Along with a Romeo and Juliet that mixes fresh faces with old favourites, the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival is serving up a strong roster of other plays—each with its own twist. Here’s the scoop on the rest of the works down at Vanier Park this summer:
THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR
June 17 to September 24 on the BMO Mainstage
The talented director Johnna Wright won a Jessie Award for her 1960s-set, Canadiana-filled version of Shakespeare’s rollicking comedy on the fest’s smaller studio stage in 2012. What’s really groovy, baby, about this production is she’s bringing it back bigger and wilder on the main stage. Did we mention it’s set in Windsor—Ontario?
June 24 to September 17 at the Douglas Campbell Theatre
One of the city’s top actors, Bob Frazer played the evil Iago at Bard on the Beach in 2009, the last time the fest presented the tale of the wronged Moor on its main stage. Now he’s back to direct his own version of it, this time set during the American Civil War. Expect thematic resonance in the era of slavery.
July 2 to September 18 at the Douglas Campbell Theatre
Another well-known Bard actor—Lois Anderson—makes a directing debut at the fest. She’s taking on this rarely performed, fantastical work that many believe is at least partially (maybe even fully) written by Shakespeare. The costumes and set design are a spectacular draw for this story set in a mythical world where clay figurines come to life.