Summer in Vancouver is the season of outdoor theatre and concerts—there’s Stanley Park’s Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) and outdoor music at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, to name just a few—but there is no other summer theatre festival that pairs Vancouver’s stunning scenery with top-notch productions better than Bard on the Beach.
A summer tradition for many Vancouverites (our own Suzanne Raikes goes every year), Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest Shakespeare festivals. Each summer, the festival produces four Shakespeare plays in open-backed tents at Vanier Park, allowing gorgeous views of the northern mountains and English Bay to become the literal backdrop for each production.
This summer, Bard on the Beach will perform Shakespeare’s crowd-pleasing comedy As You Like It, the ultra-famous Merchant of Venice (“If you prick us, do we not bleed?”), the dramatic Richard III and Henry VI: War of the Roses.
Back for 2011 is one of my favourite nights of the festival, Bard-B-Q & Fireworks (Jul7 30, August 3 & 6), which combines Shakespeare, barbecue and a front-row seat to Vancouver’s jaw-dropping annual Celebration of Light International Fireworks Competition.