Bard Lab supports new works or adaptations of work that relate to, or are inspired by Shakespeare’s writing and his classical influences. Shakespeare was ahead of his time – he broke the rules in terms of narrative, form and subject. Bard Lab aims to provide a hub for BC artists to incubate new work that also experiments with these same elements, in ways that are both innovative and relevant to our time. The following series of readings are from projects supported by Bard Lab, featuring some of Vancouver’s most accomplished actors.

DATES: November 26 – 29
DOORS OPEN: 30 minutes before each performance’s start time
VENUE: Grant D. Burnyeat Studio, BMO Theatre Centre, 162 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver

Enter through the BMO Centre’s Artists Lounge door. It’s the first entryway on your right, when walking east from the JJ Bean coffee shop on the corner of Columbia and West 1st Avenue. Look for the Bard on the Beach logo on a glass door.

REGISTRATION: Free to the public but advance registration is required.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26 at 2pm in Grant D. Burnyeat Studio

ORLANDO — a new play by Michelle Deines

When the young Orlando meets Queen Elizabeth I, he embarks upon an odyssey:  at first to become a famous poet, but later, to achieve something far more profound.  Based on the seminal novel by Virginia Woolf, Orlando is a fantastical, comic romp that spans continents and centuries in its exploration of gender, identity, and love.

Readers: Patti Allan, Ghazal Azarbad, Kayla Deorksen, Luisa Jojic, Anton Lipovetsky, David Marr, Todd Thomson


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26 at 7:30pm in Grant D. Burnyeat Studio

THEATRE: THE PLAY — a new comedy by Mark Chavez and Ryan Beil

After years of bad luck, stemming from the mysterious disappearance of their star performer, a small-town theatre festival is on the brink of collapse. It’s now up to artistic director Sarah Dudley to stage an overly-ambitious production of Macbeth to save it. The only problem is that her lead actor is wanted for the murder of his former arch-rival. Theatre: The Play is an irreverent comedy that asks the age-old question: “how does anyone work in this unforgiving and unstable field of make-believe?”

Readers: Lili Beaudoin, Ryan Beil, Mark Chavez, Craig Erickson, Meg Roe, Emmett Hall, Caitlin Howden, Kayvon Khoshkam, Andrew McNee, Vincent Tong


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27 at 2pm in Grant D. Burnyeat Studio

TARTUFFE — a play by Moliere adapted into a modern setting by John Murphy

A Vancouver businessman (Orgon) falls under the spell of a yoga guru (Tartuffe), and invites him into his Kitsilano mansion. Spouting a bizarre mixture of eastern religions and New Age platitudes while quaffing chia seed smoothies, Tartuffe tries to swindle Orgon out of everything he owns.

Readers: David Adams, Patti Allan, Ben Elliott, Alessandro Juliani, Jennifer Lines, Kiki Rahmani, Luc Roderique, Amy Rutherford, Markian Tarasiuk, Andrew Wheeler, Jonathan Young


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28 at 2pm in Grant D. Burnyeat Studio

ROBIA AND BAKTAZH — a new play by Mariam Nasrri

Woven from fiction and reality, this adaptation of Romeo and Juliet is inspired by the true love story of Princess Robia and Baktazh. The tale of forbidden love unfolds in modern times, but is set in the land of ancient Blakh where Rumi once roamed. In a land devastated by war, violated by the Taliban, and torn apart by ethnic animosity, these star-crossed lovers face far darker forces than simply the wrath of their feuding families.

Readers: David Adams, Anousha Alamian, Ghazal Azarbad, Ming Hudson, Arggy Jenati, Armin Karame, Chirag Naik, Melissa Oei, Luc Roderique, Markian Tarasiuk


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29 at 2pm in Grant D. Burnyeat Studio

PARADISE LOST — a play by Erin Shields. A theatrical adaptation of John Milton’s Paradise Lost

This ultra-contemporary new drama is inspired by John Milton’s epic poem of the cosmic battle between good and evil, Satan’s revenge and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. The new work has been described as “fiercely engaging, irreverently funny and deeply moving”.

This production draws on creative learning and development fostered in the Stratford Festivalʼs Laboratory.

Readers: Mark Chavez, Claire Hesselgrave, Mark Hildreth, Arggy Jenati, Kyle Jesperson, Raphael Kepinski, Amber Lewis, Jennifer Mawhinney, Luc Roderique, Meg Roe, Todd Thomson, Colleen Wheeler