Bard On The Beach Announces 2020 Season

As the current, 30th, season of Bard on the Beach adds more shows to the just opened Coriolanus, Artistic Director Christopher Gaze has announced the lineup for the Festival’s 31st Season. 

Running from June 11 to September 26, 2020, under the tents at Vanier Park, the quartet of plays in the 31st Season of Bard on the Beach includes the most popular play in Bard’s history, a thrilling historical drama, a music-filled Jazz Age romance and a provocative contemporary play based on Milton’s  Paradise Lost

On the BMO Mainstage, the beloved comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which has delighted audiences around the world and across the ages, plays inrepertory with Shakespeare’s epic historical tale, Henry V. The Howard Family Stage offers two contrasting productions: Love’s Labour’s Lost, a restaging of Bard’s 2015 hit Jazz Age production, alternating with Paradise Lost, a critically acclaimed modern take on the battle between good and evil. Says Gaze: “Our 31st Season is designed to entertain and inspire live theatre lovers of all kinds. It offers tempting choices for one and all, whether you’re a committed Shakespeare fan or you’ve never seen a play at Bard before.”

The 31st Bard on the Beach season includes:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Directed by Scott Bellis (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 2017).
BMO Mainstage – June 11 – September 26
Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece is set against a backdrop of early Industrial Revolution, enter into a place where the natural and supernatural worlds have merged, with elves, goblins, and talking trees guiding the way.

Henry V – Directed by Lois Anderson (The Taming of the Shrew, 2019; Lysistrata, 2018).
BMO Mainstage – June 12 – September 20.Set in a mythical realm and inspired by medieval fantasy, Henry V is a sweeping, emotional tale of two kingdoms at war with Kate Besworth (The Taming of the Shrew, 2019) playing King Henry.

Love’s Labour’s Lost – Directed again by Daryl Cloran (As You Like It, 2018; Shakespeare in Love, 2019).
Howard Family Stage – July 3 – September 26. 
This revival of Bard’s 2015 hit makes a joyous return to 1920s Jazz Age Chicago and is filled with live performances of American Songbook classics.

Paradise Lost – by Erin Shields Directed by Anita Rochon (Cymbeline, 2015).
Howard Family Stage – from July 10 – September 20
The battle is on for the souls of Adam and Eve, in this provocative retelling of John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost.  First produced by the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 2018, this is the play’s first Western Canadian staging, Jessie Award-winner Colleen Wheeler plays Satan.

The 31st Season will also offer the audience favourite special events, from orchestral and opera concerts to the popular Bard-B-Q & Fireworks nights.

Advance 2020 Bard Season Packs are on sale now, offering a substantial discount on tickets to all four productions. Order Season Packs now at  bardonthebeach.org  or by calling the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559.

Bard On The Beach : Shakespeare In Love

Shakespeare in Love Charlie Gallant & Ghazal Azarbad Image: Emily Cooper

Most patrons of Bard On The Beach, have a love for Shakespeare but for the 30th Anniversary season, the Festival has flipped the script to present Shakespeare In Love.

Directed by Daryl Cloran, (director of The Beatles themed As You Like It from Bard’s 2018 season), this adaptation of the 1998 Academy Award-winning film of the same name, Shakespeare In Love takes the audience behind the scenes to look, with creative historical liberties, at a period in Will Shakespeare’s life. Suffering from writer’s block while trying to write his next play, “Romeo & Ethel The Pirates Daughter”, Will must overcome battling producers, actors egos, and noble rivals for the love of his muse. Although Shakespeare In Love is not written by the Bard, Lee Hall has adapted the original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard into a fast-paced comedy, filled with the familiar tropes and themes found in original works. The play within the play unwraps the script of Romeo & Juliet, as it’s supposedly being written by Will, corresponding with his love affair with muse Viola.

Shakespeare In Love
l-r: Chirag Naik, Jennifer Lines & Paul Moniz de Sá
Photo: Tim Matheson

When remaking a well known and acclaimed work, it can often be difficult to not be compared to the original actors in the source material, but the company of Bard on the Beach makes these characters, both historic and fictitious, their own. Charlie Gallant is charming as befuddled but romantic leading man, Will Shakespeare. In her dual turn as Will’s love interest, Viola de Lessep and her male alter-ego Thomas Kent the actor, Ghazal Azarbad makes you forget about Gwyneth Paltrow’s Best Actress performance. Regal Jennifer Lines channels Dame Judy Dench as her majesty Queen Elizabeth I. Bard vets Scott Bellis, Warren Kimmel, Andrew McNee, Kamyar Pazandeh and Chirag Naik chew up the scenery to provide some great comedic moments in contrast to Will and Viola’s Romeo & Juliet love story.

Ghazal Azarbad & Charlie Gallant Photo: Tim Matheson

Shakespeare In Love incorporates enough of Romeo & Juliet to keep Bard lovers happy while bringing a contemporary take on Shakespeare to the BMO Mainstage at Bard on the Beach.

Shakespeare In Love plays in repertoire with Taming of the Shrew at Bard on the Beach, under the Tents at Vanier Park (behind Museum of Vancouver) until September 18, 2019. Information and tickets are available online at bardonthebeach.org.

Bard on the Beach Announces its 2018 Season Line-Up

Bard On The Beach
2017 Bard on the Beach continues until Sep 23

While you still have a few weeks left to get your Shakespeare fix at the 2017 season of Bard on the Beach, continuing until September 23, Artistic Director Christopher Gaze has announced the lineup the Festival’s 2018 season, running from June 6 to September 22, 2018. The 29th season of Vancouver’s Shakespeare festival will include two audience favourites, a provocative reimagining of a rarely-produced drama, as well as a Greek classic, adapted to add a local, contemporary twist.

 The BMO Mainstage hosts an exciting new production of As You Like Itset in Vancouver and filled with Beatles music; on alternate nights a classical production of Shakespeare’s epic drama Macbeth. Across the Bard Village at Vanier Park two new productions will be featured on the Howard Family Stage: Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens, redefined with a female-dominated cast, and a Bard-commissioned new adaptation of Lysistrata.

The overviews of the 2018 Bard on the Beach productions are:

As You Like It – It’s the 1960s, and free spirits are escaping from Vancouver to get “back to the land”. This joyful celebration of love features 20 classic Beatles songs from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “All You Need is Love”. You’ll leave the theatre with a song in your heart and a belief in our shared humanity! Directed by Daryl Cloran, who helmed Bard’s 2015 hit musical production of Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Macbeth – On a blasted heath in medieval Scotland, three women tell a General that he is fated to be the King of Scotland. The image takes hold in his mind, and so begins a chain of events that leads to the murder of Kings, friends, mothers and their children. Shakespeare’s great study of power and corruption is both terrifying and sublime – and has never been more relevant. Starring leading Canadian actors Ben Carlson and Moya O’Connell and directed by Crow’s Theatre Artistic Director Chris Abraham.

Timon of Athens – Colleen Wheeler stars as Timon, leading an outstanding ensemble of actors in Shakespeare’s exploration of power and greed. A parable for our times, the story is a powerful indictment of capitalism and nihilism. Meg Roe (The Tempest, 2014) directs a production that invites us to think about our place in a shallow world, and to look beyond the wealth of the pocketbook towards the wealth of the heart.

Lysistrata – It is 2018. An environmental threat hangs over Vancouver’s coastline. A company of actors respond by staging Lysistrata, Aristophanes’ outrageous comedic story of the first-ever female strike. First staged in 411 BC, this brand-new adaptation is a glorious, bawdy romp that investigates how humour and art can take their place in the political arena. Directed by Lois Anderson, whose Pericles for Bard in 2016 won her a Jessie Award for Outstanding Direction (Large Theatre).

Season tickets for the 2018 Season of Bard on the Beach are on sale now, with individual tickets and other packages going on sale later in the year.
Visit bardonthebeach.org to purchase or for updates on tickets.

Take a Step Back at Yale Historic Site

Yale_IMG_6015On the scenic Fraser Canyon Highway #1, Yale Historic Site takes you back to the boom years during the Fraser Gold Rush.  In its heyday, Fort Yale was one of the largest cities west of Chicago and north of San Francisco.  With its influx of Gold Rushers, Yale gained a reputation as for it’s wild ways, truly Canada’s Wild West.

The town had boom and bust years for nearly a century, until its most recent and seemingly final decline came with the building of the Coquihala Highway, which bypasses the town.

Today, the village still remains, with historic buildings interspersed but much of the Yale Historic Site centres on the 1870s Creighton House. Creighton House is holds the museum, rooms filled with donated and collected artefacts and photographs, from First Nations, Pioneer and Chinese communities, depicting life during the Gold Rush and Railway years. Outside the House,  the Living History Tent City shows more details of the Gold Rush.  Try your hand at Gold Panning or take a look at the General Store, Doctors, Saloon, Chinese Worker’s Dorms, Jail and Stables and see how life was lived in the 19th Century.  The, now deconsecrated, 1863 St John The Divine Church is still available for weddings and special events.

Yale Historic Site is open seasonally April – October, 10am-5pm
Visitor guides are available at the Museum.

Admission:
Family Passes (2 adults + 3 children) – $25
Adults – $9.50
Youth (7-18), Seniors, Students – $7.00

For more information visit historicyale.ca