Henry V opens the Howard Family Stage at Bard on the Beach
An inspiring adaptation of Henry V opens the Howard Family Stage at Bard on the Beach’s 34th season
June 1, 2023, Vancouver, BC / Traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations – Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 34th Season in Sen̓áḵw/Vanier Park with Henry V on the Howard Family Stage from June 28 to August 13. Lois Anderson (Lysistrata) returns to direct her inspiring adaptation of this tale of war and love.
At the edge of the world, at the end of the world, a travelling theatre troupe performs Shakespeare’s Henry V. So begins the tale of a war-torn land and of young King Hal, whom destiny has cast as a leader. Manipulated by false advisors, he plunges two nations into war. But will victory be worth the price? Can there be another way? Shakespeare’s famous story poses timeless questions about the moral cost of war – and whether love and hope might turn the tide, both in Henry’s world and for us today.
“We last produced Henry V in 2010 and are thrilled to bring this marvellously creative adaptation by the brilliant Lois Anderson to our audiences,” says Christopher Gaze, Bard on the Beach Artistic Director. “Audiences will remember her incredible adaptation and direction of Lysistrata in 2018, as well as her clever adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew in 2019. She brings an innate human touch to these wonderfully epic stories, and we greatly look forward to having audiences experience this Henry V as our creative team transforms the Howard Family Stage.”
“For me, the challenge of directing a work that focuses primarily on war was to find the humanity and love in this story,” says director Lois Anderson. “We see that war is a perpetual reality in the history of humankind, just as love is. With a focus on loyalty, friendship and community, we are reshaping the narrative of this war tale. In an installation-like environment, we have an imaginative troupe celebrating, through creative storytelling, the internal growth of the person who will become King Henry V.”
Henry V cast members include Kate Besworth, Craig Erickson, Marlee Griffiths, Karthik Kadam, Emilie Leclerc, Billy Marchenski, Tom Pickett, Munish Sharma and Advah Soudack with understudy Sara Vickruck.
The creative team for Henry V has come together to create an immersive space that symbolizes the perpetual nature of war. Using mixed textiles and scattered furniture, Set Designer Amir Ofek constructs an intimate installation in the Howard Family Stage upon which to play out the story of Henry V. Echoing the design, Costume Designer Mara Gottler uses natural fabrics and soft elements to create environmental pieces that will reveal simple but transformative costumes as the action of the story moves from England to France. Sound Designer, Composer and Musical Director Joelysa Pankanea creates a soundscape emphasizing the environmental aspect of sound alongside the vocal talents of the troupe highlighting love, friendship, and camaraderie through the power of song.
Additional members of Henry V’s production team include Sophie Tang (Lighting Designer), Jonathan Hawley Purvis (Choreographer/Fight Director), Melanie Yeats (Intimacy Director), Alison Matthews (Head Voice & Text Coach) and Tricia Trinh (Directing Apprentice). They are supported by Rebecca Mulvihill (Production Stage Manager), Jenny Kim (Assistant Stage Manager) and Jessica Bournival (Apprentice Stage Manager).
Ticket prices for all regular play performances start at $30 CAD and are available now. Early booking is recommended for best seat selection, as many performances sell out in advance. The full performance schedule and event details are on the Bard website at bardonthebeach.org. To book tickets, order online through the Bard website or call the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559 or (toll free) 1-877-739-0559.
Bard on the Beach gratefully acknowledges the corporate sponsors and donors who support and sustain the Festival and its programs. The 2023 Season Sponsor is the Peter and Joanne Brown Foundation, returning with its vital support for another year. Production sponsors include BMO Financial Group (BMO Mainstage) and Paul and Darlene Howard (Howard Family Stage). The Production Sponsor for Henry V is the BlueShore Financial. Season Media Sponsors include the Vancouver Sun and Global BC, 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.
Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals. Established in 1990, 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 in its administrative home at the BMO Theatre Centre in Olympic Village as well as in schools and community facilities throughout the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.