Press Release - 2012/09/26
Bard on the Beach Announces 2012 Attendance & 2013 Season Playbill
VANCOUVER, B.C..... At the closing night of the 2012 Bard on the Beach season, Artistic Director Christopher Gaze announced that the Shakespeare Festival’s overall attendance has increased for the second year in a row, with a total 2012 audience of 86,000 – up by 2,000 from 2011. The romantic comedy The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Meg Roe, played in the Mainstage Theatre tent in repertory with the powerful tragedy Macbeth, directed by Miles Potter. In the Studio Stage tent, Bard set its uproarious production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Johnna Wright, in 1968 Windsor, Ontario; it played alongside a popular staging of the rarely-performed medieval history play, King John, directed by Dean Paul Gibson.
“Our steadily-increasing attendance is the result of both the strength of our productions and the expanded capacity of our 740-seat Mainstage Theatre tent, which we opened last year”, says Gaze. “The additional seats allow us to welcome patrons who would have been turned away in past seasons. Our large tent, home of the BMO Mainstage, has given us more sophisticated technical facilities and an improved environment for our actors and our audiences. This year we also expanded and improved our audio system, which has made the listening experience in the larger space even more satisfying.”
Next year the overall redevelopment of Bard’s Vanier Park facilities will continue with further improvements and upgrades to site amenities, landscaping and the theatre tents.
Bard presented its usual roster of popular annual special events in 2012, including three Bard-B-Q & Fireworks evenings and the Festival’s annual Celebrating Red & White wine-tasting event. The acclaimed Opera & Arias series offered Nuit d’amour, a concert staging of French opera highlights. The series is presented as a co-production, featuring members of the UBC Opera Ensemble and the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and directed by Nancy Hermiston with conductor Les Dala.
Bard’s programming continues to entertain and educate students and youth, as thousands of elementary and secondary school students and their teachers attended Student Matinee performances in June and September this year. Bard in the Classroom, an in-school workshops program, continued over the past year and offered workshops in schools throughout the province of BC. The lively, interactive Young Shakespearean Workshops, which bring young people age 8 – 18 to the Bard site each summer, drew over 250 participants.
One of the most important ingredients in Bard’s continued success is the contribution of its enthusiastic and loyal volunteers – a record-setting 230 people this season. They provide a wide range of services, from administrative work to front of house duties. In 2012, Bard’s volunteers collectively contributed almost 13,000 hours of their time.
Bard’s 2013 Season
Bard on the Beach’s 2013 season will run June 12 to September 14. The opening production on the Festival’s BMO Mainstage will be the marvelous romantic comedy TWELFTH NIGHT, staged by Dennis Garnhum (Artistic Director, Theatre Calgary). Playing in repertory with Twelfth Night will be Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy, HAMLET, directed by Kim Collier (co-founder, Electric Company Theatre; Titus Andronicus, 2008). On the Douglas Campbell Studio Stage, Bard will present MEASURE FOR MEASURE, a classic study of morality, directed by John Murphy who has been a key player in Bard’s acting company in recent years (As You Like It, 2011; The Taming of the Shrew, 2012). Alternating with Measure for Measure is a contemporary Canadian play, Timothy Findley’s ELIZABETH REX, directed by Rachel Ditor (The Merchant of Venice, 2011; All’s Well That Ends Well, 2009) and set in Shakespearean England. Notes Gaze, “we’ve consulted the community extensively in recent years, most recently by commissioning our own external market research study this past spring. Vancouver theatre-goers have told us they are very interested in seeing us produce contemporary playwriting that references and illuminates Shakespeare’s world and themes, alongside productions of his classic plays.”