Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 28th season with the provocative contemporary work, Shylock. Written by BC writer Mark Leiren-Young, Shylock plays on the Howard Family Stage from September 6 to 15. The play premiered at Bard on the Beach in 1996 and has since been performed around the world to popular and critical acclaim.
Sherry J. Yoon directs this explosive one-man monologue about censorship, racism and the role of theatre as a reflection of our own present-day attitudes and thoughts. It stars Warren Kimmel, currently on the Howard Family Stage as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Kimmel plays the character of Jon Davies, an actor and a Jew, condemned by his own community for his portrayal of the Jewish moneylender in a traditional production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Davies uses his final post-show talkback to raise challenging questions about censorship in general and the political correctness of Merchant itself.
“Shylock was one of the first original works we presented at Bard, under the direction of John Juliani”, notes Christopher Gaze, Bard Artistic Director. “With our current staging of The Merchant of Venice, it’s the perfect time to bring Shylock back as a companion piece.” Adds director Sherry J. Yoon, “Though Mark’s play was written over 20 years ago, Shylock seems more relevant today than ever. From the historical references in literature, to extremist views that have simultaneously polarized and united us, the irreverent humour in this work will resonate.” Leiren-Young, as is his practice whenever the piece is produced, has provided contemporary updates to help link the story directly to today’s political and social climate.
Production Designer Jay Dodge has created innovative live feed video projections, building on core set elements designed by Scenic Designer Marshall McMahen for the two other plays currently on the Howard Family Stage. Costume Designer Mara Gottler brings what she terms “Victorian melodrama” to Kimmel’s costumes, and Sound Designer Carey Dodge and Lighting Designer Adrian Muir help to conjure up the specific environment required for this powerful presentation.
For more on the hot-button issues raised by The Merchant of Venice and Shylock, see FORUM: The Merchant of Venice on Bard’s Youtube channel.
Performance details for Shylock are as follows:
• Preview: September 6; OPENS: Thursday, September 7 at 7:30 pm
• Runs September 6 to September 15 on the Howard Family Stage
• Plays in repertory with The Merchant of Venice and The Two Gentlemen of Verona
• Wine Wednesday: September 6 (Bard Marquee) – Intimate pre-show wine tasting event.
Tickets for Bard on the Beach’s 28th season remain on sale through to September 23. Ticket prices for all 2017 regular performances begin at $21. Early booking is recommended for best seat selection, and because many performances sell out. The full performance schedule, site information and play and special events details are on the Bard website at bardonthebeach.org. 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 a success, 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.
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 select weekends and weekdays and a range of concerts and special events on Monday evenings. All evening performances start at 7:30pm.