Christopher Gaze has announced the lineup for the Festival’s 2018 season, running from June 6 to September 22. The BMO Mainstage will host a joyous new production of As You Like It, set in Vancouver and filled with Beatles music; it will alternate with a powerhouse classic production of Shakespeare’s epic drama Macbeth.
On the Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre there are two innovative new productions: Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens, redefined with a female-dominated cast, and a Bard-commissioned new adaptation of the Greek classic Lysistrata, transposing its ancient, bawdy story to our time.
Says Christopher, “I can hardly contain myself when I consider the Bard season in 2018! There is truly something for everyone. It’s so accessible, so diverse and it’s filled with surprises. It will be our best year ever!”
Here are the play details, in short:
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”. Expect to 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 and Stratford Festival directing veteran 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 by Jennifer Wise and Lois Anderson 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 (2016) won her the Jessie Award for Outstanding Direction (Large Theatre).
*please note: all casting subject to change.
Homepage photo: Lindsey Angell & Nadeem Phillip, As You Like It (2018) Photo: David Cooper