Ms. Blake. “Our stellar playbill, coupled with several commemorative events, engendered a wonderful response from patrons far and wide.”As a Niagara Region tourism partner, the Shaw’s box office revenues translate to an overall economic impact of more than $100 million annually for the Province of Ontario. In 2011, The Shaw attracted 65,000 new visitors to the Niagara Region, including Canadians from every province and territory and Americans from every state.The Shaw Festival’s 51st season begins April 10, 2012, runs until October 28, 2012 and features eleven diverse productions on the Festival’s four Niagara-on-the-Lake stages. The season includes productions of Ragtime, Present Laughter, His Girl Friday, A Man and Some Women, The Millionairess, Hedda Gabler, Trouble in Tahiti, Misalliance, French Without Tears, Come Back, Little Sheba and Helen’s Necklace.Tickets for the Shaw Festival’s 51st season will go on sale to Shaw Festival Members on November 5. Visa Infinite cardholders can purchase tickets before the general public by phone and online beginning December 3. Tickets to the general public go on sale January 9 and can be ordered by mail, fax or online atwww.shawfest.com. Ticket orders by phone or in person will be accepted beginning January 14. Ticket prices range from $24 to $30 for youth, $41 to $45 for seniors and $32 to $110 for regular priced tickets. To become a Member and order tickets now, call 1-800-511-7429.Audited financial reports will be available January 27, 2012 at the Shaw Festival’s Annual General Meeting, to be held at the Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake.