Last week, our two Howard Family Stage productions, The Comedy of Errors and Measure for Measure, started rehearsals at the BMO Theatre Centre.

The week kicked off with the first read for The Comedy of Errors, where we heard from director Rebecca Northan, as well as from Ryan Cormack (Set Designer), Christine Reimer (Costume Designer), Ben Elliott (Composer & Sound Designer), and Hina Nishioka (Lighting Designer). Together, they let us into their vision for The Comedy of Errors: an immersive, bustling Ancient Greek marketplace that audience members could be a part of.

As director Rebecca Northan explains, “We spent a good portion of the first day discussing how we’re inviting the audience to ‘join the toga party’—we really want audiences to feel transported to Ancient Greece. There will be moments of fun, playful interaction between the characters and audience, and we really hope people will dress up when they come! Then all anyone has to do is relax and enjoy the comedic ride these incredibly funny actors are going to take you on.”

Bard Associate Artistic Director Dean Paul Gibson introduces director Rebecca Northan at the first read for The Comedy of Errors.

Costume Designer Christine Reimer presents costume sketches for The Comedy of Errors.

Composer & Sound Designer Ben Elliott plays his original compositions for The Comedy of Errors.

On Wednesday, we met with the Acting Company and creative team of Measure for Measure for our final meet and greet of the Season. Director Jivesh Parasram spoke about the inspiration behind his footloose adaptation of Measure for Measure, before handing the room over to design presentations from Ryan Cormack (Set Designer), Alaia Hamer (Costume Designer), Hina Nishioka (Lighting Designer), and Chris Ross-Ewart (Sound Designer). While adapting Measure for Measure in 2024 is no easy task, this talented team is up for the challenge, and we’re so excited to see how they’ll bring Shakespeare’s infamous “problem play” to absurd (and groovy!) new heights.

Says director Jivesh Parasram, “I’m feeling great about this team and the ease of communication we already seem to have as a group. (No doubt benefitting from the time they’ve spent working with Rebecca earlier in the week!) We’ve already had a lot of laughs and talked about some of the more ‘problematic’ aspects of this (in)famous ‘problem play’—and I think what’s extremely clear to me is that we seem pretty aligned in the values we want to invest into the piece and overall where we want to take this production. After the chats today I’m very grateful that these are the people I get to work with to bring this absurd world to life.”

Set Designer Ryan Cormack shares his inspiration photos for the set of Measure for Measure.

Caption: Sound Designer Chris Ross-Ewart presents his sound design concepts for Measure for Measure as director Jivesh Parasram looks on.

The Comedy of Errors and Measure for Measure will run in repertory on the Howard Family Stage. The Comedy of Errors runs July 2 to September 21, 2024, and Measure for Measure runs July 4 to September 20, 2024. Buy your tickets now by visiting our Season Schedule!