On Stage


Bard on the Beach


What: Bard on the Beach

Where: Vanier Park, Vancouver, BC


WHEN: June 5-Sept. 21

Cost: Tickets start at $26

Info: http://www.bardonthebeach.com

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Contrary to popular belief, The Taming of the Shrew isn’t a romantic comedy.

The fact that its protagonist, the outspoken and independent Kate, is supposedly “tamed” by her husband Petruchio causes some to see William Shakespeare’s sometimes-controversial play as an anti-romantic comedy (and even a tragedy).

But when Bard on the Beach embarks on its 30th season this week at its scenic locale at Vancouver, BC’s Vanier Park, it will be with a refreshing interpretation of the classic work.

Returning to the Wild West theme that first filled seats when The Taming of the Shrew last graced the stage in 2007, this go-round is directed by Lois Anderson, who believes the entire play centers around Kate’s journey toward identity and selfhood.

“I think it’s very important right now to tell a story of rebellion with a female protagonist,” Anderson says. “The villain in this piece is not Petruchio—he is her ally. Kate’s conflict is with a society that holds her to a certain expectation: that she will become a goodly wife and pass on a huge dowry to a man.”

Anderson has revamped Shakespeare’s original script so that some of Petruchio’s lines are spoken by Kate, but she doesn’t think the liberties she’s taken with the tale would upset the Bard too much. In fact, she believes her changes honor his original vision for the characters.

“When the playbill went up for The Taming of the Shrew in Elizabethan times, everyone would have thought they were going to see the comical tale of a marriage in the vein ‘Punch and Judy,’” Anderson says. “But Shakespeare challenged that old trope by staging a profound love story between a husband and wife. He tells a story of two kindred spirits; two soul mates who are equally matched, mentally and physically. There is no taming in this story. We’re just watching two people encounter each other, trying to comprehend each other, while they are falling in love.”

For those seeking a true romantic comedy, see the famous writer fall for his creative muse when Shakespeare in Love takes the next spot on Bard on the Beach’s lineup, followed by a version of All’s Well That Ends Well that transports viewers to an India on the cusp on independence, and ending with Coriolanus, which is described as a “no-holds-barred political drama filled with resonance for our time.”

The four plays show in repertory through Sept. 21, but it would behoove you to get tickets ASAP, as seats for the longtime festival sell quickly—and this season looks to be one for the record books.

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12:00pm|Vanier Park

Smart Business Leadership Series

11:30am|Connections Classroom

Wellness Wednesdays

12:00pm|Riverwalk Plaza

Wednesday Farmers Market

2:00pm|Barkley Village Green

Ferndale Book Group

2:30pm|Ferndale Library

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Calypso Kitchen

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Bellingham Mayoral Forum

6:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Brewers Cruise

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Marina Albero and Jeff Johnson

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Trove Web
Community Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

High Tea Fundraiser

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

English Country Dancing

1:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Dig Deep

3:00pm|Deming Library

Bard on the Beach

4:00pm|Vanier Park

Blues and Brews

5:00pm|Hotel Bellwether

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Van Gogh for the Youth


Ales & Sails

6:00pm|Bellingham Bay

Van Gogh for the Youth

6:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

The Song Wranglers

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Building a Secure Water Future

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Plover Ferry Rides

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