2024 Season Announcement

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We’re excited to announce details of Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival’s 35th Season, which will run from June 11 to September 21, 2024.

On the BMO Mainstage, director Diana Donnelly celebrates the topsy-turvy world of Twelfth Night, packed with romance and laughs, adventure and self-discovery, set to original music by a beloved Vancouver singer-songwriter. It will play in repertory with Shakespeare’s classic tale of vengeance, love, and loss, Hamlet, adapted and directed by Stephen Drover. On the Howard Family Stage, two productions will play in repertory: The Comedy of Errors, directed by Rebecca Northan, who conceived and directed this year’s smash-hit Goblin:Macbeth, and an irreverent, footloose Measure for Measure, adapted and directed by Governor General’s Award nominee Jivesh Parasram.

“We’re very excited to announce this Season. With comedy, music, romance, and drama, there’s something for everyone, whether they’re a committed Shakespeare fan or have never been to the theatre before. We’re so thrilled to work with some of Canada’s finest theatre creators to present a unique and diverse Season that will make you laugh, make you think, and move you deeply – all in equal parts,” said Christopher Gaze, Bard Founding Artistic Director.

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ON STAGE AT BARD IN 2024 

TWELFTH NIGHT – BMO Mainstage 
Remember that song? The one you listened to over and over again when you first fell in love? You know the title. Maybe you were loved back; maybe you weren’t. But that song was like food to you. In director Diana Donnelly’s Illyria, everyone is obsessed with each other. No one is “adulting”, they are too busy feeling – and music gets them through the day. Who better than the queen of love songs, Vancouver’s brilliant Veda Hille, to bring her capacity for ecstasy (and its twin) to the love songs of Twelfth Night? Music, fights, pranks, jokes, and miracles: Twelfth Night is a hilarious and deep romcom that has it all. It holds a mirror to our nonsense and reflects how love transforms us, for better or worse. Bard’s big tent is the perfect venue for Illyria’s poetry and chaos, with “salt waves fresh in love” sparkling in the distance.
Runs June to September.

HAMLET – BMO Mainstage 
For generations, no play by Shakespeare has more meaningfully captivated us than Hamlet. A young prince returns home to mourn the death of his father only to uncover a dark secret he cannot ignore. His struggle to move forward with action and purpose awakens deep questions about life, existence, and if it’s better “To be or not to be.” As he attempts to make sense of a world that has shifted beneath him, we are invited to see ourselves in Hamlet and to consider the blurry lines around loyalty, self, and all the things that are in heaven and earth. Directed by Stephen Drover, who adapted the 2023 Season’s masterful Julius Caesar.
Runs June to September.

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS – Howard Family Stage
Two sets of identical twins, a looming death sentence, and the sexy azure sparkle of an ancient Greek port teeming with comedic confusions is the perfect recipe for mistaken identity, marital infidelity, and knee-slapping hijinks. This fantastical farce invites patrons to join the (toga) party & travel back to Ancient Greece in your best bed sheet and sandals. Your (optional) cosplaying will only add to the hilarity of our immersive Greek marketplace. Whatever you decide to wear, you’ll be rolling in the aisles at this uniquely ridiculous production that takes its comedy seriously—deadly seriously. Adapted by Rebecca Northan and Bruce Horak and directed by Rebecca Northan (the team behind last season’s Goblin:Macbeth).
Runs July to September.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE – Howard Family Stage 
Verona – party city. The proverbial place where you’ll never find a dance floor empty… until now.
When charged with enforcing long-ignored morality laws, the much-loved party boy Duke Vincentio takes his cue to get out of Dodge and lay low while the law cracks down – handing the judicial reins to the decidedly un-groovy Angelo. No (pre-marital) dancing is the decree. Footloose Claudio is made an example and sent to death for publicly busting a move with his fiancée. Now it’s up to Claudio’s most moral sister Isabella, who must appeal to icy Angelo’s humanity, imploring him to repeal his brutal judgement and save her brother’s life. This sharp and irreverent production helmed by Rumble Theatre’s Jivesh Parasram brings one of Shakespeare’s most painfully relevant tales of coercion and hypocrisy to darkly absurdist new heights.
Runs July to September.

*Specific production run dates to be confirmed.  

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