Julius Caesar joins Bard on the Beach’s 34th season
The powerful political story of Julius Caesar appears for the first time on the BMO Mainstage
May 9, 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 Vanier Park with the politically charged tragedy of Julius Caesar running from June 15 to September 23 in repertoire with As You Like It. Cherissa Richards (Harlem Duet) returns to direct this fascinating drama, on the BMO Mainstage for the first time in the company’s history.
Shakespeare’s riveting drama tells the story of the leader Julius Caesar, who is murdered by those he trusts – a murder that his closest ally, Mark Antony, is unable to stop. This timeless story, in a modern-day setting, is about the human drive to get and hold on to power – and how order and good government can turn to chaos when personal ambition is unchecked. Julius Caesar is powerfully connected to our world’s political landscape, with its fractured integrity, and it raises profound questions for us all.
“This will be the second time that Bard presents Julius Caesar following the 2007 production on our Howard Family Stage,” says Christopher Gaze, Bard on the Beach Artistic Director. “Audiences will remember the incredible directorial work of Cherissa Richards from last year’s production of Harlem Duet. We are thrilled to have her return and present this contemporary portrayal of Caesar and his fellow citizens.”
“For me, Julius Caesar is a story of relationships, conflict and moral values, making it a perfect counterpart for today’s global political landscape,” says director Cherissa Richards. “We have placed this adaptation in the modern day and assembled an incredible cast and design team who bring the audience into the action. With the assistance of our dramaturg Stephen Drover, we have devised an adaptation that tells the compelling story of these individuals and how their actions turn the wheel of fortune.”
Julius Caesar cast members include Henry Beasley, Scott Bellis, Sharon Crandall, Oscar Derkx, Ben Elliott, Olivia Hutt, Alexandra Lainfiesta, Jennifer Lines, Matthew MacDonald-Bain, Andrew McNee, Naomi Ngebulana, Evan Rein, Chelsea Rose, Emma Slipp, Marco Walker-Ng, Andrew Wheeler, and Sally Zori. Understudies for Julius Caesar are Jennifer Copping, Andrew Cownden, and Matthew Ip-Shaw.
Set Designer Pam Johnson has created a modern-day set with antiquity juxtaposed with modern technology, including screens with imagery by video designer Candelario Andrade to shape the modern-day story. Costume Designer Jessica Oostergo focuses on contemporary design, where colour and shape design the world of Julius Caesar and the conspirators. Sound Designer Kate Delorme immerse the audience in the story using omnipresent sound to situate the audience in the action. Stephen Drover adapted the work for Bard’s stage.
Additional members of Julius Caesar’s production team include Gerald King (Lighting Designer), Jonathan Hawley Purvis (Choreographer/Fight Director), Melanie Yeats (Intimacy Director) and Alison Matthews (Head Voice & Text Coach). They are supported by Joanne P.B. Smith (Production Stage Manager), Jennifer Stewart (Assistant Stage Manager) and Yuting Yue (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 Julius Caesar is the David and Pamela Richardson Family Foundation. 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.