The 28th season of Bard on the Beach continues until September 23, but Artistic Director Christopher Gaze announced the lineup today for the Festival’s 2018 season, running from June 6 to September 22. The 29th season’s Shakespeare plays will include two all-time audience favourites and a provocative reimagining of a rarely-produced drama. Also on the bill, a Greek classic, adapted to add a local, contemporary twist.
The BMO Mainstage hosts an exciting new production of As You Like It, set in Vancouver and filled with Beatles music; it alternates with a powerhouse classical production of Shakespeare’s epic drama Macbeth. On the Howard Family Stage there are two innovative new productions: Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens, redefined with a female-dominated cast, and a Bard-commissioned new adaptation of Lysistrata.
Here are the plays, in short:
As You Like It – It’s the 1960s, and free spirits are escaping from Vancouver to get “back to the land”. This joyful celebration of love features 20 classic Beatles songs from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “All You Need is Love”. You’ll leave the theatre with a song in your heart and a belief in our shared humanity! Directed by Daryl Cloran, who helmed Bard’s 2015 hit musical production of Love’s Labour’s Lost.
Macbeth – On a blasted heath in medieval Scotland, three women tell a General that he is fated to be the King of Scotland. The image takes hold in his mind, and so begins a chain of events that leads to the murder of Kings, friends, mothers and their children. Shakespeare’s great study of power and corruption is both terrifying and sublime – and has never been more relevant. Starring leading Canadian actors Ben Carlson and Moya O’Connell and directed by Crow’s Theatre Artistic Director Chris Abraham.
Timon of Athens – Colleen Wheeler stars as Timon, leading an outstanding ensemble of actors in Shakespeare’s exploration of power and greed. A parable for our times, the story is a powerful indictment of capitalism and nihilism. Meg Roe (The Tempest, 2014) directs a production that invites us to think about our place in a shallow world, and to look beyond the wealth of the pocketbook towards the wealth of the heart.
Lysistrata – It is 2018. An environmental threat hangs over Vancouver’s coastline. A company of actors respond by staging Lysistrata, Aristophanes’ outrageous comedic story of the first-ever female strike. First staged in 411 BC, this brand-new adaptation is a glorious, bawdy romp that investigates how humour and art can take their place in the political arena. Directed by Lois Anderson, whose Pericles for Bard in 2016 won her a Jessie Award for Outstanding Direction (Large Theatre).
Updates on Bard on the Beach’s 2018 Festival will be posted regularly at bardonthebeach.org.
Tickets and packages: Advance sales of 2018 Season Packs begin today – Wednesday, August 30, 2017 – and offer a substantial discount on tickets for all four productions. Flex Packs go on sale in November, and single tickets in early April, 2018. Order Season Packs now through the Bard website or by calling the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559.