Bard on the Beach Announces 33rd Season & Return to In-Person Programming
November 17, 2021, VANCOUVER, B.C. – Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival has unveiled its 2022 Season and confirmed it is returning to its iconic Vancouver waterfront site. After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 safety issues, Vancouver’s signature summer theatre Festival will be back in Sen̓ákw/Vanier Park with a lineup that includes the all-time audience favourite A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the BMO Mainstage, and Harlem Duet, by Djanet Sears, and Romeo and Juliet on the Howard Family Stage. The Festival will run from June 8 to September 24 and include a range of concerts and special events as well as the three plays. More details at bardonthebeach.org.
Says Bard Artistic Director Christopher Gaze, “We’re thrilled that our Festival will be back onstage after a deeply challenging two years. Our lead production, Dream, perfectly captures what we want to share as we all recover – it’s a true celebration of hope and joy that will lift the spirits of everyone who sees it. For that reason, and to reach as many people as possible, it will be our single production on the BMO Mainstage through the Festival’s full run.” Adds Gaze, “Our past two years of creating digital work have taught us valuable lessons. But the heart of our 33-year-old Festival is still in presenting live onstage works. We can’t wait to bring back our signature theatre experience under the Bard tents, to delight Vancouver and visitors from around the world!”
On the BMO Mainstage
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece follows four desperate lovers and a troupe of stumbling actors through enchanted woods, on a journey of discovery to find out who they are, whom they love, and why it matters. Follow them into an alternate world where the natural and supernatural have merged and elves, goblins, and talking trees guide the way. It’s time again for laughter and magic!
Directed by veteran Bard director and actor Scott Bellis (director – The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 2017; Bottom – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2014). Runs continuously from June 8 – September 24.
On the Howard Family Stage
Harlem Duet – This Governor-General’s Award-winning drama, often called a prelude to Shakespeare’s Othello, imagines Othello with a first wife, Billie – the woman he married before Desdemona. It then introduces three couples, each named Othello and Billie, during three key eras in the American Black Experience: 1860, before the US Emancipation Proclamation; 1928, during New York’s Harlem Renaissance; and in post-civil rights 1997.
Directed by actor-director Cherissa Richards (Stratford and Shaw Festivals). Runs from June 15 to July 17.
Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare’s sweeping tale of two young people who fall deeply in love in spite of a bitter feud that divides their families. Their passion – and Juliet’s courage – have inspired young and old through the centuries and all over the world. And today more than ever, the story of the divide between “two households alike in dignity” is a powerful reminder that with love, even the world’s greatest wounds can be healed.
Directed by award-winning director Anita Rochon (Cymbeline, 2015). Runs from August 3 to September 24.
NOTE: All run dates are subject to change.
Bard’s 33rd Season will also bring back favourite special events, including the popular Bard-B-Q & Fireworks nights in late July, Opera & Arias concerts in September featuring UBC Opera singers and Vancouver Opera Orchestra musicians, and more. Updates on all 2022 Festival programming will be posted regularly at bardonthebeach.org.
Bard on the Beach gratefully acknowledges the corporate sponsors and donors who support and sustain the Festival and its programs. 2022 support comes from the Peter and Joanne Brown Foundation (Season Sponsor), BMO Financial Group (BMO Mainstage), Paul and Darlene Howard (the Howard Family Stage) and Lawson Lundell LLP (A Midsummer Night’s Dream Production Sponsor), as well as many other valued sponsors and partners. Bard also thanks the City of Vancouver Cultural Services Department, the Vancouver Park Board, the Province of British Columbia, the B.C. Arts Council, Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts for their continuing support.
Tickets and packages: Sales of 2022 Bard Season and Flex Packs begin Wednesday, November 17, and offer substantial early-bird price discounts on tickets to all three productions. That early pricing, including the lowest Season Pack price of the year at $129 – will be in effect until January, at which time all Pack prices will rise. Single tickets will go on sale in early April 2022. Season and Flex Packs can be ordered now through the Bard website or by calling the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559.
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 in Sen̓ákw/Vanier Park, Bard’s mission is to create transformational experiences through exceptional theatre, training, and education opportunities that inspire, resonate, and promote the exchange of ideas. As well as its annual summer Festival, Bard offers year-round education and training programs for youth, adults and theatre professionals, online and in its administrative home at the BMO Theatre Centre in Olympic Village, as well as in-person programs for schools and community facilities throughout the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.