The Shakespeare in Love Company | Photo: Tim Matheson

This is Bard on the Beach’s first production of the stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning movie, Shakespeare in LoveIt features some of the most intricately beautiful Elizabethan-era costumes to grace Bard’s stage, so we’re taking you behind-the-scenes with production photographs, as well as revealing the vision behind the designs.

The love and care that went into these garments is unmistakable. The intricate stitching and beading on the dresses, the period-accurate men’s breeches, and the striking colour compositions are all outstanding. – Katherine Dornian, The Georgia Straight

In Elizabethan England, colour was often used to identify social standing. In Shakespeare in Love, colour also reveals character. As Costume Designer Cory Sincennes explains, “Colour can be used to show the emotional journey of a character, as well as their status within their world.”

The Shakespeare in Love Company | Photo: Tim Matheson

Charlie Gallant & Ghazal Azarbad | Photo: Tim Matheson

The Shakespeare in Love Company | Photo: Tim Matheson

Charlie Gallant & Austin Eckert | Photo: Tim Matheson

In the scenes where Viola de Lesseps (played by Ghazal Azarbad) is with her parents and inside their aristocratic world, Sincennes has dressed her in shimmering, metallic golden tones. This indicates her high status, but also hints at the fact that as a woman, she is treated more like a trophy than a person by the men of her own rank.

Ghazal Azarbad as Viola de Lesseps | Photo: Tim Matheson

Ghazal Azarbad as Thomas Kent (Viola)| Photo: Tim Matheson

When Viola disguises herself as the actor Thomas Kent, the colours she wears shift to more earthy tones, such as burgundies and deep oranges, reflecting that even though she is wearing a disguise, she can be more truly herself in those moments.

Some the productions’ costumes were created for the original staging of the production at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. Others were built by Bard’s Wardrobe department, based at our BMO Theatre Centre headquarters in Olympic Village; for example, the Queen’s elaborate gowns were entirely crafted in Bard’s costume shop. The results are a showcase of the skill and artistry of Bard’s Wardrobe team, led by Head of Wardrobe Amy McDougall.

Shakespeare in Love

Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard
Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall | Music by Paddy Cunneen

June 12 – September 18 · BMO Mainstage

Directed by Citadel Theatre Artistic Director Daryl Cloran, returning to Bard after directing our 2018 Season’s record-breaking Beatles-music-filled As You Like It.

Cast & Creative Team

Charlie Gallant (Will Shakespeare), Austin Eckert (Kit Marlowe), Scott Bellis (Henslowe), Warren Kimmel (Fennyman), Kamyar Pazandeh (Lambert/Ned Alleyn), Anton Lipovetsky (Frees/Lord Wessex), Andrew McNee (Richard Burbage), Ming Hudson (Mistress Quickly/Kate), Paul Moniz de Sá (Tilney/Sir Robert de Lesseps), Jennifer Lines (Queen Elizabeth/Molly), Ghazal Azarbad (Viola de Lesseps), Susinn McFarlen (Nurse), Joel Wirkkunen (Ralph/Catling), Victor Dolhai (Nol), Chirag Naik (Adam/Boatman), Kate Besworth (John Webster), Andrew Cownden (Wabash/Valentine), Jason Sakaki (Sam), Kingsley/Porkchop (Spot)

Cory Sincennes (Costume Designer/Set Designer), Gerald King (Lighting Designer), Mishelle Cuttler (Sound Designer/Musical Director), Alison Matthews (Head Voice & Text Coach), Julie Tomaino (Choreographer), Jonathan Hawley Purvis (Fight Director), Stephen Courtenay (Production Stage Manager), Heather Barr (Apprentice Stage Manager), Kayvon Khoshkam (Directing Apprentice), Erica Sterry (Assistant Costume Designer), Celeste English (Assistant Lighting Designer), Kimira Bhikum (Assistant Set Designer)

This production was originally conceived at the Citadel Theatre, Edmonton. It is written in contemporary English, with occasional text excerpts from Romeo and Juliet and The Two Gentlemen of Verona.