Bard on the Beach draws more than 90,000 patrons in 2015

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Vancouver's summer Shakespeare festival has demonstrated that four centuries after his death, the Bard of Avon maintains an enduring hold over theatregoers.

      This year, more than 90,000 patrons attended Bard on the Beach plays and special events.

      Many were drawn to the steampunk version of The Comedy of Errors, which was directed by Scott Bellis and choreographed by Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg.

      Love's Labour's Lost, directed by Daryl Cloran, was also part of this year's lineup, as was Shakespeare's Rebel, which was adapted by C.C. Humphreys from his novel of the same name.

      Bard on the Beach has evolved into more than the annual Shakespeare festival. There was also the Bard-B-Q Fireworks nights and concerts featuring Chor Leoni, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Operas & Arias with UBC's Opera Ensemble and Vancouver Opera, all hosted by festival artistic director Christopher Gaze.

      That's in addition to eight Bard Explored lectures, wine tastings, and family nights.

      Meanwhile, Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival has announced its 2016 season, which coincides with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

      Running from June 3 to September 24, 2016, the fest will open with Romeo and Juliet directed by Siminovitch Prize winner Kim Collier.

      Alternating with Romeo and Juliet on the BMO Mainstage will be the Merry Wives of Windsor, which last appeared at the festival in 2012. Johnna Wright will direct it again this time.

      The Howard Family Stage will feature Othello, which will be directed by Bob Frazer. It will alternate with the Lois Anderson–directed Pericles.

      In a news release, Gaze said that the festival will go into its 27th season with a set of plays showcasing what a genius Shakespeare was.

      "We are fortunate to have engaged such an outstanding team of theatre creators who will bring their visions of these great classics to our Vanier Park stages next season, for what I know will be a memorable year for us."