Bard on the Beach Salutes the 400-Year Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death with Will’s Wake

MARCH 30, 2016, VANCOUVER, B.C. – On Saturday, April 23 the world will honour the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s passing, and Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival is joining the celebration by staging a classic wake! Will’s Wake, hosted by Bard Artistic Director Christopher Gaze, will bring members and friends of Bard’s Acting Company together with Shakespeare lovers of all ages and backgrounds for a lively words-and-music tribute on the Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre in Olympic Village.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the legacy of the greatest English playwright of all time,” says Gaze. “We have built our Festival around his great work and have celebrated his birthday each year. In 2016 we are joining a global movement in recognizing the 400th anniversary of his death. We are eager to celebrate with Shakespeare admirers and the British Consul General in Vancouver who will be joining us for the evening’s festivities.”

Honorary guests will also include Vancouver Deputy Mayor Heather Deal, who on behalf of Mayor Gregor Robertson will officially proclaim April 23 as Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Day in Vancouver.

Will’s Wake kicks off with a pre-show hors d’oeuvres reception, then Bard revelers will enter the theatre for on-stage readings and music by some of Bard’s favourite actors. Presenters include Gaze, Vancouver theatre luminaries Bernard Cuffling and Dean Paul Gibson, and 2016 Bard on the Beach Company members Bob Frazer, Hailey Gillis, Jennifer Lines, Tom Pickett, Kamyar Pazandeh and Andrew Chown. Christine Quintana will be joining Bard Company member Anton Lipovetsky in a duet and Bard Education Director Mary Hartman will also be presenting.

“We are delighted to have our Company members join us to bring some of Shakespeare’s most celebrated words to life,” added Gaze. “Not only will they be reading, but some will be performing live music during the evening. We can’t think of a better way to honour Shakespeare than by hosting this classic wake, full of eloquent language and sparked by music.”

The program, from 7:00pm-10:00pm, will wrap with live music by Jeff Gladstone & The Bad Ideas. Tickets are $39, with funds raised going to support Bard Education programs. Tickets are available now, either online or by calling the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559.

Will’s Wake Media Sponsor: The Vancouver Sun
Reception Sponsor: British Consulate-General

Suggested Tweet: Join @bardonthebeach at #WillsWake in #Vancouver to celebrate 400th Anniversary of the death of #Shakespeare


Bard on the Beach is Western Canada’s largest not-for-profit professional Shakespeare company and its Artistic Director is Christopher Gaze. Established in 1990, Bard is an annual summer festival with a mission to perform, explore and celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare, surrounded by the natural beauty of Vancouver, British Columbia. It presents its annual festival in Kitsilano’s Vanier Park, adjacent to Vancouver’s downtown core. Bard productions are staged in modern theatre tents on the waterfront against a stunning backdrop of mountains, sea and sky. The 2016 Festival runs from June 3 – September 24 and the performance schedule and more information can be found on the Bard website at For tickets, call 604-739-0559 or (toll free) 1-877-739-0559 or order online through the Bard website.


For password access to high res photos on the Bard web site, please contact :
Cynnamon Schreinert, 604-802-2733, [email protected], @CynnamonS

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