June 13 to September 20 • BMO MAINSTAGE

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 can’t ignore. His struggle to move forward with 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.

Adapted and directed by Stephen Drover.

Production run time: 2 hours 25 minutes, including 20 minute intermission.

Content advisories: Non-toxic haze, flashing lights, physical violence, blood, implied self-harm, murder, suicide, weaponry (guns, knives, swords).

Casting and production run dates subject to change.


Production Sponsor:

Photo Credit: Nadeem Phillip Umar Khitab as Hamlet
Photo & Image Design by Emily Cooper


The Story


Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, has returned home to Elsinore for his father’s funeral, only to learn that his mother, Gertrude, has married his uncle Claudius—and that Claudius is now King of Denmark. Disturbed by this turn of events, a melancholic Hamlet continues to mourn the loss of his father, much to the concern of King Claudius and Queen Gertrude.

When his friend Horatio brings news of a ghost that resembles the late King Hamlet wandering the grounds of Elsinore, Hamlet starts to realize that things may not be exactly as they seem. Hamlet resolves to try and catch a glimpse of the ghost for himself.

Elsewhere, Laertes, the son of Polonius, speaks with his sister Ophelia while preparing to return to France. He warns Ophelia to steer clear of Hamlet’s affections, and when Polonius overhears this and learns that Hamlet has been courting his daughter, he forbids Ophelia from spending any more time with Hamlet.

That evening, Hamlet, Horatio, and the watchman Marcellus wait outside, where the ghost reveals himself to Hamlet as his father’s spirit. He tells Hamlet that he was not killed in an accident, but rather, murdered by his brother Claudius, and asks Hamlet to avenge his death. Hamlet vows to seek revenge on Claudius and advises Horatio and Marcellus that he will “put on an antic disposition” and feign madness while he carries out his plan.


The next day, Hamlet’s two former school friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive at Elsinore. Claudius has sent for them so that they can watch over Hamlet, whose strange behaviour has been noted by both Claudius and Gertrude, as well as by Ophelia and Polonius. Almost immediately, a group of musicians also arrive at Elsinore and Hamlet sees an opportunity to set his plan in motion. Hamlet asks the musicians to perform a song that mimics the events of his father’s murder, so he can watch Claudius’ reaction. When Claudius storms out in the middle of the performance, Hamlet believes that he has all the proof he needs of his uncle’s guilt.

What happens next is a tragic saga of betrayal, murder, political intrigue, and revenge that has captivated audiences for generations.


Available translations of “The Story”:

Chinese (Traditional)  Farsi  French  Korean  Punjabi  Spanish

To listen to the Hamlet “In a Nutshell” Pre-Show plot explainer, read by Bard’s Director of Education, Mary Hartman, press play below! It is approximately 6.5 minutes long.


Stephen Drover

Stephen is a dramaturg and director. He holds an MFA in Directing from UBC and an MA in Theatre Theory and Dramaturgy from the University of Ottawa and presently works at the Arts Club where he develops new plays. Stephen is a four-time recipient of a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for directing, is on the board of directors for LMDA Canada, has worked as a director or dramaturg on over 60 professional theatre productions across Canada, and recently published research on Shakespeare adaptation process analysis in Shakespeare Bulletin. Last year he adapted the script for Bard’s production of Julius Caesar. Hamlet marks his Bard directorial debut.


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 xʷməθkʷəy ̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. This is Kate’s sixth year working with Bard on the Beach. For Bard: Titania, Bianca, John Webster, Witch, Julia, Done/Undone. Kate is in love with Charlie Gallant.

Ivy Charles (she/her)

Guildenstern, Paparazzi, Ensemble

Select theatre: Little Shop of Horrors and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Arts Club); Orlando (RMTC); In My Day (Zee Zee); Beautiful Man (Pi Theatre); East Van Panto: Pinocchio (Theatre Replacement); and A Chorus Line, Urinetown, Antony and Cleopatra, and Cabaret (Studio 58). Ivy was awarded a Hnatyshyn Foundation Developing Artists Grant in 2019 while attending Studio 58. Select TV and Film: So Help Me Todd (CBS); Mixed Baggage (Hallmark); Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia (Lifetime); and Novelette is Trying (OUTtv).

Evelyn Chew (she/her)

Ensemble, Paparazzi, Servant, Agent, and Understudy for Guildenstern, Paparazzi, Gravedigger, Marcellus, Agent, Lord

Evelyn is an actor, educator, and mentor. She is a member of the UBCP BIPOC Committee and UBCP Education Subcommittee. Selected credits: Canada, It’s Complicated (Mary Walsh); Reflections In Crooked Walking (Firehall Arts Centre); The Five Vengeances (Affair Of Honour); Are We There Yet? (Jessie Award Recipient, Neworld Theatre); and Narcoleap (Leo Award Recipient). Evelyn is passionate about creating healthy work practices and likes to lead with love.

Jennifer Clement (she/her)


Jennifer has 40 years of acting experience, with over 100 credits in theatre, film, and TV. It is an honour to join the Bard team to tell stories at Senákw. As the former Head of VFS Acting and current instructor, Jen also brings her skills to actor education. A graduate of York and TMU Theatre School, she received a Jessie Award for The Trespassers (Belfry). Grateful to family for supporting a life in the arts.

Aidan Correia (he/him)

Rosencrantz, Paparazzi, Priest

Selected credits include The Sound Inside (Coal Mine Theatre), Yaga (Touchstone), and Father Tartuffe: An Indigenous Misadventure (Arts Club/Touchstone).

Charlie Gallant (he/him)

Understudy for Laertes, Player 2

Charlie is delighted to return for his eighth season at Bard. After four seasons at Shaw, two at Stratford, and performances across Canada, some recent highlights include Frankenstein Revived (Stratford); The Sound Of Music (RMTC/Citadel); Instantaneous Blue (Mitch & Murray); and Done/Undone (Bard on the Beach). Voice-Over: Scott Pilgrim Takes Off; PAW Patrol: The Movie; and Pinkalicious & Peterrific. Film/TV: Good Witch; Murdoch Mysteries; The Strain; Fringe; and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Training: Studio 58, McIlroy & Associates. @charlie_byrd

Olivia Hutt (she/her)

Understudy for Gertrude, Osric, Player, Ensemble

Olivia is honoured to engage as a settler on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy ̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. Last seen at Bard: Casca (Julius Caesar), Lysander (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Portia (The Merchant of Venice). Other: Mitch & Murray Productions, ITSAZOO, Zee Zee, Green Thumb, and Young People’s Theatre. A Jessie Richardson Theatre Award winner, teacher, and advocate of decolonizing theatre today. This production is dedicated to the present—her daughter, her wife Kiki, and the ever-vivid memory of her brother, Adam.

Matthew Ip Shaw 葉 銘 康 (he/him)


Matthew has made significant contributions as an actor, director, and fight choreographer in film, TV, and theatre. Credits include acclaimed roles such as See The Animal at TIFF, Harmony of Grey at Cannes, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in playhouses across Italy, and performances with the Lincoln Center Metropolitan Opera in NYC. With a repertoire spanning Shakespearean classics to modern cinema, Matthew garners acclaim for his distinct talents while advocating for diversity in the arts and fostering collaboration among all creators.

Nathan Kay (he/him)

Laertes and Understudy for Hamlet

Select credits include Bunny, Stupid F*cking Bird, and Fairview (The Search Party); Red Velvet (Arts Club); King Arthur’s Night (Neworld); and Strangers On A Train (Vertigo).

Camille Legg (they/them)

Ensemble, Servant, Agent, and Understudy for Horatio, Rosencrantz, Paparazzi, Priest

Cam is an actor and improviser based on the unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Cam is very excited to be making their Bard debut! Their recent theatrical credits include As You Like It (Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan); Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Arts Club/Citadel); and Like It Or Not (Green Thumb). Cam wishes to thank their friends, family, and mentors for their ongoing support.

Anton Lipovetsky (he/him)

Gravedigger, Marcellus, Player 2, Agent, Lord

Anton is a Vancouver-based actor, songwriter, musical director, sound designer, and teacher. This marks Anton’s sixth season at Bard. He has also performed on stages such as the NAC, Theatre Calgary, the Belfry, Arts Club, and the Stratford Festival. Writing musicals has taken him across North America, and his original musical comedy has garnered 450,000 streams on Spotify. Anton is a graduate of Studio 58 and the Stratford Birmingham Conservatory. Find him online @antronsongs.

Billy Marchenski

Understudy for Claudius, Ghost

Billy graduated from the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. He is the recipient of the Sydney J. Risk prize for his play slowpoke in 2014. Billy teaches performance at SFU and is currently working on his own projects. He is also working with local artists Niall McNeil and Radix Theatre. This is his third season at Bard and he is happy to be back.

Chirag Naik (he/him)

Hamlet (from Sept. 2)

Chirag is a South-Asian theatre, film, and voice actor. He’s honoured to return for his fifth season to play Hamlet. Born in Calgary, he’s revelled in renowned theatres countrywide including Bard on the Beach, the National Arts Centre, Theatre Calgary, and others. He also works in TV and animated shows including international favourites like Upload, Strawberry Shortcake, Momolu and Friends, and Polly Pocket. Love and thanks to his wife and family for their support. Enjoy.

Christine Quintana (she/her)

Osric, Player 3, Ensemble, and Understudy for Ophelia

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 peoples. Christine is an award-winning actor and playwright, with works performed in over 10 cities internationally. She is a UBC BFA Acting graduate. Christine fell in love with theatre after seeing a show at Bard at age eight and spent three beautiful summers as a Young Shakespearean, and is grateful to be here. christinequintana.ca

Munish Sharma (he/him)


Munish is happy and grateful to be back at Bard this season. He’s very thankful to continue to work on his craft and improve as a person. A big hug to his family, friends, and mentors. I wouldn’t be who I am without you. This winter Munish will be embarking on his first international tour as part of the Mahabharata team! Instagram: @munisharma.com0

Nadeem Phillip Umar Khitab (he/him)

Hamlet (until Sept. 1)

Returning for his fourth season at Bard, Nadeem studied Acting at TMU and has been performing Shakespeare since 2008. Film/TV credits include Robyn Hood, Wedding Season, and The Handmaid’s Tale. He recently graduated from the Screenwriting program at Toronto Film School and is an emerging filmmaker. He is immensely grateful for the opportunity to play Hamlet but would never have made it here without the unwavering support of his family. Thank you, I love you. IG: @nadeemtheactor

Andrew Wheeler (he/him)

Polonius, Ensemble

Andrew is delighted to be back for his thirteenth season at Bard. Previous favourite roles include Macbeth, Malvolio, Ulysses, Claudius, Autolycus, and Julius Caesar. Other recent theatre credits include Elf, Kinky Boots, Onegin, and One Man Two Guvnors (Arts Club); East Van Panto: The Little Mermaid (Theatre Replacement); Glory (Western Canada Theatre); House and Home and Urinetown (Firehall); Hir (Pi Theatre); and The Rainmaker and Re:Union (Pacific Theatre). Recent film and TV credits include Fargo, Omens, Pillow Talk, Legends Of Tomorrow, and Lucifer.

Marcus Youssef (he/him)

Ghost, and Understudy for Polonius

Marcus is very happy to be working with so many friends at Bard. Marcus’ twelve-ish plays have been produced in more than 20 countries globally, from off-Broadway in New York to Hong Kong, Reykjavik, and Berlin. His awards include the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre, the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award, Germany’s IKARUS Theatre Prize, the Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award, the Chalmers Canadian Play Award, an Honorary Fellowship from Douglas College, and the Vancouver Critic’s Choice Innovation Award (three times).

Creative & Production

Barbara Clayden

Costume Designer

Barbara has been designing costumes for over 45 years, working with both small and large theatre companies in Vancouver, including Western Gold Theatre, Theatre Replacement, the Arts Club, and Bard on the Beach. Selected works in the last few years include Lysistrata and Coriolanus (Bard on the Beach); the East Van Panto: Wizard of Oz, Pinocchio, and Panto Come Home! (Theatre Replacement); and Kinky Boots (Arts Club). She has been nominated for over 15 Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards and won eight Jessie Awards for Outstanding Costume Design. Barbara holds a BA in Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia.

Mary Jane Coomber (they/them)

Composer & Sound Designer

Mary Jane is a collaborative music and sound artist who primarily works on the unceded, sovereign territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Recent collaborations: Fat Joke (Neworld); This Is How We Got Here (Firehall); CHILD-ish (Pacific Theatre); Snow White (Carousel); Hurricane Mona (Touchstone/Ruby Slippers); and How Black Mothers Say I Love You (frank theatre). They are a member of ADC and a graduate of the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU.

Lisa Goebel (she/her)

Choreographer & Intimacy Director

Delighted to be returning for a third season, Lisa has worked as the Intimacy Director on Henry V, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and Harlem Duet (Bard on the Beach). Recent credits with the Arts Club include Associate Movement Director and Intimacy Director for Choir Boy, Movement Consultant for Red Velvet, and Intimacy Director for Guys and Dolls. She completed her Intimacy Certification through Intimacy Directors and Coordinators and is a graduate of Studio 58.

Alana Hawley Purvis (she/her)

Vocal Coach

Alana is a Vancouver-based actor and vocal coach. A proud Canadian artist, she has collaborated with organizations across North and Central America including Arts Club, Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage, Theatre Calgary, Citadel Theatre, Douglas College, and On the Mic Studio. Alana is a graduate of Stratford’s Birmingham Conservatory, the American Academy for Classical Acting (MFA), and the Royal Conservatory of Music’s ARCT in Voice and Performance, where she received the National Gold Medal. Alana performs on both the stage and screen and was nominated for Best Actress at the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards. She is a member of the National Voice Association and currently runs the Your Voice program where she specializes in trans vocal care.

Jonathan Hawley Purvis (he/him)

Fight Director

Jonathan is a Fight Director, actor, choreographer, and stunt performer. Select fight direction credits include Julius Caesar, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, and Shakespeare in Love (Bard); As You Like It (Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington DC, Chicago Shakespeare, Milwaukee Rep); Antony and Cleopatra, Three Musketeers, Julius Caesar, and Romeo and Juliet (St. Lawrence Shakespeare); and Three Musketeers, Silver Arrow, Shakespeare In Love, West Side Story, Romeo and Juliet, The Penelopiad, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Citadel Theatre).

Ming Hudson (she/her)

Apprentice Director

Ming is a Vancouver artist who pays rent on the lands stolen from the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. For 20 years, she has worked as a freelance performer, devised theatre creator, collaborative director, independent producer, and teaching artist on the West Coast, nationally, and abroad. Previous Bard performance credits include The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare in Love, Timon of Athens, and Lysistrata. She is also a member of the Bard Education faculty. www.minghudson.com

Pam Johnson

Set Designer

Since 1998, Pam’s Bard credits include last season’s As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Done/Undone, Coriolanus, All’s Well That Ends Well, Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Comedy of Errors, King Lear, Cymbeline, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, King John, Richard II, Titus Andronicus, Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, and Richard III. Pam has received several Jessie Awards, as well as a 2012 GVPTA Career Achievement Award.

Gerald King (he/him)

Lighting Designer

Gerald’s recent credits for Bard: As You Like It and Julius Caesar. Other: As You Like It (Shakespeare Theatre Company, Theatre Calgary); LSD (Kokoro Dance); Weasel and Clue on Stage (CapU Theatre); To Please The Audience (Douglas College); Venus In Fur (Railtown Lab); Bad Parent (Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre); Chariots of Fire (The Grand Theatre); The Flying Dutchman (Vancouver Opera); Guys and Dolls (Arts Club); and Carmen (Pacific Opera Victoria).

Alison Matthews (she/her)

Head Voice & Text Coach

Alison teaches voice in the BFA Acting Program at the University of Alberta. She holds an MFA from UBC and a Diploma in Drama & Speech from Trinity College London. She was a founding faculty member with the Arts Club Actors Intensive in Vancouver, and she taught voice, text and dialects with the Banff/Citadel Professional Theatre Program in Banff, Alberta. Alison has three decades of professional acting experience in theatre, film and tv, and voice-over, and is a founding board member of the National Voice Association.

Harlow Nguyen (they/them)

Apprentice Stage Manager

Harlow is an emerging stage manager and theatre technician based in Burnaby, BC who recently graduated from UBC’s BFA Theatre Design & Production program. Bard on the Beach is Harlow’s first professional production postgraduation and they’re so grateful to be able to contribute to Bard’s two shows on the BMO Mainstage this season.

Emerenne Saefkow

Assistant Set Designer

Originally from the small northern town of Smithers, BC (Wet’suwet’en territory), Emerenne is a non-binary multidisciplinary artist who adores almost anything creative and hands-on. Select theatre credits include The Mixolydian (Green Thumb); The Tempest, Blue Stockings, and Everybody (Studio 58); and One of a Kind (Vancouver International Children’s Festival). You can see more of their work at emerennesaefkow.com.

Joanne P.B. Smith

Production Stage Manager

Some credits include eighteen seasons in the Douglas Campbell Theatre tent and two seasons on the BMO Mainstage at Bard on the Beach, and four seasons of East Van Panto (Theatre Replacement). A couple of other credits are As You Like It (Shakespeare Theatre Company) and Anywhere But Here (Electric Company).

Sarah Sosick

Assistant Costume Designer

Sarah is thrilled to be back for her fourth season working at Bard on the Beach! Costume Design: Maps of Utopia (the frank theatre). Assistant Costume Design: East Van Panto: Beauty and the Beast (Theatre Replacement); Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Gateway Theatre); Stupid F*cking Bird (The Search Party); and Starwalker (Urban Ink). Head of Wardrobe: FourPlay (Studio 58); and How Black Mothers Say I Love You (the frank theatre). For film, Sarah has worked on productions such as Fakes: Season One (Netflix) and Creepshow: Season Four (Shudder). She is also the lead dresser on the BMO Mainstage making the quick changes happen all summer long!

Jennifer Stewart (she/her)

Assistant Stage Manager

Jenn is pleased to be back at Sen̓áḵw, having been part of the stage management team at Bard since 2013. Jenn works in various roles, with credits including Studies in Motion: The Hauntings of Eadweard Muybridge (Wardrobe, Electric Company Theatre); Of Mice and Men (Set, Hardline); Little Brother, Little Sister (Props Builder, Caravan Farm); Sunrise Betties (Set, ITSAZOO); and six seasons with the East Van Panto (Theatre Replacement). She studied at Studio 58 and UBC and is a member of CAEA and ADC659.

Jamie Sweeney

Assistant Lighting Designer

Jamie is a Canadian Vancouver-based theatre collaborator. She is a lighting designer, a production manager, a performer, a deviser, and an artist. She has a BFA in Theatre Production and Design from Simon Fraser University. Some companies she has worked with include Ballet BC, Bard on the Beach, Vancouver Opera, the Arts Club, rice & beans, vAct, and Neworld. Further credits can be found on her website: jamiesweeney.ca

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