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The Shaw Festival Opens With RAGTIME

April 10
9:23 PM 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 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 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 began 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 began 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.

The Shaw Festival is grateful to Producers Circle members Mona and Harvey Levenstein for their support of this production.

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

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