All’s Well That Ends Well
June 26 – August 11 · Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre
This new, bold staging of All’s Well That Ends Well is set in India during the waning days of British occupation and the cusp of Indian independence. Helena, a privileged young Indian woman, secretly loves Bertram, an officer in the British Army. Cultural, social and political barriers stand between them – but Helena doesn’t give up, and her journey takes her into the heart of her own culture and identity as this tumultuous love story unfolds against a backdrop of dramatic societal change.
Co-created and co-directed by Johnna Wright (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2016) and Rohit Chokhani (Artistic Director, Diwali in BC).
Photo Credit: Sarena Parmar as Helena Photo & Image Design: Emily Cooper
THE DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER
During the waning days of British Colonial rule in India, a privileged Hindu woman named Helena is secretly in love with Bertram, a British aristocrat and officer. Bertram lives in Ambala with his mother, the Countess of Roussillon. Helena has been the Countess’ ward since the death of her father, a respected doctor. With the movement for independence spreading across India, Bertram is called to the palace in Delhi by the Viceroy. While he is away, Helena reveals her love for Bertram to the Countess. She also shares her plan to heal the Viceroy’s grave illness.
Using traditional healing practices learned from her father, Helena cures the Viceroy. As a reward, he gives her the power to choose a husband from a host of bachelors. Helena picks Bertram, but he rejects her because of her social standing. However the Viceroy forces him to accept her, and the two are married.
Before Helena and Bertram can share a marriage bed, he flees to the North to fight as a soldier. He sends Helena a letter saying that she can only call him her husband if she fulfills two seemingly impossible tasks.
AN UNLIKELY ALLIANCE
Rejected by Bertram, Helena embarks on a pilgrimage. She arrives in a Northern village where she meets a poor Hindu widow with a daughter, Diana. Helena learns that Bertram, who is stationed nearby, has tried to seduce Diana, and Helena conspires with the women to trick him. As part of their scheme, Bertram is given Helena’s ring, although he is unaware of its rightful owner.
Back home, everyone believes that Helena is dead. Bertram returns to his mother’s home in Ambala. He receives consent to remarry, but the Viceroy recognizes the ring he plans to offer with his new marriage proposal. It’s a ring the Viceroy had given to Helena, so he is suspicious of how Bertram obtained it. The Viceroy orders Bertram’s arrest. Diana enters to reveal the true story about the ring, which is proven when Helena steps forward alive to claim her husband.
We are excited to stage this unique take on All’s Well at Bard on the Beach, setting one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays” in the midst of problematic times in India.
The decision to place our All’s Well at this pivotal moment in Indian history – the end of British colonial rule – has allowed us to confront issues around the topics of colonization, privilege, identity, culture, race and gender, while at the same time shedding new light on the story of Helena and Bertram.
India may be a “free country” now, but the aftermath of the British occupation is still being experienced through conflicts around its borders, and within the Indian subcontinent and its diverse culture as a whole. The trauma continues to affect generations of South Asians that live in Canada and world wide. The topic is too broad in its scope to be fully investigated in a few hours on stage. With All’s Well we look at this moment in time through the eyes of one woman. Our production takes place in an imagined India, and in a fictionalized version of history – much as Shakespeare fictionalized the history of Britain.
Helena’s relationship with her own culture and identity is complex and deeply experienced in this play, much as matters of identity and cultural belonging are experienced by Canadians today. What impact will the painful events of abandonment, and her own wanderings, bring to Helena just as her own country enters a period of profound chaos and conflict?
With this production we strive to make Shakespeare accessible to new communities, including the South Asian community in BC, and to invite different communities to experience a small sliver of South Asian history as we have fused it with Shakespeare’s text. It has been both challenging and exhilarating to interpret this play in a new context, augmented by music and dance, and to explore some of the complexities that exist in this diverse and beautiful country. And it has been an exciting journey to collaborate with artists from such richly different backgrounds, practices and perspectives.
We hope you’ll enjoy the ride, ask a few pointed questions of your own and perhaps even get inspired for a debate. Hopefully with some samosas and chai!
Johnna Wright and Rohit Chokhani
Cast & Creative Team
Carmen AlatorreCostume Designer
Originally from Mexico City, Carmen earned her MFA degree in Theatre Design at UBC and has worked as a theatre designer in Vancouver since 2006. Some of her recent design credits include Stickboy (Vancouver Opera); Peter and the Starcatcher, Top dog/Under dog and Mustard (Arts Club); Pericles, The Winter’s Tale and As You Like It (Bard on the Beach). Carmen is the recipient of three Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. For more information visit: carmenalatorre.com.
Zoe BellisApprentice Stage Manager
Apprentice Stage Manager
Zoe is thrilled to be back for Bard’s 30th season! Previous select credits include: EastVan Panto: Wizard of Oz, EastVan Panto: Snow White (Theatre Replacement), Outside Mullingar (Chemainus Theatre Festival); Timon of Athens, Lysistrata (Bard on the Beach); The 39 Steps (Circle Bright Productions); Suddenly Slaughter (The Biting School), The Fabulous Lipitones (Miracle Theatre Prince George). Thank you, as always to Mom, Dad, and Chris, for everything. Zoe is a graduate of Studio 58.
Kimira BhikumAssistant Set Designer
Assistant Set Designer
Kimira is an MFA graduate student from UBC. Her research explores the use of virtual reality in the creative set design process to enhance communication between a Director and a Designer. Originally from South Africa, she attained a bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts Technology where she specialized in prop-making and scenic painting. She has worked in both film and theatre industries and will continue to master her skills as an artist.
Alan BrodieLighting Designer
A founding member of Bard on the Beach, Alan previously created the lighting for the Howard Family Stage in 2014 and 2009. Recent credits include La Cenerentola (VOA), Billy Elliot (Theatre Calgary), and The Shoplifters (Arts Club). He spent five seasons at the Stratford Festival and 17 seasons at the Shaw Festival. Alan received his design training at UBC and directing training at UVic. He is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.
Rohit ChokhaniCo-Director & Co-Creator
Co-Director & Co-Creator
Founding Artistic Director of Diwali in BC, founder of Project SAT (South Asian Theatre), and co-creator of Monsoon Fest. Accolades include Vancouver NOW Representation and Inclusion Award (2018); Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for Significant Artistic Achievement – Large Theatre (2017); and Bollywood star Shiamak Davar’s Vancouver Community Award (2017). Rohit directed Bombay Black by Anosh Irani, which was voted by The Georgia Straight amongst the 20 best shows of 2017. Rohit is excited for his fourth season with Bard.
Past Bard productions include The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, and Falstaff. TV credits include Unspeakable, Legends of Tomorrow, and The Flash. Bernard has worked as an actor in Vancouver for 45 years. His name appears in the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. He has been awarded the Sam Payne Award and multiple Jessie Awards. Most recently, Bernard was seen in Beauty and the Beast at Arts Club.
Veenesh DuboisRinaldo / Widow
Rinaldo / Widow
Vee’s a Fijian born Indo/Canadian international actress. Having just finished A Christmas Carol (Hong Kong) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Othello (Japan) she is proud to be making her debut at Bard. Vee is also well recognised for touring her one woman show, Vancouver Pick of the Fringe winner, Under The Mango Tree to stages all over Canada, U.S. and Japan. Thanks to my family and friends for the support. And Ray, I love you.
Lucia is delighted to make her Bard debut! Favourite credits include Marie-Ange, Les Belles Soeurs (Ruby Slippers); Annie, Misery (Arts Club); Jesse, Farewell My Lovely (Vertigo/Arts Club); Rosa, Espresso (Pacific Theatre); Vicki, Except in the Unlikely Event of War (Pi); Estelle, No Exit (Electric/Virtual/ACT); and Myrtle, Brief Encounter (Vancouver Playhouse/RMTC). She’s won several awards as an actor and playwright. Thanks to her family on Bowen: Mom will be home on the midnight boat.
For Bard: Malcolm, Macbeth; Cassio, Othello; Queen Dionyza, Pericles; Duke Solinus, Comedy of Errors; Dull, Love’s Labour’s Lost; and Le Beau/Guitar in last summer’s As You Like It. Film: Bruce Sweeney’s Kingsway (TIFF, VIFF 2018) and Drawing Home (MYRA). TV: The Killing, Motive, iZombie, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and The Twilight Zone. Other: Requiem For A Lost Girl (Vancouver Opera) and Blind Date (Arts Club). Jeff is a recognized teacher with the International TheatreSports Institute, coming to Vancouver Oct 14–20.
Pam JohnsonSet Designer
Pam joined Bard in 1998 and was instrumental in designing the Village and Entranceway. Bard credits: As You Like It, Much Ado’; The Winter’s Tale; Romeo and Juliet; The Merry Wives of Windsor; Comedy of Errors; King Lear; Cymbeline; Hamlet; Twelfth Night; King John; Richard II; Titus; Henry V; The Taming of the Shrew; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Macbeth; Measure for Measure; and Richard III. Pam has received several Jessie Awards, as well as a Career Achievement Award.
Andy Kalirai is an actor from Vancouver, BC. He’s been studying theatre at Railtown Actors Studio and has appeared in The Undocumented Trial of William C. Hopkinson (Monsoon Arts Festival) and Soul Samurai (Affair of Honor).
Shannon Karan, originally from Vancouver, B.C., began performing in Bollywood styles at the age of 7. She has since grown to love music and various dance forms: Hip-Hop, Afro, Dancehall, Reggaeton, Salsa and R&B. Shannon enjoys learning and creating choreography and freestyling. She competed internationally for two years and continues to expand her skills. Travelling and being a part of other dance cultures and communities helps her grow as an artist. This February, Shannon trained in Puerto Rico.
Nathan is a Vancouver based theatre and film/TV actor, originally from High River, AB and is excited to be making his Bard debut. Select theatre credits: King Arthur’s Night (Neworld Theatre); The Foreigner (Chemainus Theatre Festival); Strangers On A Train (Vertigo Theatre); Jabber, The Code (Green Thumb Theatre); Elbow Room Café: The Musical (ZeeZee Theatre/The Cultch); Mary Poppins (Arts Club). Thank you to Mom, Dad and Rachael. Nathan is a Studio 58 graduate.
Gunjan Kundhal is extremely proud to be joining the cast of All’s Well That Ends Well this summer for Bard on the Beach. Gunjan is currently pursuing Ballet & Contemporary with Linda Arkelian at Scotiabank Dance Centre. She values being a performer as much as being a student. Gunjan first appeared on stage in A Vancouver Guldasta as Niranjan. She also assisted as a Dance Coach in Bombay Black which required her classical Indian & Bollywood dance background. Her passion for yoga and meditation has allowed her to be more authentic with her craft. In movement she finds serenity.
David has been an active participant with Bard for over two decades. He began with the 1995 season playing Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing and Antonio in The Merchant of Venice. Other roles include Malvolio and Toby Belch, Twelfth Night; Gloucester, King Lear; Parolles, All’s Well That Ends Well; and William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Rex. He most recently appeared as Montague, Romeo and Juliet and Justice Shallow (and band member), The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Alison MatthewsHead Voice & Text Coach
Head Voice & Text Coach
Alison is Head of Coaching at Bard, where she has led voice and text work since 2009. She is a founding faculty member of the Arts Club Actor’s Intensive and has taught at the Citadel Banff Professional Theatre Program for five years. A professional actor for over twenty-five years, Alison works in radio, television, and film. MFA (specializing in Voice), University of British Columbia; Associate Diploma in Drama & Speech, Trinity College London. www.alisonmatthews.com
Conor MooreLighting Designer
Conor Moore is a lighting/video designer based in Vancouver. He completed an MFA in Design at UBC. Previous Bard on the Beach credits include Hamlet, Falstaff, Henry VI, Richard III, and The Merchant of Venice. He is a board member of the Associated Designers of Canada and a core member of the Vancouver Design Forum. He is currently completing an MA in Labour Studies and Sociology at SFU, studying the organization of Canadian theatre designers.
BFA in Acting from UBC. Theatre Credits: Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale, Richard II, and All’s Well That Ends Well (Bard); Flare Path - Jessie Award for Best Supporting Actor (Slamming Door); Spamalot, Blood Brothers, and The Graduate (Arts Club); Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Dancing Monkey); A Few Good Men (Citadel); Of Mice And Men (Blue Bridge); and The Full Monty (Persephone), Film/TV: DC’s Legends, Zoo, Dirk Gently, Supernatural, and Watchmen. For Mai & Cormac.
Originally from Kelowna BC, Sarena is an actor and playwright. Acting credits include Stage Kiss, Dancing at Lughnasa, and Androcles and the Lion (Shaw Festival); Measure for Measure and The Winter’s Tale - Dora Winner for Best Production (Groundling Theatre); Antony and Cleopatra and Alice Through the Looking Glass (Stratford Festival). As a playwright, her play The Orchard (After Chekhov) has been produced by the Arts Club and Shaw Festival. Sarena is a graduate of the National Theatre School.
Pam Patel performs with numerous Canadian companies, touring nationally and internationally. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s music program, Pam specialized in new music and improvisation, establishing a career as a multidisciplinary artist. Pam is currently the Artistic Director of MT Space where she pursues her passion for centralizing racialized voices through theatre. Pam was also the President of local new music organization, NUMUS, and is currently the Chair of Arts Awards Waterloo Region.
Nadeem PhillipYounger Dumaine Brother
Younger Dumaine Brother
Nadeem is privileged and humbled to live and perform here on the unsurrendered territories of the Skwxwú7mesh, Tsleil-Waututh, S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lo-), and Stz’uminus peoples. Nadeem attended Ryerson Theatre School where he was trained by Ian Watson of the Stratford Conservatory. Selected Theatre: Onegin, The Matchmaker, The Men in White (Arts Club); My Ocean (Vancouver Fringe); Movements No 1&2 (Babelle); Doost (Neworld); Cock (Rumble). To stay in the loop, visit www.nadeemphillip.com or follow @nadeemphillip.
Priya started dancing at the age of 4 and she danced for 15 years with Shiamak Davar International dance school. She’s attended and graduated from their year long program in India and has choreographed award winning performances and shows. She has experience in many different genres of dance including ballet, jazz, Bollywood, and aerial. Priya has worked with many international stars and has recorded several music videos in Vancouver! She continues to pursue her career in dance and hopes to make it on the big screen!
Born in Vancouver, Poonam progressed through the local dance circuit starting at Rangeela and Young Stars Dance Schools, moving up to SFU’s Contemporary Dance Program and finally, she went to Mumbai to dance in the film industry. Once back in Canada, she competed with 2 award-winning bhangra teams and become the Artistic Director of FootEdge Dance Company. Poonam has danced a variety of styles, bharatnatyam, kathak, filmy, bolly, ballet, contemporary and bhangra. Dance is her true love!
Munish SharmaElder Dumaine Brother
Elder Dumaine Brother
Munish is excited for his first season at Bard in All’s Well that Ends Well on the Howard Family Stage! Originally from Saskatchewan, Munish has called Vancouver home for over a decade. Recent credits include The Orchard (After Chekhov) and The Matchmaker (Arts Club); Bombay Black (Raghupriya Arts and Culture); and Victim Impact (Theatre Conspiracy). Love to my family and friends.
Paneet SinghApprentice Director and Creative Cultural Consultant
Apprentice Director and Creative Cultural Consultant
Paneet is a playwright and filmmaker whose work is largely inspired and informed by Sikh and South Asian culture and history. He is most known for his two stage plays The Undocumented Trial of William C. Hopkinson, and the critically-acclaimed A Vancouver Guldasta, which received an honourable mention in Vancouver Presents’ “The Best of Vancouver Theatre in 2018.” Paneet was also picked as one of 2018’s “most exciting fresh faces to watch” by Colin Thomas.
Ruby SinghComposer and Sound Designer
Composer and Sound Designer
Ruby Singh is an interdisciplinary artist. As a composer and sound designer he has worked with theatre and dance companies across Canada, as well as creating numerous Leo nominated scores for the National Film Board and other independent films. Singh’s personal and collaborative works have been presented across Turtle Island, India, Germany and the UK. Current collaborative projects include: Aluma Sound, Jhalaak, PIQSIQ and Ruby Singh and the Future Ancestors. www.rubysingh.ca.
Joanne P.B. SmithStage Manager
Joanne P.B. Smith
This will be Joanne’s eighteenth season stage managing in the Douglas Campbell Theatre at Bard on the Beach. Recent shows are The Good Bride (Firehall Arts Centre/Alley Theatre), and East Van Panto: The Wizard of Oz (Theatre Replacement). Joanne has worked for many other theatre companies mostly in Vancouver.
Edmund hails from Paradise, Newfoundland & Labrador. Selected credits include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Citadel/MTC); The Wars and Chariots of Fire (Grand Theatre); Dedication (RCA); Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare by the Bow); and two seasons at the Shaw Festival. Edmund holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Alberta and a BA in English and Philosophy from Memorial University in St. John’s.
Jennifer StewartAssistant Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
This year marks Jenn’s sixth season with Bard on the Beach. Backstage credits include Studies in Motion (Electric Company), Motherload (the chop) and multiple shows at Caravan Farm Theatre. Selected design credits include Of Mice and Men (Set & Props, Hardline); Selfie (Set & Costumes, Seizième); Redpatch (Masks, Hardline); Wilderness (Set & Props, Studio 58); and Wet (Set & Props, ITSAZOO). She is a three-time Jessie Award-nominee. Jenn studied at UBC and Studio 58.
Sophie TangAssistant Lighting Designer
Assistant Lighting Designer
Sophie Tang holds an MFA theatre design degree from UBC and a BFA theatre production and design degree from SFU. She is the 2018 Jessie Award Winner for Lighting Design in a Small Theatre. Recent credits: The Orchard (After Chekhov) (Lighting Designer) Arts Club Theatre, Old Man and the Sea (Lighting Designer) Turning Point Ensemble, Elephant and Piggie (Lighting Designer) Carousel Theatre, Yoga Play (Set Designer) Gateway Theatre, Titus Buffonious (Lighting Designer) Rumble Theatre, Last Train In (Set Designer) Rice and Beans Theatre, Urine Town (Set Designer) Arts Umbrella, Love and Information (Set and Projection Designer) UBC, Caged Beast (Lighting Designer) Drama One Theatre. Portfolio website: sophieyufeitang.com
Nutan ThakurHindi Dialect Coach
Hindi Dialect Coach
Nutan Thakur is a popular broadcaster on Spice Radio 1200am & Radio Rimjhim - and a film, TV and stage actor. Credits include, Fantastic Four, Kings and Maxwell and Murder unveiled. Her fluency in many Indian languages has landed her an actor role on Punjabi films like Jatt & Juliat, Banjara, Killer Punjabi, Sardarji. She was the dialect coach for Sardarji in 2012 and now for Bard on the Beach's All's Well That Ends Well. Being a Bollywood actor from Mumbai, she has acted in Bollywood Wedding in Vancouver. Nutan is beyond excited to join the cast of The Wrong Bashir, an exciting new play by Rashida Rahemtulla. Nothing is possible without the love and support from family and friends when pursuing ones dream. Thank you to my loving husband and twin daughters.
Talia VandenBrink is honoured to be making her debut on the Bard on the Beach stage! Talia graduated this spring from Capilano University’s Musical Theatre Program. Past credits include Zinnowitz in Grand Hotel, WBFR Stage Manager in It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Arbutus Studio) and 9 to 5 (CapU Theatre). Gratitude to everyone who has supported me, and a special thank you to the creative team for this incredible opportunity!
Sophie WallaceAssistant Costume Designer
Assistant Costume Designer
Graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland with a bachelor’s degree in Performance Costume in 2011, Sophie has since been working as a costumer both in Canada and Europe. Sophie is originally from Northern Ireland and has resided in Vancouver for two years. She has worked extensively in theatre, film and television including The Lyric Theatre, Belfast and the Royal Opera House, London where she developed a diverse background in the construction of costumes.
Johnna WrightCo-Director & Co-Creator
Co-Director & Co-Creator
Johnna is delighted to return to Bard on the Beach with this exciting project. She had the pleasure of directing The Merry Wives of Windsor for Bard in 2016 and 2012 (Jessie Awards for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Direction). Other Vancouver projects include The Rivals and The Triumph of Love (Blackbird Theatre), and eight years as Co-Artistic Director of Solo Collective. Johnna currently lives in Saskatoon where she is Literary Manager for Persephone Theatre.
Critics & Patrons Say
India-set ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ is a landmark adaptation with a star-making performance.Andrea Warner, The Georgia Straight
Wow. [Bard on the Beach] thank you. Just saw ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ and I absolutely loved it… Gorgeous set and lighting design, beautiful staging and performances, really interesting added layer setting it in India at the tail-end of British occupation (and cusp of Indian independence), and lovely moments of levity, dance, tenderness, and conflict. The use of Hindi and Urdu, the subtle mannerisms, the music, the costumes and setting transported us – really bringing the world to life.Anonymous, Bard patron
The splendor of colour, sound and action will delight perennial theatregoers and newcomers alike.Cora Li, Vancouverscape
This interpretation makes the play better than the original!Anita, Bard patron
[Johnna Wright’s and Rohit Chokhani’s] rationale, to make the play relevant to modern audiences, succeeds brilliantly. It provides a vivid backdrop to the action and transforms ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ from a sexist, classist romp into a poignant piece of theatre.Christine Pilgrim, Vancouver Presents
It was brilliant. Enchanting set design, the singing, the dancing. Congrats to the whole team and to Bard on the Beach!Chris, Bard patron
Indian ‘All’s Well’ gives Shakespeare an upgrade.Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Sun
Wow, what an amazing production. One of the best plays I have seen in my over 35 years of attending plays. I have been fortunate enough to have attended over 50 plays and so I have much to compare to.Cynda, Bard patron
‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ is a a brilliant and provocative production, perfectly suited to the Vancouver Lower Mainland audience. The South Asian multicultural makeup of our population is reflected in this Shakespeare classic…”Sylvia Pritchard, MyVanCity
I was inspired by [Bard on the Beach’s] inclusiveness and creativity. Set in India, [All’s Well That Ends Well] was a wonderful examination of identity through Shakespeare.Shaila, Bard patron
‘All’s Well’ is Bard at its artistic, imaginative best.Baird Blackstone, BrokenLegReviews
This fusion of East meets West is a winner.Tova Kornfeld, Jewish Independent
Wow, [Bard on the Beach] really outdid themselves this year with an adaptation of ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ set in India during the Partition. An absolutely amazing cast, bravo!Rowena, Bard patron
Easily my favourite Shakespeare production of all time. Thoughtful, relevant, contemporary, and accessible. I thought the intermingling of Punjabi translations of originally English verses was utterly brilliant.George, Bard patron