Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary with the return of Shakespeare’s magical comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Dream was presented during Bard’s inaugural season in 1990. Dean Paul Gibson(Associate Artistic Director, Bard on the Beach) reimagines this Shakespearean classic following his successful 2006 production. A Midsummer Night’s Dream It plays Tuesdays through Sundays in Bard’s 733-seat custom-built Mainstage Theatre tent in VanierPark from June 11 to September 20, 2014.
A Midsummer’s Night Dream is a delicious tale of meddling fairies, star-crossed lovers, royal engagements, and muddled tradesmen caught up in chaos. The most popular comedy in Shakespeare’s canon, this side-splittingly hilarious romp has love on the loose in a world of sprites, elves and nymphs.
Oberon, King of the Fairies (Ian Butcher) is upset with his Queen Titania (Naomi Wright) and commands the mischievous fairy Puck (Kyle Rideout) to charm her with a nectar that causes love-at-first-sight. Puck arranges for Titania to become beguiled by a simple weaver named Bottom (Scott Bellis) whom he has transformed into an ass. Meanwhile at court, Hermia (Claire Hesselgrave) loves Lysander (Chirag Naik) but her father, Egeus (Todd Thomson), insists she marry Demetrius (Daniel Doheny), who in turn is loved by spurned Helena (Sereana Malani). They run away to the forest where Puck further entangles their affections using the magic potion. Adding to the humour are a group of bumbling tradesmen – Peter Quince (Bernard Cuffling), Starveling (Allan Morgan), Snout (Andrew McNee), Flute (Haig Sutherland) and Snug (Allan Zinyk) – who are rehearsing a play they hope to present at court. The play is to be staged at the imminent nuptials of Duke Theseus (John Voth) and the Amazon Queen, Hippolyta (Adele Noronha). Queen Titania’s fairies include Lili Beaudoin and Luisa Jojic.
Scenery Designer Kevin McAllister has created a dream within a dream by crafting an arched and enclosed set, giving celestial views for the players and the audience while still highlighting Vancouver’s scenery. Mara Gottler’s costume designs crystallize Gibson’s “collision of periods” with a vibrant mix of modern and period looks incorporating styles from the circus, the ballet and Victorian England. Gerald King’s lighting will reinforce the magic and the drama with effects that extend right into the audience.Alessandro Juliani and Meg Roe’s sound design includes fanciful original music with a collision of genres, while Nicholas Harrison’s fight choreography will bring precision and humour to the on-stage tussles. Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg is the movement consultant. Magical and colourful props will be designed by Heidi Wilkinson. Production Stage Manager Stephen Courtenay is assisted by Kelly Barker (Assistant Stage Manager) and Anthony Wade-Cooper (Apprentice Stage Manager). Apprentice Director for Dream is Michelle Boulet.
Performance details for A Midsummer’s Night Dream are as follows:
- Previews: June 11, 15, 17, 18, 20; OPENS: Saturday, June 21
- Runs Tuesdays through Sundays from June 11 to September 20 on the BMO Mainstage in Vanier Park
- Plays in repertory with The Tempest which begins in previews June 12
- Bard-B-Q & Fireworks July 26 & August 2 @ 4:30pm, Play plus salmon barbecue, post-dinner entertainment & fireworks viewing. (July 30 BMO Mainstage play performance is The Tempest)
- Celebrating Red & White – wine event between play performances on August 16
Play ticket prices (adults) include all fees & taxes and are $47 (evenings) and $33 to $35 (previews, matinees and long weekend evenings) with a $27 Global BC Youth Rate (6-25 years, all play performances). Early Bird regular adult tickets are priced at $43 toMay 30. Prices for special events, groups and multi-play ticket package discounts can be found on the Bard website. Early booking is recommended for best seat selection (all seats are reserved). The performance schedule and information can be found on the Bard website at www.bardonthebeach.org. For more information and tickets, call 604-739-0559 or (toll free) 1-877-739-0559 or order online through the Bard website.