Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 28th season with The Winter’s Tale. This magical story of jealousy, judgement, love and redemption will light up Bard’s BMO Mainstage from June 8 to September 22.

The Winter’s Tale Photo & Image Design- David Cooper & Emily Cooper


The production is directed by Dean Paul Gibson, who helmed the Festival’s hugely successful A Midsummer Night’s Dream three seasons ago. Gibson, the Festival’s Associate Artistic Director, is a veteran of multiple hit Bard productions, as an actor and director. His new and unique interpretation of Shakespeare’s epic adventure story promises to deliver a powerful live theatre experience, full of wonder and magic.
THE STORY: Set in Sicily and Bohemia, the tale begins with a husband’s irrational jealousy. King Leontes (Kevin MacDonald) believes that his wife, Hermione (Sereana Malani), has been unfaithful to him with his best friend, Polixenes (Ian Butcher). Hermione, who is pregnant, is arrested and taken to prison. She gives birth there, and Leontes orders Lord Antigonus (Andrew Wheeler) to take the baby away from her and leave it in the wilderness to die.  Some 16 years later, across the sea, two young people – Prince Florizel (Austin Eckert) and a shepherdess, Perdita (Kaitlin Williams) – fall in love. Their union becomes the catalyst for reunion, redemption and a family’s healing. The play, which begins with a cruel punishment, ends with a miracle. And before the story finishes, audiences will witness a marvelous new take on Shakespeare’s most famous stage direction: “Exit, pursued by a bear”.

David M. Adams, Lois Anderson (June 8 – August 12), Chris Cochrane, Ben Elliott, Julien Galipeau, Amber Lewis, Jennifer Lines (August 16 – September 22), Laara Sadiq, Parmiss Sehat and Ashley O’Connell round out the talented cast that brings this story to life.

Designer Pam Johnson has created a stunning set that transforms marvellously from the Greco-Roman kingdom of Sicilia to a beautiful Cubist-inspired countryside in Bohemia. Costumes summon up an ancient fantasy world, with Costume Designer Carmen Alatorre using rich fabrics, colourful masks and specific colours to differentiate between the two kingdoms. Sound Designer Malcolm Dow’ssoundscapes fuse ancient musical ideas with modern influences, partnering with Gerald King’s evocative lighting design to transport audiences to a fairy tale land of long ago. Puppet design and construction by Heidi Wilkinson delivers some remarkable surprises. Wendy Gorling is the physical theatre choreographer and Tracey Powers is the dance choreographer for the production, adding visual charm and energy to the story.

Performance details for The Winter’s Tale are as follows:

Previews: June 8, 16, 17, 20, 21; OPENS: Friday, June 22 at 7:30pm.
• Runs June 8 to September 22 on the BMO Mainstage in Vanier Park.
• Plays in repertory with Much Ado About Nothing which begins previews on June 1.
Talkback Tuesdays: Begin July 4 (BMO Mainstage) & July 18 (Howard Family Stage) – Q&A session with members of the cast following select Tuesday evening performances through to September 12.


All tickets for Bard on the Beach’s 28th season are now on sale. Prices begin at $21 for all regular performances. Early booking is recommended for best seat selection as many performances sell out in advance. The full performance schedule, site information and play and special events details are on the Bard website. To book tickets, order online through the Bard website or call the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559 or (toll free) 1-877-739-0559.


Bard on the Beach gratefully acknowledges the sponsors who help to make the season happen, including the 2017 Season Sponsor Goldcorp; Production Sponsors RE/MAX, Visual College of Art and Design of Vancouver, Lonetree Cider and BlueShore Financial; Media Sponsors Global BC and the Vancouver Sun, as well as other valued sponsors and supporters. Bard also thanks the City of Vancouver Cultural Services Department, the Vancouver Foundation, the B.C. Arts Council, the Province of B.C. and the Canada Council for the Arts for their continuing support.


About Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals. Established in 1990, Bard is an annual summer festival with a mission to perform, explore and celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare, surrounded by the natural beauty of Vancouver, British Columbia. Play performances run Tuesday through Sunday with matinees on selected weekends and weekdays, and some special events on Monday evenings. All evening performances start at 7:30pm.


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