A Circus Carnival Inspired Twelfth Night Opens 35th Season of Bard on the Beach

April 25, 2024, Vancouver, BC / Traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) NationsBard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival launches its 35th Season in Vanier Park with Twelfth Night. Director Diana Donnelly celebrates a topsy-turvy carnival world packed with romance and laughs, adventure, and self-discovery, set to original music by beloved Vancouver singer-songwriter Veda Hille. This beloved play promises to captivate audiences with its blend of mistaken identities, romantic entanglements, and whimsical revelry.

“We are thrilled to be working with some of Canada’s finest theatre creators to bring this incredible work to Vancouver this summer,” says Christopher Gaze, Bard on the Beach Artistic Director. “The creative team of Diana Donnelly and Veda Hille are sure to create a musical and magical world where audiences will be swept away by this hilarious tale of mistaken identities.”

Set in the colorful land of Illyria, Twelfth Night follows the story of Viola, a young woman shipwrecked on the coast where she has been separated from her twin brother Sebastian who she believes is dead. Viola disguises herself as a man named Cesario to navigate this unfamiliar territory and enters into the service of Duke Orsino, who sends Cesario (Viola) to woo the beautiful Countess Olivia on his behalf. However, things take a twist when Olivia falls for Cesario instead of the Duke, leading to a delightful love triangle. Meanwhile, chaos ensues as Olivia’s household is thrown into disarray by the antics of her rowdy uncle, Sir Toby Belch, and his foolish companion, Sir Andrew Aguecheek. They join forces with the witty maid Maria and the clever clown Feste to play a series of pranks on Olivia’s uptight steward, Malvolia, who becomes the unwitting target of their mischief.

Twelfth Night cast members include Ivy Charles, Evelyn Chew, Aidan Correia, Charlie Gallant, Olivia Hutt, Nathan Kay, Camille Legg, Anton Lipovetsky, Chirag Naik, Dawn Petten, Christine Quintana, Munish Sharma, Nadeem Phillip, Andrew Wheeler, and Marcus Youssef. Understudies for Twelfth Night are Kate Besworth, Matthew Ip Shaw, and Billy Marchenski.

The vibrant atmosphere and colorful characters will immerse theatregoers in a festive spectacle that celebrates the spirit of summer. Set Designer Pam Johnson will transform the stage into a “circus carnival festival” creating a playing space where actors will play in a world filled with joy and passion. Costume Designer Mara Gottler has crafted costumes for every character with the theme of carnival couture. Additional members of Twelfth Night’s production team include Rick Boyton (Creative Consultant), Kate De Lorme (Sound Designer), Gerald King (Lighting Designer), Jonathan Hawley Purvis (Choreographer/Fight Director), Anton Lipovetsky (Music Director), Lisa Goebel (Intimacy Director), Alison Matthews (Head Voice & Text Coach) and Heidi Wilkinson (Head of Props). They are supported by Joanne P.B. Smith (Production Stage Manager), Jennifer Stewart (Assistant Stage Manager) and Harlow Nguyen (Apprentice Stage Manager).

SPECIAL EVENTS for Twelfth Night include:

  • The crowd-pleasing Bard Fireworks Nights, where patrons enjoy a performance of Twelfth Night followed by a dessert buffet, and guaranteed, spectacular views of the Celebration of Light. Fireworks evenings are July 20, 24 & 27. New this year: Bring your own picnic supper, preorder from us (for an extra charge), or snack the night away—the choice is yours.
  • 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 14 & August 18.
  • Bard Pride Day returns, which includes early site access for special activities to celebrate Pride with the Bard Family on August 4.
  • Patrons seeking a less structured experience are invited to join us for a Relaxed Performance of Twelfth Night. June 30 at 2pm. This performance is also “Pay What You Will”.
  • Discover more about Bard’s production from the cast during Talkback Tuesdays in July and August, where performers will take part in free post-show discussions.

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. Sponsors include: BMO Financial Group (BMO Mainstage) and Paul and Darlene Howard (Howard Family Stage), along with Twelfth Night Production Sponsor Lawson Lundell LLP. 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 BC Arts Council, Canadian Heritage, and the Canada Council for the Arts for their continuing support.

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, 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.


A selection of photographs for media use is available on the Bard website.
Please contact Cynnamon Schreinert for password access or interviews.
Tel: 604-802-2733; email: [email protected]