From 411 BC to Vancouver, BC:
Aristophanes’ Outrageous Comedy Gets A Modern-Day Reboot at Bard on the Beach
|Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 29th season with a modern-day riff on Lysistrata, the outrageous 2,400-year-old comedy about the power of citizen action, written by the Greek playwright Aristophanes.
First staged in 411 BC, this production of Lysistrata is co-adapted by Jennifer Wise (Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition–winner, 2013) and Lois Anderson (Jessie Award–winner for Pericles, Outstanding Direction, 2016). Lois Anderson also directs this unique new play on the Howard Family Stage.
In this adaptation, Aristophanes’ classic tale of the first-ever female strike is staged by a company of Bard actresses in response to a development project that threatens Vanier Park. A bawdy romp, the play investigates how humour and art can take their place in the political arena.
“When it was written in 411 BC it would have been a hilarious scenario for an Athenian audience to witness housewives participating in politics,” explained Anderson. “Aristophanes wrote Lysistrata in the midst of a long, drawn-out war that was ravaging Greece. I was impressed that his action was to respond as an artist; to write a play, to stage a comedic glance at the state of affairs. Citizens were expected to attend the theatre in ancient Athens – it was a place where questions were staged and democracy was put under the lens. The theatre functioned in part as a public forum.”
Adds Anderson, “so, here we are in the summer of 2018 in Vancouver, and as we wrangle down this ancient Greek play, we consider our relationship with activism, land and the theatre – today.”
The Lysistrata ensemble cast includes Sharon Crandall, Michelle Fisk, Marci T. House, Ming Hudson, Luisa Jojic, Jennifer Lines, Adele Noronha, Quelemia Sparrow, Colleen Wheeler, Joel D. Montgrand, and Sebastien Archibald.
The production team includes Barbara Clayden (Costume Designer), Drew Facey (Set Designer), John Webber (Lighting Designer),Mishelle Cuttler (Composer/Sound Designer/Musical Director), Alison Matthews (Head Voice & Text Coach), Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg (Choreographer), Josh Reynolds (Fight Director), Quelemia Sparrow (Indigenous Consultant), Joanne P.B. Smith (Stage Manager), Jennifer Stewart (Assistant Stage Manager), Zoe Bellis (Apprentice Stage Manager), Joel Wirkkunen (Directing Apprentice) and Hannah Case (Costume Design Apprentice).
Dates of note for Lysistrata include:
OPENING NIGHT – Friday, July 13 at 7:30pm
TALKBACK TUESDAYS – July 31, August 7 and August 28 at 7:30pm
WINE WEDNESDAYS – July 11 and September 5 at 7:30pm
CLOSING NIGHT – Thursday, September 13 at 7:30pm
Ticket prices for all regular play performances start at $24 CAD. 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 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 is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals. Established in 1990, the annual summer festival’s mission is to perform, explore and celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare, surrounded by the natural beauty of Vancouver, British Columbia. Bard also offers year-round education and training programs for youth, adults and theatre professionals in its administrative home at the BMO Theatre Centre in Olympic Village as well as in schools and community facilities throughout the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
Bard on the Beach gratefully acknowledges the corporate sponsors who support the Festival and its programs. 2018 sponsors include season sponsor Goldcorp; production sponsors RE/MAX, Lawson Lundell, Lonetree Cider and BlueShore Financial; media sponsors the Vancouver Sun and Global BC, as well as other valued sponsors and supporters. Bard also thanks the City of Vancouver Cultural Services Department, the Vancouver Parks Board, the Province of British Columbia, the B.C. Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts for their continuing support.