The 29th season of Bard on the Beach continues until September 28, but Artistic Director Christopher Gaze announced the lineup today for the Festival’s 30th Anniversary Season, running from June 5 to September 21, 2019. The 2019 plays include the return of a record-setting Bard hit, an internationally-popular romantic comedy, a cross-cultural romance and a powerful political drama.
The BMO Mainstage hosts a revival of the huge Bard crowd-pleaser, 2007’s Wild West-set The Taming of the Shrew, which will play in repertory with the playful romantic comedy, Shakespeare in Love. The Howard Family Stage offers two innovative new productions: Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, set in India and sparked with south-Asian music and dance, and Coriolanus, a no-holds-barred political tragedy filled with resonance for our time. Says Bard Artistic Director Christopher Gaze: “Our 30th Season is designed to be a delight for patrons, old and new. We’ve programmed entertaining options for all, from the most loyal Shakespeare fans to those who’ve never experienced a play at Bard before.”
Here are the plays, in short:
The Taming of the Shrew – It’s back and it’s better than ever! The beloved 2007 ‘spaghetti western’ version of The Taming of the Shrew – one of Bard’s greatest hits – returns to the BMO Mainstage. This hilarious Wild-West love story features two fierce kindred spirits who finally meet their match in each other. Petruchio, the sharpest-shooting cowboy in the West meets Kate, the prickliest gal in town, and their throw-down contest of wills and wits will leave you laughing out loud as they bicker and battle their way towards a splendid, healing love.
Jennifer Lines and Andrew McNee play Kate and Petruchio. Lois Anderson (Pericles, 2016,Lysistrata, 2018) directs. Runs from June 5 – September 21.
Shakespeare in Love – Based on the screenplay by Mark Norman & Tom Stoppard
Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall | Music by Paddy Cunneen
Young Will Shakespeare has writer’s block. The deadline for his new play is looming and he’s in desperate need of inspiration. And then he finds his muse – Viola. She’s Will’s greatest admirer and will stop at nothing (including breaking the law) to appear in his next play. Will’s love for Viola quickly blossoms but their road to romance comes with complications, from mistaken identity and ruthless schemes to hilarious backstage theatrics.
Shakespeare in Love is directed by Citadel Theatre Artistic Director Daryl Cloran, back at Bard after helming the 2018 Season’s record-breaking Beatles-music version of As You Like It. Runs from June 11 – September 18.
“This, my friends, is a funny, sexy, touching evening.” – Liz Nicholls, 12thNight.ca (Shakespeare in Love, Citadel Theatre, 2017)
All’s Well That Ends Well – This fresh, bold staging of All’s Well That Ends Well is set in India during the waning days of British occupation and the cusp of Indian independence. Helena, a privileged Indian woman, secretly loves Bertram, an officer in the British Army. Cultural, social and political barriers stand between them – but Helena doesn’t give up, and her journey takes her into the heart of her own culture and identity. Evocative music and dance will transport you to India, as this tumultuous love story unfolds against a backdrop of dramatic societal change.
Co-created and co-directed by Johnna Wright (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2016) and Rohit Chokhani (Artistic Director, Diwali in BC). Runs from June 28 – August 11.
Coriolanus – Political warfare – and war within a family – drive Shakespeare’s compelling story of the ruthless fighter, Caius Martius, as she fights for honour without compromise. With themes of pride and arrogance at its core, Coriolanus examines what it means to be loyal to a parent – and to a leader or a country – and how those choices can redeem or destroy us. Bard’s first-ever production of Coriolanus will be directed by Dean Paul Gibson (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2014; The Winter’s Tale, 2017). Runs from August 20 – September 15.
The 30th Anniversary Season will also offer a variety of special events, from orchestral and opera music concerts to Bard-B-Q & Fireworks nights. Updates on the 2019 Festival will be posted regularly at bardonthebeach.org.
Tickets and packages: Advance sales of 2019 Bard Season Packs begin Tuesday, August 21, 2018 and offer a substantial discount on tickets for all four productions. The lowest price of the season – $159 per Pack – will be in effect until September 4, when it will rise to $179. Flex Packs go on sale in November, and single tickets in early April, 2019. Order Season Packs now through the Bard website or by calling the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559.
NOTE: all run dates and casting subject to change.