Before the current season of Bard on the Beach comes to a close this Saturday, September 24, Bard Artistic Director Christopher Gaze has announced the lineup for the Festival’s 34th Season, running from June to September, 2023.
Season 34 includes the return of the most successful production in Bard’s history, a sweeping historical drama, an iconic tale of political intrigue, and a unique, interactive theatre piece drawn from Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
On the BMO Mainstage, the Beatles are back at Bard! As You Like It, with its brilliant blend of Shakespearean comedy and Beatles’ hits performed live, broke every Bard box office record in 2018; it will open the 2023 Festival after delighting audiences across Western Canada and the USA. As You Like It will play in repertory with Shakespeare’s gripping political drama, Julius Caesar.
The Howard Family Stage plays host to two contrasting productions: Henry V, set this season in a mythical realm and inspired by fantasy, and the hilariously interactive Goblin: Macbeth, created by a team of acclaimed Canadian theatre artists.
“Our 34th Season is the full package, with dynamic productions for theatre lovers of every stripe,” said Christopher Gaze, Bard on the Beach Founding Artistic Director. “There’s a wealth of romance, music, high-spirited comedy and compelling drama – something just for you, whether you’re a committed Shakespeare fan or have never been to Bard before. And the Beatles are an entry-point for everyone!”
The 2023 Season includes:
On the BMO Mainstage
AS YOU LIKE IT
It’s the 1960s all over again, and free spirits are escaping from Vancouver to “get back” to the land. This joyful tribute to love, laughter and music features two-dozen classic Beatles songs, from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “All You Need is Love”, performed live on stage. The original Bard production played to sold-out houses in 2018 and has triumphed on tour since then.
Developed by Bard on the Beach and Citadel Theatre Artistic Director Daryl Cloran. Directed by Daryl Cloran. Runs June to September. *
“Et tu, Brute?” (Julius Caesar). Shakespeare’s riveting drama tells the story of a brilliant military leader who is offered political power, betrayed by those he trusts – and is ultimately murdered. This age-old tale, in a modern setting this season, is about the human drive to get and hold on to power, often at any cost, and the chaos that ensues when others plot to take it away. Julius Caesar speaks powerfully to the current political landscape with its damaged integrity and morality – with profound implications for us all.
Directed by Cherissa Richards (Harlem Duet, 2022). Runs June to September.
On the Howard Family Stage
A war. A bombed-out tavern. The owner, Mistress Quickly, shelters in the wreckage. Thus begins the tale of two Empires, Eastland and Ferone, and of Prince Hal, manipulated by false advisors, who commands a bloody siege. Greed, empire, and destruction prevail. Can there be another way? Can a few, a happy few, turn the tide towards love? Shakespeare’s famous story is set this season in a mythical realm and steeped in fantasy, with all the play’s traditional power preserved.
Adapted and directed by Lois Anderson (The Taming of the Shrew, 2019; Lysistrata, 2018). Runs from June to August.
When three Goblins come across a copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare, they decide to co-opt a theatre space and cajole an audience into participating in their attempt at “doing theatre” – using Macbeth as their raw material because it’s short… and has lots of blood! Get set to dive into an interactive experience that has played to sold-out houses and delighted Calgary patrons and critics.
Originally produced by The Shakespeare Company and Hit and Myth Productions in Calgary. A Spontaneous Theatre creation by Rebecca Northan, with Bruce Horak. Original music by Ellis Lalonde. Runs from August to September.
Advance sales of 2023 Bard Season Packs are on sale now, offering the largest discount of the year on tickets for all four productions. The Regular and Premium Season Pack prices – $172 and $200 – will be in effect until September 30, after which the price of both voucher packages will rise. Flex Packs go on sale in November; single tickets in early April 2023. Order Season Packs now through the Bard website – bardonthebeach.org – or by calling the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559.
* NOTE: Bard on the Beach advises that all run dates are subject to change. Full schedule and 2023 Season special event information available in early 2023.