What: Bard on the Beach, a Vancouver
summer Shakespeare festival
Where: Under the big tents at Vanier Park, across from
Who: Local professional actors When: May 31-September
Why: Because plays are about us
Now in its 18th year, Bard on the Beach has
come a long way from its single canvas tent on the beach - and
no gift shop! Bard is Vancouver's annual summer Shakespeare
festival set in a spectacularly beautiful, natural, jewel-like
setting under the big red-and-white striped tents at Vanier
Park, across from English Bay. It's really
Shakespeare-on-the-beach. It's hard to do the setting justice,
but I'll try to describe it.
The main stage, of several, is open at its
back, with sky, sea and endless horizon forming the open back
wall of the theatre - it's a breathtaking panorama, fronted with
the best of the English-speaking world's comedy and tragedy. The
Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar and Timon
of Athens are this summer's offerings and they run in repertory
from May 31-Sept. 23/07, with afternoon and evening shows. Be
sure to get your tickets in advance, as shows are regularly sold
Highlight: The Taming of the Shrew
What's a shrew? A shrew is a woman with ideas of her own
different from those of her culture. And therein lies the fun!
This brisk, action-packed comedy offers something to everyone
who's ever been in a relationship that didn't go smoothly - and
that's most of us!
Katerina's a woman who at first refuses any attempts to dim her
dominant personality only to eventually capitulate to an equally
feisty hero, Petruchio (or, Kate and Peter). Updated to the Old
West, "Padua City" in the 1800's, this western take on the
fierce battle between the sexes directly plays to our funny
bone, even briefly featuring Pete (Petruchio), Katy's would-be
suitor, as a Clint Eastwood clone. It's funny, a must-see, and
says a lot about relationships today.
Bard on the Beach Special Events
From a barbecue and fireworks night (see
Cheryl's "Fireworks" Weekly
Feature July 16/07) to an evening with the opera and Tuesday
get-to-know plot and theme nights, Bard on the Beach offers
education, fun, and superb spectacle and staging for updated,
up-to-the minute, contemporary appeal. Shakespeare is relevant.
The Bard would agree.
Following are three sites to access easy
Shakespeare for Dummies
Shakespeare Made Easy
This gives access to a number of plays:
England's new Globe
Theatre. This also has a ticket link, if you're