Bard on the Beach 2012

Bard on the Beach performs Shakespeare with the northern mountains as a backdrop. Photo: Tourism Vancouver

Summer theatre season kicks off a little early this year with Bard on the Beach—Vancouver’s beloved annual Shakespeare festival—returning for 2012 this Thursday, May 31.

One of the largest Shakespeare festivals in Canada and a summer tradition for many Vancouverites (our own Suzanne Raikes goes every year), Bard on the Beach is famous for the high-calibre of its performances as well as its eye-popping location: set at Vanier Park, Bard’s two main stage tents have open-backs, allowing the majestic northern mountains and Vancouver city views to function as the literal backdrop for its plays.

Bard on the Beach at Vancouver's Vanier Park.

Every summer, Bard on the Beach produces four Shakespeare plays. For 2012, the plays are the comedy The Taming of the Shrew, the ultra-famous Macbeth (“Out, damn’d spot, out!”), a cheeky version of The Merry Wives of Windsor set in 1968, and King John.

Bob Frazer and Colleen Wheeler in Bard on the Beach's 2012 production of Macbeth. Photo: Bard on the Beach

In addition to the plays, Bard also hosts its annual Bard-B-Q & Fireworks (July 28, August 1 & 4), which combines Shakespeare, barbecue and a front-row seat to Vancouver’s jaw-dropping fireworks competition, the 2012 Celebration of Light.

Bard on the Beach runs from May 31 – September 22, 2012. For ticket info and a complete 2012 schedule, see the official site. You can also keep up with Bard plays and news via the free Bard on the Beach iPhone App.

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