Bard on the Beach Brings Shakespeare to the Park

Vanier Park, Photo: Bard on the Beach

The 34th annual Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival returns to Vanier Park (Sen̓áḵw) this summer from June 8 to September 30. The festival’s 2023 season is anchored by the revival of the most successful production in its history, a famous tale of political intrigue, a sweeping historical drama, and a unique interpretation of the Scottish play.

This season, Bard has several dynamic productions for theatre lovers of every genre. There’s a wealth of romance, rambunctious music, high-spirited comedy, and compelling drama with something for everyone from committed Shakespeare fans to first-timers.


As You Like It

Chelsea Rose as Rosalind & Oscar Derkx as Orlando, Photo/Design: Emily Cooper

Bard’s season kicks off with the triumphant return of As You Like It, a ’60s-inspired romantic comedy blending Shakespeare with musical hits from The Beatles.

Artistic Director Christopher Gaze promises, “The glorious musical is filled with tunes beloved by all generations. It will touch a vast range of people and become an inspired gateway into the magic of Shakespeare.” Gaze also compares The Beatles’ evolution through the ’60s to the free-spirited journey the main characters go through during Vancouver’s social and cultural evolution during the same time period.

  • June 8–September 30 @ BMO Mainstage


Julius Caesar

Jennifer Lines as Mark Antony, Photo/Design: Emily Cooper

Bard continues its season with the politically gripping tragedy of Julius Caesar in repertoire with As You Like It. This is a riveting age-old tale, told in a contemporary setting, about the human drive to get—and hold onto—power at any cost and how order and good government can turn to chaos when personal ambition is left unchecked.

Julius Caesar speaks powerfully to today’s fractured political landscape – and its profound implications for us all.

  • June 15–September 14 @ BMO Mainstage


Henry V

Kate Besworth, Photo/Design: Emily Cooper

This Henry V is a historical drama with a twist. This season, Shakespeare’s famous story is set in a mythical realm and steeped in fantasy with all of the play’s traditional power preserved. At the edge of the world, at the end of the world, a troupe of actors explores themes of love and warfare through Shakespeare’s text.

  • June 28–August 13 @ Howard Family Stage



The Goblins, Photo: Terry Manzo, Design: Emily Cooper

In the clever and hilariously imaginative Goblin:Macbeth, three Goblins come across a copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, decide to co-opt a theatre space, and cajole an audience into participating in their attempt at doing theatre. They use Macbeth as their raw material because it’s short and has lots of blood!

  • August 19–September 17 @ Howard Family Stage


Bard Fireworks Night, Photo/Design: Becky Verbruggen

Special Performances

  • Fireworks Night: Enjoy As You Like It followed by a catered picnic dinner, a performance by Coastal Wolf Pack, and guaranteed spectacular views of the Celebration of Light – July 22, 26 & 29.
  • Wine Wednesdays: Pre-show wine tastings – July 12, Aug. 16 & Sept. 13
  • Family Days: Performances encouraging young theatre patrons to discover Shakespeare with special pricing and kids’ activities – July 16 & Aug. 20
  • Pride Night: Early site access for special activities to celebrate Pride with the Bard Family – June 24
  • Relaxed Performance: Patrons seeking a less structured experience are invited to join Bard for a “Pay As You Like” performance of As You Like It – July 1
  • Bard Explored: Talks with SFU’s Paul Budra for a deep dive into the world of Shakespeare – July 15, Aug. 5 & 19
  • Talkback Tuesdays: Performers from the cast take part in free post-show discussions – Tuesdays in July & August


Visit Bard on the Beach’s website for tickets and full show details.

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