Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival Announces Its 34th Season
Four productions come to Sen̓áḵw/Vanier Park this summer including the return of the wildly successful As You Like It
APRIL 11, VANCOUVER, B.C./ / Traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations – The 2023 Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival returns to Sen̓áḵw/Vanier Park in Vancouver from June 8 to September 30. The festival’s 34th season brings back the most successful production in Bard’s history, plus a famous tale of political intrigue, a sweeping historical drama, and a unique interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
“Our 34th Season offers dynamic productions for theatre lovers of every genre,” said Christopher Gaze, Bard on the Beach Artistic Director. “There’s a wealth of romance, brilliant music, high-spirited comedy, and compelling drama. There is something for all this season, from the committed Shakespeare fan to someone who has never been to Bard before.” Adds Gaze, “Many of our special events take place at As You Like It, as the music of The Beatles is a perfect entry-point for everyone to enjoy Bard this summer.”
On the BMO Mainstage the season takes off with the return of Bard’s triumphant production of As You Like It. Enjoy Shakespeare blended with The Beatles hits in this romantic comedy conceived and directed by Daryl Cloran (As You Like It, Shakespeare in Love). This production broke Bard box office records in 2018, and has since toured North America to ecstatic reviews. It plays in repertory with a contemporary setting of Shakespeare’s gripping political drama, Julius Caesar, directed by Cherissa Richards (Harlem Duet). This tale of our drive to get—and hold on to—power resonates especially powerfully in today’s fractured political landscape.
The Howard Family Stage will host two contrasting productions. Adapted by Lois Anderson (Lysistrata), Henry V is a historical drama with a twist running from June 28 to August 13. At the edge of the world, at the end of the world, a troupe of actors explore themes of love and warfare via Shakespeare’s text. On August 19, the clever and hilariously imaginative Goblin:Macbeth, created by Rebecca Northan with Bruce Horak, takes over the Howard Family Stage until September 17. This production asks audiences to imagine, “what if a group of Goblins discovered Shakespeare, and staged Macbeth?”
BARD ON THE BEACH 2023 SPECIAL EVENTS:
- The crowd-pleasing Bard Fireworks Nights, where patrons enjoy a performance of As You Like It followed by a catered picnic dinner, a performance by Coastal Wolf Pack, and guaranteed, spectacular views of the Celebration of Light. Fireworks evenings are July 22, 26 & 29.
- Wine enthusiasts enjoy Wine Wednesdays before one of three performances throughout the season. July 12, August 16 & September 13
- Two matinee performances are designated Family Days, encouraging a new generation of young theatre patrons to discover Shakespeare and the Sen̓áḵw/Vanier Park festival experience. Special pricing and kids’ activities are in effect July 16 & August 20.
- Bard Pride Night returns for its second year, which includes early site access for special activities to celebrate Pride with the Bard Family on June 24.
- Patrons seeking a less structured experience are invited to join us for a Relaxed Performance of As You Like It. July 1 at 2pm. This performance is also “Pay As You Like”.
- Those seeking a deeper dive into the world of Shakespeare can attend a Bard Explored talk with Simon Fraser University’s Paul Budra on July 15, August 5 & August 19.
- Discover more about Bard’s play from cast during Talkback Tuesdays in July and August, where performers will take part in free post-show discussions.
- Every performance, audiences are invited to In A Nutshell, free pre-show talks providing short, informal introductions to the plays’ stories and characters.
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), along with Production Sponsors Lawson Lundell LLP (As You Like It), Production Supporter the Richardson Family Foundation (Julius Caesar), BlueShore Financial Group (Henry V) and Polygon Homes (Goblin:Macbeth). Season Media Sponsors 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.
Published on April 11, 2023