Conversations With…

The “Great Pause” caused by the global pandemic resulted in a near shut-down of live theatre performance. But for Bard on the Beach, it has provided space for an exciting opportunity to dive deeper into the topics we have been wrestling with for years. Conversations With… invites audiences and artists alike to join a digital space much like the rehearsal halls, backstage, and lobby spaces where great conversations occur. Who are Shakespeare’s plays about, and who are they for? What can Shakespeare’s works tell us about the past, the present, and the future?

Join us as we gather directors, actors, academics and creative leaders to share their visions for future Shakespeare creation and performance in the year 2021 and beyond.

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Sessions & Registration

Getting the Reps In: Repertory Acting Technique

Moderator: Baraka Rahmani
Featuring: Sereana Malani, Quelemia Sparrow and Sarena Parmar

Repertory actors are some of the hardest working artists in town, learning up to four different plays at once and performing them on alternating days through long summer contracts. Three of Canada’s most exciting repertory performers bring you behind the curtain for a glimpse at the joys and challenges of working to create multiple theatrical worlds all at once.

When: Friday, April 2 at 12:00pm PT

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Reimagining Shakespeare

Moderator: Christine Quintana
Featuring: Yvette Nolan, Ravi Jain and Deshik Vansadia

From The Lion King to 10 Things I Hate About You, Shakespeare’s works have famously been remixed and reimagined. Artists are at the forefront of reinterpreting Shakespeare in aesthetically and politically exciting ways. We talk to Yvette Nolan, and Ravi Jain and Deshik Vansadia about their bold adaptations of Shakespeare that cross language, culture, and performance traditions to reveal new takes on old stories in ways that both champion and challenge the notion of Shakespeare’s “universality”.

When: Friday, April 9 at 3:00pm PT

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Shakespeare Beyond the Proscenium

Moderator: Jamie King
Featuring: Eva Barrie (Shakespeare in the Ruff), Rodrigo Beilfuss (Shakespeare in the Ruins), Christopher Gaze

For many, a night of Shakespeare is the archetypical Western theatre experience – but these artists draw from a variety of inspirations to take the classics beyond the proscenium.  We hear from Eva Barrie (co-Artistic Director of Toronto’s Shakespeare in the Ruff), Rodrigo Beilfuss (Artistic Director of Winnipeg’s Shakespeare in the Ruins), and Christopher Gaze (founding Artistic Director of Bard on the Beach) about accessibility, art, and making art in the great outdoors.

When: Friday, April 30 at 12:00pm PT

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Guest Biographies

Sereana MalaniGetting the Reps In: Repertory Acting Technique

Sereana Malani

Getting the Reps In: Repertory Acting Technique

Born in the Fiji Islands and raised in Coquitlam, Sereana is a Vancouver-based actor, teacher, writer, and mother. A graduate of the BFA Acting program at the University of Alberta, you may have seen her in: Happy Place (Touchstone Theatre), You Will Remember Me (Ruby Slippers), Good People (Arts Club), Valley Song (Gateway/Pacific Theatre), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Carousel Theatre for Young People), Clybourne Park (Citadel Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Classic Chic), Gross Misconduct (Speakeasy Theatre), and five seasons at Bard on the Beach.

Sarena ParmarGetting the Reps In: Repertory Acting Technique

Sarena Parmar

Getting the Reps In: Repertory Acting Technique

Originally from Kelowna, BC, Sarena is an actor and playwright, now based in Toronto. As an actor, Sarena has worked across the country, including playing Helena in All’s Well That Ends Well (Bard on the Beach), the Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Tarragon Theatre, and Canadian Stage. Currently, Sarena can be seen on Pretty Hard Cases on CBC. Her first full-length play, The Orchard (After Chekhov) premiered at the Shaw Festival and went on to a second production at the Arts Club Theatre. Sarena is an acting graduate of the National Theatre School and Birmingham Conservatory of Classical Theatre (Stratford Festival).

Baraka RahmaniGetting the Reps In: Repertory Acting Technique

Baraka Rahmani

Getting the Reps In: Repertory Acting Technique

Baraka is an Arab-Canadian actor who moved to Vancouver from Jordan in 2010 to pursue her BFA in performance at Simon Fraser University. She has since performed on renowned stages across the country including The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, The Arts Club, and The Grand Theatre. Baraka has recently been making a pivot towards directing and is currently writing her first play.

Quelemia SparrowGetting the Reps In: Repertory Acting Technique

Quelemia Sparrow

Getting the Reps In: Repertory Acting Technique

Quelemia is of Indigenous/English ancestry from the Musqueam Nation. She graduated from Studio 58’s Acting program and the Langara Film Arts program in Screenwriting. Some of Quelemia’s acting Theatre Credits include: Lysistrata directed by Lois Anderson and Timon of Athens directed by Meg Roe (Bard on the Beach), The Bakkai directed by Jillian Keiley (The Stratford Festival), The Snow Queen directed by Rachel Peake (Globe Theatre), Our Town directed by Bob Frazer (Osimous Theatre), The Edward Curtis Project directed by Marie Clements (GCTC/NAC), The Penelopiad directed by Vanessa Porteous and August: Osage County directed by Janet Wright (Arts Club Theatre), Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout directed by Lorne Cardinal (Firehall Arts Centre), and Where the Blood Mixes directed by Glynis Leyshon (Playhouse/WCT). Various Film and TV credits include: Clouds of Autumn, Fringe, V, Sanctuary 2, Blackstone, Unnatural and Accidental, Da Vinci’s City Hall, Dead Zone, and Da Vinci’s Inquest for which she won a Leo Award for Best Female Guest Appearance. Some of her writing credits include: A podplay for Neworld Theatre and Raven Spirit Dance called Ashes on the Water, Salmon Girl (Raven Spirit Dance), Papiyek (Full Circle Theatre), The Pipeline Project (Itsazoo and Savage Society), and Skyborn: a Land Reclamation Odyssey (Savage Society).

Eva BarrieShakespeare Beyond the Proscenium 

Eva Barrie

Shakespeare Beyond the Proscenium 

Originally from Okotoks, Alberta, Eva is a Dora-Award winning director, instructor, actor and creator. She is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Performance Acting Program and has trained with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company in Saratoga Springs, NY and New York City, NY. Her writing has been supported by Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Gargantua, The Theatre Centre, Factory Theatre, Theatre Smith-Gilmour, DaPoPo Theatre, the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts. Eva was in Berlin's first Shakespeare in the Park ensemble in a bilingual production of König Heinrich der Vierte, and directed A Midsummer Night's Dream, in Bangalore, India for the Parikrma Humanity Foundation. Most recently, she co-directed Ruff's As We Live It, a physically-distanced, collaboratively created play for 2020.Other Ruff credits: Portia's Julius Caesar (Director), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Helena/Patty Quince, Shakespeare in the Ruff), My Co-Mates & Brothers in Exile (Creator/Director).

Rodrigo BeilfussShakespeare Beyond the Proscenium

Rodrigo Beilfuss

Shakespeare Beyond the Proscenium

Rodrigo Beilfuss was born and raised in Brazil, and moved to Winnipeg in 2001 as an exchange student, discovering and falling madly in love with Shakespeare in high school. He is an actor-director, and the Artistic Director of Shakespeare in the Ruins (SIR). He holds a BA (Honours) from the University of Winnipeg, an MA in Classical Acting from England’s LAMDA, and he’s a graduate of Stratford’s two flagship programs: the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre and the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction. Rodrigo spent 4 seasons with the Stratford Festival. More info at rodrigobeilfuss.com and shakespeareintheruins.com

Christopher GazeShakespeare Beyond the Proscenium

Christopher Gaze

Shakespeare Beyond the Proscenium

Christopher Gaze is best known as the Founding Artistic Director of Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. He hosts the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s popular Tea & Trumpets series and also their annual Traditional Christmas concerts. Christopher plays a leading role in British Columbia as an advocate for the arts in general, and his passionate dedication to Bard on the Beach has fuelled its growth into one of the largest professional theatre companies in Canada, drawing close to two million patrons since he founded it in 1990. His many honours include Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal, Honorary Doctorates from UBC & SFU, the Mayor’s Arts Award for Theatre and the Order of British Columbia.

Jamie KingShakespeare Beyond the Proscenium

Jamie King

Shakespeare Beyond the Proscenium

Jamie is a director born and raised on the sunshine and rain of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations (also known as Vancouver). Their practice has recently focused on the development of new work, specifically that speaks to contemporary issues through a comedic lens (and with a lot of heart). Since 2017, Jamie has been an Associate Artist with the Electric Company Theatre. After a twenty year involvement with the Caravan Farm Theatre in many different capacities, currently Jamie is the Associate Artistic Director. Jamie was the recipient of the Ray Michal's Prize for Most Promising New Director at the 2017 Jessie Richardson Awards. BIG Sister, directed and dramaturged by King, was the winner of the Cultchivating the Fringe Award 2018 and nominated for Best New Play at the 2020 Jessie Richardson Awards. Their production of The Wolves, was nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award for Best Direction and Outstanding Production in 2019.

Ravi JainReimagining Shakespeare 

Ravi Jain

Reimagining Shakespeare 

Toronto-based stage director Ravi Jain is a multi-award-winning artist known for making politically bold and accessible theatrical experiences in both small indie productions and large theatres. As the founding artistic director of Why Not Theatre, Ravi has established himself as an artistic leader for his inventive productions, international producing/collaborations and innovative producing models which are aimed to better support emerging artists to make money from their art.

Yvette NolanReimagining Shakespeare 

Yvette Nolan

Reimagining Shakespeare 

Yvette Nolan (Algonquin) is a playwright, director, and dramaturg. Plays include BLADE, Annie Mae’s Movement, The Birds (a modern adaptation of Aristophanes’ comedy), The Unplugging, Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show (co-writer), and the libretto Shanawdithit. She co-created, with Joel Bernbaum and Lancelot Knight, the verbatim play Reasonable Doubt, about relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan. From 2003-2011, she served as Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts. Her book, Medicine Shows, about Indigenous performance in Canada, was published by Playwrights Canada Press in 2015. She is an Artistic Associate with Signal Theatre. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Policy at Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.

Christine QuintanaReimagining Shakespeare 

Christine Quintana

Reimagining Shakespeare 

Born in Los Angeles to a Mexican-American father and a Dutch-British-Canadian mother, Christine is now a grateful visitor to the unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh people. During the pandemic, Christine has been working on Someone Like You, an audio-play commission from the Arts Club Theatre Company which will be released in May 2021, an audio exploration of her play Clean with Neworld Theatre and Aluna Theatre, coming in April 2021, and performed in rice & beans theatre’s Made In Canada: An Agricultural Operetta.

Deshik VansadiaReimagining Shakespeare 

Deshik Vansadia

Reimagining Shakespeare 

Deshik Vansadia is an actor, director and a teacher of Shakespeare. He is the artistic director of The Shakespeare Company of India and the Shakespeare faculty at The Drama School Mumbai. He is an alumni of The Stella Adler Acting Studio, LA and The Shakespeare Company, MA. His acting credits include Romeo and Juliet, Cymbeline, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew etc. His directing credits include The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure, Shakespeare’s Lovers etc. He also through his company does Shakespeare in education with several schools all over India.