Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival begins its 28th season in Vanier Park on June 1st.

The stages are set for another terrific summer, featuring four classic Shakespeare plays plus a short-run contemporary drama. Together they transport audiences from a mythical past to modern-day Venice and contemporary Vancouver.

Opening the Festival on the mainstage is an audience favourite, Much Ado About Nothing, set in 1959 Italy. Inspired by the era’s glamorous and extravagant Italian films, it is directed by John Murphy (Measure For Measure, 2013).

Alternating with Much Ado is The Winter’s Tale, a magical and poignant family drama, set in mythical kingdoms in Sicily and Bohemia and directed by Bard’s Associate Artistic Director Dean Paul Gibson (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2014).

On the Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre, award-winning Canadian actor-director Nigel Shawn Williams directs a provocative staging of The Merchant of Venice, set in contemporary Italy.

It will alternate with Shakespeare’s romantic comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by Bard Artistic Associate Scott Bellis (The Comedy of Errors, 2015).

Rounding out the 2017 lineup is a short-run production in September to complement The Merchant of Venice. Shylock is a single-hander written by B.C.’s Mark Leiren-Young.

First produced at Bard in 1996, it imagines a modern-day actor playing Shylock as he wrestles with the timely issues of censorship and political correctness, themes that strongly resonate in our world today.

All tickets for the Bard on the Beach’s 2017 season, which runs from June 1 to September 23, are now on sale. Ticket prices for 2017 begin at $21.

Last modified: April 4, 2017

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