Othello Joins the 27th Season of Bard on the Beach

IN SHORT: Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival opens the Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre Tent with Othello. Directed by Bob Frazer, this powerful drama set during the American Civil War runs from June 24 to September 17. Tickets: 604-739-0559 or bardonthebeach.org

IN FULL: Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 27th season with the opening of Othello on the Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre Tent. Directed by Bob Frazer, Shakespeare’s tale of a fatally flawed leader and the master manipulator who destroys him is set in the midst of the violence and racism of the American Civil War. Othello runs from June 24 to September 17.

THE STORY: This production of Othello is set in 1864, towards the end of the American Civil War. Late one night, two men – the soldier Iago (Kayvon Kelly) and the wealthy landowner Roderigo (Andrew Cownden) – are discussing the secret marriage of Othello (Luc Roderique), a Union Army general, to Desdemona (Kayla Deorksen), the daughter of the merchant Brabantio (David Warburton). Iago, an ensign, believes Othello insulted him when he promoted Cassio (Jeff Gladstone) to be his lieutenant instead of him, and in the spirit of revenge, he promises to help Roderigo, who covets Desdemona. Iago and Roderigo awaken Brabantio to inform him that his daughter has eloped with Othello, knowing he will oppose the marriage. Meanwhile, news of an impending attack by the Confederates has reached the Duke (Ian Butcher), who summons Othello to plot the Union’s response. Brabantio interrupts their meeting, accusing Othello of corrupting his daughter. Desdemona appears and assures everyone that she has married freely, for love. Satisfied, the Duke orders Othello to set sail to Charleston to lead the defense; Desdemona is to join him later, escorted by Iago and his wife Emilia (Luisa Jojic). Iago privately urges Roderigo to follow them, convincing the disappointed suitor that he can still win Desdemona. Alone, Iago reveals his plan to get even with Othello and Cassio, using Desdemona as his means of revenge. Caught up in this powerful tragedy are Kamyar Pazandeh as Lodovico, Shaker Paleja as Montano and Sereana Malani as Bianca.

Director Bob Frazer creates a fitting backdrop to the theme of racial prejudice in Othello by setting the play during the American Civil War. Scenery Designer Amir Ofek evokes a landscape of destruction caused by war, while Costume Designer Mara Gottler provides unique, period-inspired costumes. Sound Designer Steven Charles uses poignant ballads and spirited old-time banjo tunes to underscore the play’s themes, drawing on music from the American Civil War era. Fight Director Nicholas Harrison highlights the conflict with stylized fighting, and the production is enhanced by Lighting Designer John Webber. Props are designed by Heidi Wilkinson; Jessica Nelson is Apprentice Director.

Performance details for Othello are as follows:

  • Previews: June 24, 25, July 5, 6; OPENS: Thursday, July 7 at 7:30pm. Runs Tuesday through Sunday, June 24 to September 17, on the Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre Tent, in Vanier Park
  • Plays in repertory with Pericles, which begins previews on July 2
  • Talkback Tuesdays: free post-show discussions following Tuesday performances in both theatres; July 5 – August 30
  • Bard-B-Q & Fireworks: Saturday, July 23, Wednesday July 27 & Saturday, July 30 @ 5pm – includes a performance of the play, dinner, on-site entertainment including a world-champion pipe band, and a private view of the Fireworks. Tickets from $95.

Ticket prices for 2016 include all applicable fees and taxes and begin at $20 for every regular play performance. Early booking is recommended for best seat selection; all seats are reserved and many performances sell out in advance. Play photography, the performance schedule and more site and event details are at bardonthebeach.org. Book tickets through the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559, (toll free) 1-877-739-0559 or order online through the Bard website. Bard on the Beach gratefully acknowledges its 2016 Season Sponsor, Goldcorp, and the production sponsor of Othello, Lonetree Cider.

About Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals. 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. Play performances run Tuesday through Sunday with matinees on selected weekends and weekdays; numerous special events on Monday evenings. All evening performances start at 7:30pm.


2016 advance photography is now available on the Bard website.
Please contact Cynnamon Schreinert for password access or to arrange interviews.
Othello production video and images will be available June 24, 2016.