Bard on the Beach launches search for local dog for The Two Gentlemen of Verona

March 3, 2017, VANCOUVER, B.C. – Bard on the Beach’s 2017 season includes a staging of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and the theatre festival has now launched its official search for the play’s most unusual cast member: Crab the dog.

Shakespeare’s early romantic comedy includes a servant named Launce. Launce has a dog and that’s why the theatre festival is on the hunt for the perfect pooch, to make his or her debut on the Howard Family Stage this summer. An audition day is scheduled for March 31, where the play’s creative team will be able to assess the appearance and behavior of a short list of would-be Crabs. The team will get decision-making help from Vancouver dog trainer and agent Georgina Bradley, owner of Vancouver’s Dogstars agency and a veteran of dog-focused commercial photo shoots and entertainment events.

Bard Artistic Associate Scott Bellis, the play’s director, says “I’m looking for either a large, calm dog that will be happy to lie still, regardless of the surrounding distractions, or a perkier dog that will respond to Launce when encouraged and maybe even do a trick or two. Either way, the dog has to be well-behaved, and absolutely able to keep his or her composure when surrounded by bright lights and audience noise. No (other) special skills, or experience with Shakespeare, is required!” Bellis notes that Shakespeare didn’t specify what breed Crab should be, so there is room for a diverse range of dogs to try out for the role.

Some productions of Two Gents, as the play is affectionately known, use a puppet to represent the dog; others opt for large, stuffed animals or even one of the actors; but many more use real dogs, much to audiences’ delight. Sometimes a theatre company will partner with an animal shelter or a service-dog organization to source an animal to take on the role. And sometimes there is a general casting call, creating the chance for a real-life dog with no show-business experience to find its fifteen minutes (or in this case, four months) of fame!

Deadline for applications is Wednesday, March 15 at 4pm. All interested dog owners need to fill out an online application form, include a photo of their dog (required) and a link to a short video (if possible), hosted on Youtube, Vimeo or other video-sharing platform, showing how the dog moves and responds to instructions.

Suggested Tweet:  Audition notice for @bardonthebeach Seeking a canine actor for #2Gents in #Vancouver Apply at #dog #theatre


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 2017 Festival runs from June 1 – September 23 and the performance schedule and more information can be found on the Bard website at All tickets are on sale starting April 5. 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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