Having just wrapped its 30th anniversary season, Vancouver’s annual summer Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival has announced a 2020 season which will be headlined by productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Henry V.
Opening the season in June next year is a production of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. What producers call “the most popular play in Bard’s history,” it follows the story of four lovers and a group of six amateur actors who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies in an enchanted forest. Directed by Bard veteran Scott Bellis, the play will take place against the backdrop of the early Industrial Revolution.
Balancing out the comedy in Dream, Shakespeare’s history play Henry V will play in repertory as part of its mainstage offerings next year. Directed by Lois Anderson, who led the Jessie Award-winning Lysistrata this past season, the role of King Henry gets a gender-bend with Kate Besworth in the title role.
Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, and a retelling of Milton’s Paradise Lost will play in repertory on the Howard Family Stage.
A revival of Bard on the Beach’s 2015 production, Daryl Cloran returns to direct Love’s Labour’s Lost. Set in 1920s Chicago, the comedy features songs from the Great American Songbook to help tell its story of a rum-running kingpin and his pals who unsuccessfully turn their backs on the liquor and the ladies.
In Erin Shields’ stage adaptation of Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost, Satan is bent on revenge after being kicked out of Heaven. Jessie Award-winning Colleen Wheeler will play the role of the Prince of Darkness.
In addition to the four plays, Bard returns with a series of special events, including orchestral and opera concerts, and the popular Bard-B-Q and fireworks nights.
“Our 31st season is designed to entertain and inspire live theatre lovers of all kinds,” says Bard on the Beach artistic director Christopher Gaze in a media release. “It offers tempting choices for one and all, whether you’re a committed Shakespeare fan or you’ve never seen a play at Bard before.”
2020 Bard season packs are now on sale. Flex Packs go on sale in November, and single tickets in early April 2020. Visit bardonthebeach.org for more information.