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Done/Undone by Kate Besworth is a feature film inspired by a modern question: how well do Shakespeare’s plays stand the test of time – and should some of them not be staged anymore?
This provocative and entertaining response is directed by Arthi Chandra and stars Charlie Gallant (Shakespeare in Love, 2019) and Harveen Sandhu (As You Like It, 2018). These two gifted actors play multiple characters, taking you into the worlds of a pair of actors in Hamlet, two battling scholars, a theatre-going couple divided over Shakespeare’s appeal – and a cameo by Shakespeare himself!
Done/Undone is a unique collaboration between BC theatre and film industry artists, shot in multiple spaces at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.
Questions open doors. When we question, we’re asking to get closer to the truth. We are often fed (by our governments, our media, and our cultures) one truth, one history, one storyline about who we are, where we come from, what we should enjoy, and who we should respect. What I am learning, and what I am pushing myself to continue to learn, is that there is no ‘one’ truth, ‘one’ story, or ‘one’ version. There are as many truths as there are individuals, and in order to come to a deep understanding of an issue, many, many perspectives must be taken into account, especially and vitally those perspectives that have been pushed to the side to make room for the ‘one’ truth.
So, the question that opens the door of this piece is ‘Why do Shakespeare’? And to answer that question, you’ll hear in this film from a number of contemporary characters with differing opinions, differing backgrounds, and differing held truths about the Bard. I wanted to approach this piece from a prismatic angle – presenting to you as many viewpoints on Shakespeare as I could, to then have you form your own opinions and your own truth about him and his works.
This is a time for asking questions. For lifting up and peering under the cultural boulders of our society. A time to ask ourselves why we like the things we like, and a time to look at Canada and where we came from with an informed eye and an open mind. There is freedom, power, and love to be found in curiosity. I invite you to be curious with me, and I hope you enjoy the show.
–– Kate Besworth, Done/Undone Playwright
Here is a list of works that influenced the theory and writing of Done/Undone.
Questions are the foundation of my artistic practice. They draw me into stories. They spark emotions, fascinations, an urge to delve deeper into a subject. When directing, I ask myself: Why is this piece necessary? Why now? And at this current moment in our Western-“Canadian” society, I believe we are in need of engaging in discourse, and opening the floor to diverse voices. There is an urge to push past the difficult conversations, to move towards a right and wrong way of being. The pandemic has heightened this, forcing us to sit in isolation, sitting on yes or no answers. I hope that as the world opens up again, we find the importance of community, and fill these communities with art, storytelling, and connecting with one another.
“We can be critical and still love something” is a line that has stayed with me since first engaging with Kate’s play. In directing Done/Undone, it is my intention to move the conversation from “Why or why not do we continue to produce Shakespeare?” to “how do we continue to produce Shakespeare, and what needs to change?” Artists all over the world have engaged with the Bard’s work with varying degrees of preciousness, these ideas aren’t new, but we must take hold of these questions and bring them to our own communities.
Of course, this piece wasn’t always intended to be a feature film. It was intended to be performed on the stage, under the Bard tents in Sen̓áḵw. The entire production team took charge and met this challenge with full enthusiasm and bravery. Kate rewrote an adaption of her own play for the screen. Our Production Director, Jonathan Ryder led the charge with every challenge that presented itself. We brought on an incredible cinematographer, Belen Garcia, and 1st AD, Annette Reilly. Each and every single person in this program has put their whole heart into our film. I am so honoured to have directed this show with such amazing collaborators. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you meet us with discovery throughout this show.
–– Arthi Chandra, Done/Undone Director
Critics & Patrons Say
Done/Undone is a thoughtful and intelligent production that seamlessly blends the worlds of cinema and theatre, and considers some difficult questions. It leaves you to draw your own conclusions.Tova Kornfeld, The Jewish Independent
(Done/Undone) addresses the question with wit and intelligence and a sense of nuance. It’s a really great film. It sets out in a playful way, by which I mean a theatrical way and with a sense of fun, what these questions are – questions that sometimes become very fraught or very adversarial.Emma Smith, Oxford University, UK, bestselling author of This is Shakespeare (Pelican)
Congrats to everyone, this is an important piece. Can’t wait to share it with people across Canada.Bard Patron at the Digital Opening Night
The acting of Charlie Gallant and Harveen Sandhu is impeccable, fierce, jokey, engaging and so full of life and confidence that the whole experience of watching Done/Undone is exhilarating.Lynn Slotkin, The Slotkin Letter
Such a warm, entertaining, intelligent exploration of those critical questions about how we regard Shakespeare today.Bard Patron at the Supporter Sneak Peek
My husband and I had to pause several times (perk of online theatre) to discuss our thoughts. One of the things I loved most about this is that I agree with both characters equally.Bard Patron at the Digital Opening Night
Cast & Creative Team
Recent editing credits: Great Acts of Hope (Mortal Coil/Tsatsu Stalqayu/National Arts Centre), Autumn Strawberry (Mochizuki Studios), Transcendence (by Anosh Irani), Artificial Eden (Simon Fraser University), Taking Shakespeare and Being Here (Belfry Theatre); Body Parts (Tara Cheyenne Performance), Bard Beyond the Beach (Bard on the Beach), The Day The Cat Saved My Life (Dir. Kagan Go) and Jesus Blood (Dir. Aryo Khakpour). As an editor, Cande has worked for Knowledge Network, Vancouver International Film Festival, and teaches video design at Langara's Studio58.
Kate Besworth (she/her)
Kate is a theatre performer and playwright currently working on the unceded and stolen lands of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. This is Kate's fourth year working with Bard on the Beach. Kate is in love with Charlie Gallant.
Arthi Chandra is a Vancouver based director, writer, and actor. Her practice is rooted in devising text-based new works, and adaptations of contemporary and classical plays. Her work examines ways in which identities of race, gender, class, and queerness intersect with one another, and how people and ideas are shaped by systems and institutions. She is a graduate of the theatre performance stream from Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts.
Sound Designer / Composer
Mishelle is a Vancouver based composer and sound designer whose work is centred around the integration of sound, music, and storytelling. Some recent projects include: Made in Canada (rice & beans), Good Things To Do (Rumble) and The Quarantettes (Bard/The Chop). Upcoming: The Seventh Fire (Delinquent), Break Horizons: A Concert Documentary (The Cultch’s Transform Festival). She has an MFA in Musical Theatre Composition from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a BFA in Acting from UBC.
Assistant Set Designer
Ryan is a graduate of the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University and is currently studying set and costume design at The National Theatre School of Canada. Design credits include: Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play (DSDM), If/Then, Bring It On (QMT), Christina The Girl King (5th Co). Apprentice design: Actually (Obsidian/HGJT), Anne Of Green Gables (TIP). He extends a huge thank you to Pam and Jonathan for this opportunity.
Done/Undone marks my seventh season with Bard on the Beach. Having worked across Canada in theatre/film/tv, Bard remains a favourite company of mine and I am grateful to live and work on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples while I’m here. I hope you enjoy Kate Besworth’s brilliant script and continue the conversations that her flesh & blood characters give rise to. Thank you for watching! Recent acting highlights: Good Witch (Hallmark/tv), Noises Off (Arts Club Theatre), Shakespeare In Love (Bard), Long Day's Journey (Stratford Festival). Visit @charlie_byrd on instagram for my photography. Graduate of Studio 58.
Director of Photography
Belen Garcia is a Mexican Cinematographer & Photographer who lives and creates in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has spent the past decade capturing photographs and creating media centred on diverse communities and neighbourhoods. She has lived and studied in New York, Florida, Mexico City and Vancouver. Behind her lens is someone eager to find belonging in her projects. Before making the transition to film, Belen studied animation, a practice which continues to influence her perspective.
A professional set designer for 41 years, Pam was instrumental in the look for the Bard Village and Gateway. Bard credits include: Coriolanus, All’s Well, Much Ado, Winter's Tale, As You Like It, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Merry Wives of Windsor, King John, Henry IV: The War of the Roses, Richard III, Falstaff, All’s Well That Ends Well, Titus Andronicus, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Recent credits include Bon APPETIT (Pacific Opera), Forgiveness a workshop (ArtsClub/Theatre Calgary). Pam is a Jessie Award winner for her outstanding designs, including a Career Achievement Award. She continues to mentor young theatre designers.
Lighting Design Coordinator
Lighting designer at Bard for 18 seasons. Gerald’s recent credits: As You Like It (Citadel, Royal MTC); The Ones We Leave Behind, Kuroko (vAct); Matilda (Royal MTC, Citadel, Arts Club); Chariots of Fire (The Grand Theatre); Carried Away On The Crest of A Wave (NAC); The 39 Steps (Circle Bright); Othello, The Merry Widow, Faust, Dead Man Walking, and Evita, (Vancouver Opera); Beauty and the Beast, Jitters ,Million Dollar Quartet (Arts Club); Crazy for You (Citadel); The Book of Love (Kokoro Dance); Faerie Queen (Royal Winnipeg Ballet).
Assistant Stage Manager
Rebecca lives and works on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səlílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Recent ASM credits: Anywhere But Here (Electric Company Theatre), La Traviata (Vancouver Opera), The Shoplifters, (Arts Club). Recent Stage Management credits: The Amaryllis, The Father (The Search Party); As dreams are made (Music on Main); Topdog/Underdog, The (Post)Mistress (Arts Club).
Jessica is an artist who explores Set and Costume Design for theatre and UX/UI for the digital world. She worked as the Assistant Head of Wardrobe for Bard for seven seasons and is thrilled to have designed Done/Undone with such a fantastic team. Jessica is a two-time Jessie Richardson Award Winner, a member of ADC 659, and a graduate of Studio 58 and Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
Christine is a theatre artist living and working on the unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh people. Her dramaturgy work has included collaborations with the Arts Club Theatre Company, Delinquent Theatre, Playwrights Theatre Centre, Carousel Theatre, and Pandemic Theatre, and many delightful living-room dramaturgy sessions with friends and colleagues across Canada. Christine is also an award-winning playwright and actor, and has a life-long love-hate relationship with William Shakespeare. christinequintana.ca
Associate Producer / 1st Assistant Director
Annette Reilly is an award-winning filmmaker and actor, known for her role as Diana Spellman in Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”. Growing up in small town Alberta, she pursued her love of theatre with a BFA from UVic and was eventually led to film in an effort to bring pressing social justice issues into cinematic storytelling. Annette is thrilled to be partnering with Bard to bring this important and socially relevant film to life.
Harveen is a trilingual actor, singer and musician who trained at Ryerson Theatre School and has since had the great privilege of performing on stages across Canada in iconic leading roles, such as Eliza Doolittle in the Shaw Festival's critically acclaimed 2015 production of Pygmalion (for which she was the first Eliza of colour in a professional production in Canada), and more recently the Beatles-inspired 2018 hit-production of Shakespeare's As You Like It with Bard on the Beach in Vancouver. An alumni of the Canadian Film Centre's CBC Actor's Conservatory, Harveen starred in fellow alumni Brendan Prost's poignant and beloved short film, Loretta's Flowers, about a young woman longing for connection in the summertime, which enjoyed screenings at 13 film festivals around the world, including VIFF and Edinburgh. Harveen has made guest appearances in Private Eyes and Kim's Convenience and co-starred in the Sci-Fi network's Halcyon. She is deeply honoured to be premiering the thrilling feature film Done/Undone by Kate Besworth.
Joanne P.B. Smith
I am delighted to have been a part of this wonderful new creation.
Apprentice Stage Manager / COVID-19 Safety Monitor
Sharon is delighted to be a part of Done/Undone. Her select apprentice stage management credits include The Boy in the Moon (Neworld Theatre), East Van Panto: Pinocchio (Theatre Replacement), Coriolanus (Bard on the Beach, rehearsal). She recognizes the privilege of working in theatre during this time and is grateful to be a part of creating and collaborating with other artists in the community. She is a graduate of Capilano University’s Technical Theatre program.
Theatrical Lighting Designer
Harika graduated from UBC with BFA in Theatre Design and Production, and in Visual Art. Past lighting designs include: Madama Butterfly (Burnaby Lyric Opera), Jerusalem, Chimerica, Life of Galileo (United Players), Poly Queer Love Ballad (Queer Arts Festival), Wives And Daughters (UBC Theatre). Assistant lighting design credits: 1 Hour Photo (vAct, LD Gerald King). Projection designs include: Irreparable Harm? (Heart of the City Festival), Chimerica, Life of Galileo, ENRON (United Players). harikaxu.com