Directed by John Murphy • June 1 – September 23 • BMO Mainstage

It’s Italy in 1959, and a group of actors and filmmakers are celebrating the wrap of their latest movie. Movie stars Beatrice and Benedick are drawn to each other but refuse to admit it, and Hero and Claudio’s marriage plans are about to be sabotaged by a journalist’s mean-spirited scheme. Cue the paparazzi, then a faked death, and la dolce vita threatens to become not so sweet; but with a script full of surprises, love can still triumph before the credits roll.

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Photo Credit: Kevin MacDonald as Benedick and Amber Lewis as Beatrice
Photo & Image Design: David Cooper and Emily Cooper

View Season Schedule →Upcoming Performances

1June Thursday 7:30PM
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2June Friday 1:00PM
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10June Saturday 7:30PM
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11June Sunday 2:00PM
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11June Sunday 7:30PM
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13June Tuesday 7:30PM
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14June Wednesday 7:30PM
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15June Thursday 7:30PM
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18June Sunday 2:00PM
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18June Sunday 7:30PM
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23June Friday 7:30PM
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25June Sunday 2:00PM
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25June Sunday 7:30PM
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30June Friday 7:30PM
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1July Saturday 2:00PM
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2July Sunday 2:00PM
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2July Sunday 7:30PM
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6July Thursday 7:30PM
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7July Friday 7:30PM
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8July Saturday 2:00PM
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8July Saturday 7:30PM
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11July Tuesday 7:30PM
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12July Wednesday 7:30PM
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13July Thursday 7:30PM
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15July Saturday 2:00PM
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15July Saturday 7:30PM
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19July Wednesday 7:30PM
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20July Thursday 7:30PM
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21July Friday 7:30PM
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22July Saturday 2:00PM
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22July Saturday 7:30PM
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28July Friday 7:30PM
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29July Saturday 5:00PM
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30July Sunday 2:00PM
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30July Sunday 7:30PM
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1August Tuesday 7:30PM
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2August Wednesday 5:00PM
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5August Saturday 5:00PM
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6August Sunday 7:30PM
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8August Tuesday 7:30PM
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9August Wednesday 7:30PM
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13August Sunday 2:00PM
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13August Sunday 7:30PM
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15August Tuesday 7:30PM
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19August Saturday 2:00PM
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19August Saturday 7:30PM
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20August Sunday 2:00PM
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20August Sunday 7:30PM
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22August Tuesday 7:30PM
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23August Wednesday 7:30PM
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26August Saturday 2:00PM
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26August Saturday 7:30PM
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30August Wednesday 7:30PM
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31August Thursday 7:30PM
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1September Friday 7:30PM
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2September Saturday 2:00PM
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2September Saturday 7:30PM
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6September Wednesday 7:30PM
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7September Thursday 7:30PM
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8September Friday 7:30PM
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10September Sunday 2:00PM
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10September Sunday 7:30PM
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13September Wednesday 1:00PM
Student Matinee
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14September Thursday 1:00PM
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14September Thursday 7:30PM
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15September Friday 7:30PM
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17September Sunday 2:00PM
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17September Sunday 7:30PM
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20September Wednesday 1:00PM
Student Matinee
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20September Wednesday 7:30PM
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21September Thursday 1:00PM
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23September Saturday 2:00PM
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23September Saturday 7:30PM
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The Story

It’s 1959 in Messina, Italy. On a busy soundstage, Leonato, the head of a film studio, gets word that Don Pedro, the great film director, is on his way. Beatrice, Leonato’s niece and a celebrated actress, inquires if Benedick, the famous actor, is also coming. The two stars are notorious for their ongoing battle of wits.

Don Pedro arrives with Benedick and Claudio, an up-and-coming actor. Beatrice and Benedick, both cynics about love, reignite their war of words. Leonato invites everyone to vacation at his villa, including Don Pedro’s sister, Dona Johnna, a journalist and wannabe filmmaker.

Claudio confesses to Benedick and Don Pedro that he’s in love with Hero, a rising star and Leonato’s daughter. The director offers to help woo her on Claudio’s behalf. That evening at a masquerade party, Don Pedro and Hero have a flirtatious conversation and then talk in private. After a brief misunderstanding that Don Pedro has been wooing Hero for himself, the guests discover he has won Hero’s love for Claudio. Leonato consents to their marriage and a wedding date is set.

Don Pedro believes that Benedict and Beatrice are perfect for each other and conspires to bring them together. He arranges for Benedick to overhear a conversation he has with Leonato and Claudio, in which they invent a story about Beatrice being madly in love with Benedick. Convinced it’s true, Benedick vows to return Beatrice’s affections.

Don Pedro then enlists the help of Hero and Ursula, a production assistant, to pull a similar trick on Beatrice. The two women find a spot where Beatrice can overhear them and gossip about Benedick’s huge crush on her. Beatrice believes them, and promises to love Benedick in return.

Meanwhile, Donna Johnna hatches a plan with Borachio, one of the paparazzi, to destroy Claudio and Hero’s happiness. The night before the couple’s wedding, Borachio persuades Hero’s friend, Margaret, to wear Hero’s clothes and meet him on Hero’s balcony, where he kisses her. Don Pedro and Claudio witness their embrace. Claudio believes Hero has betrayed him and resolves to disgrace her at the altar.

Later that night, Borachio gets drunk and boasts about how he’s tricked Claudio. The film studio’s night watchmen overhear his story and arrest him.

As their wedding ceremony begins, Claudio accuses Hero of being unfaithful and Don Pedro backs him up. Hero faints. After the men storm off, Leonato renounces his daughter. The Friar, who believes Hero is innocent, suggests they pretend she’s died from shock so they will have more time to unearth the truth.

Once alone, Beatrice and Benedick finally profess their love for each other. To prove his devotion, Benedick offers to do anything she asks. Beatrice demands he kill Claudio to avenge Hero’s disgrace.

Friendships are tested, secrets are revealed, but will love conquer all?

Cast & Creative Team

David M. AdamsAntonio | Seacoal

David M. Adams

Antonio | Seacoal

Lois AndersonUrsula | Sexton (June 1 - August 6)

Lois Anderson

Ursula | Sexton (June 1 - August 6)

Ian ButcherDon Pedro

Ian Butcher

Don Pedro

Chris CochraneVerges | Friar | Messenger | Gravekeeper

Chris Cochrane

Verges | Friar | Messenger | Gravekeeper

Austin EckertHugh Oatcake | Page

Austin Eckert

Hugh Oatcake | Page

Ben ElliottBorachio | Musician

Ben Elliott

Borachio | Musician

Julien GalipeauClaudio

Julien Galipeau

Claudio

Amber LewisBeatrice

Amber Lewis

Beatrice

Jennifer LinesUrsula | Sexton (August 8 - September 23)

Jennifer Lines

Ursula | Sexton (August 8 - September 23)

Kevin MacDonaldBenedick

Kevin MacDonald

Benedick

Sereana MalaniConrade

Sereana Malani

Conrade

Ashley O'ConnellDogberry

Ashley O'Connell

Dogberry

Laara SadiqDona Johnna

Laara Sadiq

Dona Johnna

Parmiss SehatHero

Parmiss Sehat

Hero

Andrew WheelerLeonato

Andrew Wheeler

Leonato

Kaitlin WilliamsMargaret

Kaitlin Williams

Margaret

John MurphyDirector

John Murphy

Director

John is an actor, director, playwright and musician who has spent seven seasons at Bard. Directing credits include: The Odd Couple, The Santaland Diaries, Twisted Christmas Carol (Arts Club); Measure For Measure (Bard on the Beach); True Story (revolution theatre); Volpone, Duet for One (United Players); Fifty Words (Mitch and Murray); Ghosts in Baghdad (Working Spark) and Woody Sed (Theatre Bagger). Most recently he has directed Baskerville for the Arts Club (Sept, 2016). Acting credits include Much Ado about Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Richard II, The Tempest, Macbeth, and Merchant of Venice (Bard on the Beach); August: Osage County, The Optimists, Cyrano, A Flea in her Ear and Sheer Madness (Arts Club); Hotel Bethlehem (Ruby Slippers); The Dissemblers and Eternal Hydra (Touchstone); Ali and Ali (Neworld)); Leading Ladies (Persephone). Playwriting credits: The Heretic and True Story (Jessie Award for Best New Play). John is a graduate of UBC’s BFA-Theatre program. He plays music with his band, China Repair.

Christine ReimerCostume Designer

Christine Reimer

Costume Designer

Pam JohnsonScenery Designer

Pam Johnson

Scenery Designer

Gerald KingLighting Designer

Gerald King

Lighting Designer

Murray PriceComposer/Sound Designer

Murray Price

Composer/Sound Designer

Corwin FergusonProjection Designer

Corwin Ferguson

Projection Designer

Alison MatthewsHead Voice & Text Coach

Alison Matthews

Head Voice & Text Coach

Tara Cheyenne FriedenbergChoreographer

Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg

Choreographer

Josh ReynoldsFight Director

Josh Reynolds

Fight Director

Stephen CourtenayProduction Stage Manager

Stephen Courtenay

Production Stage Manager

Rebecca MulvihillAssistant Stage Manager

Rebecca Mulvihill

Assistant Stage Manager

Tanya SchwaerzleApprentice Stage Manager

Tanya Schwaerzle

Apprentice Stage Manager

Nicole AnthonyDirecting Apprentice

Nicole Anthony

Directing Apprentice

Toby BernerDirecting Apprentice

Toby Berner

Directing Apprentice

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