Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival‘s 2021 Season has online programming designed to engage both its existing Festival community and reach out to new audiences across Canada and beyond. The 2021 lineup is highlighted by a bold new venture for Western Canada’s biggest Shakespeare festival – the world premiere of a new play, Done/Undone, commissioned by Bard, produced as a feature film and available on demand on a state-of-the-art digital platform.
Bard on the Beach Festival’s 32nd Season
The Festival’s 32nd Season, dubbed Press Play!, features the Shakespeare-themed film and artist Talkbacks, along with Bard Explored – livestreamed conversations with SFU’s Paul Budra and four of the world’s most celebrated Shakespeare scholars; a BC-focused wine-tasting event hosted by Artistic Director Christopher Gaze and Vancouver International Wine Festival Executive Director Harry Hertscheg, and A Shakesperience – a new film for students to be released in September. There is also a series of exclusive digital events programmed for Bard’s Members.
- Bard Explored –Simon Fraser University’s Paul Budra talks with some of the world’s leading literary scholars: Oxford University’s Emma Smith (This is Shakespeare, Pelican), actor and academic John “Ray” Proctor (Tulane University), Paul Yachnin (McGill University) and Farah Karim-Cooper (Shakespeare’s Globe). Livestreamed on Saturdays at 11:00am PT on August 7, September 11, September 25 and October 2.
- Wine Wednesday – hosted by Artistic Director Christopher Gaze and Vancouver International Wine Festival Executive Director Harry Hertscheg. Join them online to sip and savour a variety of BC wines, with special guests from the wine industry October 6.
- A Shakesperience – a new film, conceived and scripted by Bard Director of Education Mary Hartman and directed by Dean Paul Gibson. This lively, engaging introduction to Shakespeare will be available for free on-demand viewing beginning in September. More details released in August.
The season’s feature film, Done/Undone, was originally commissioned by Bard as a stage play. When the impact of the pandemic forced the Festival to transition to a digital 2021 season, playwright Kate Besworth and Bard’s artistic team transformed the production to become a feature film, shot in multiple spaces at Burnaby’s Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. Directed by Vancouver theatre artist Arthi Chandra, Done/Undone stars Charlie Gallant (Shakespeare in Love, 2019) and Harveen Sandhu (As You Like It, 2018). The two accomplished actors play a range of characters, including a pair of battling scholars, two cast-members in a Hamlet production, a theatre-going couple who are far apart on Shakespeare’s appeal –and the Bard himself (played by Sandhu).
The film’s viewing platform, OVERTURE+, offers high-quality playback across all devices, as well as closed captioning in multiple languages to expand the film’s reach to diverse new audiences.
Available on demand until September 30, 2021. Join members of the artistic team as they have conversations about the film’s themes and take attendees’ questions August 24 and September 21, 2021.
Follow Bard on the Beach on Facebook for their latest updates this season and beyond.