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Vancouver Shakespeare festival returns to shake up the summer

The 35th season of Bard on the Beach will run from June 11 to September 21, 2024
Aidan Correia as Orsino and Camille Legg as Viola in 'Twelfth Night'.

The 2024 season of Bard on the Beach is mere weeks away, and this year brings four new productions of Shakespeare’s timeless works, covering the realms of comedy, music, romance and drama.

Director Diana Donnelly celebrates the topsy-turvy carnival world of Illyria in Twelfth Night, which plays on the BMO Mainstage from June 11 to September 21. In this adaptation of Shakespeare’s unforgettable romantic-comedy, the work’s poetry and chaos is set to original music by Vancouver-based composer Veda Hille. Audiences can expect music, fights, pranks, jokes and miracles in this journey of romance, adventure and self-discovery in the land of misrule. Twelfth Night examines how love transforms us all, for better or for worse. 

Before the matinee performances of Twelfth Night on July 14 and August 18, audience members are invited to experience Family Day. The family-friendly activities aim to encourage a new generation of young theatre patrons to discover Shakespeare and the Sen̓áḵw/Vanier Park festival experience. Special pricing and kids’ activities will be in effect on these two days.

Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most recognized classics, and under Stephen Drover’s direction, the captivating tale of vengeance, love and loss is revamped for modern audiences. Playing on the BMO Mainstage from June 13 to September 20, Hamlet follows a young prince's return home and struggles to move forward upon the death of his father. The dark secrets he uncovers along the way unlocks questions from life, existence, and if it's better "to be or not to be".

Synthia Yusuf as Luciana and Tal Shulman as Dromio in 'Measure for Measure'. Photo by Emily Cooper

Over on the Howard Family Stage from July 2 to September 21, The Comedy of Errors, directed by Rebecca Northan in her Bard on the Beach debut, presents a fantastical farce set against the azure sparkle of an ancient Greek port brimming with comedic confusion. This deadly-hilarious, side-splitting production features mistaken identity, marital infidelity, and knee-slapping hijinks, set in the sweltering heat of an ocean port full of pickpockets, goldsmiths, courtesans and cutthroats. Be sure to don your best bedsheet toga to get in on the ancient action.

Directed by Jivesh Parasram, Bard on the Beach’s sharp, irreverent and footloose take on Measure for Measure is set on the dance floor of the party city of Verona, where dancing before marriage is considered a crime punishable by death. On the Howard Family Stage from July 4 to September 20, this new adaptation brings one of Shakespeare’s most painfully relevant tales of coercion and hypocrisy to darkly absurdist new heights – with plenty of dance moves thrown in for good measure.

Vancouver’s annual Shakespeare festival presents high-quality productions in a unique setting on the edge of English Bay, offering the best setting in Vancouver for watching live theatre. Every one of the shows presented at Bard on the Beach are produced and directed in new and interesting ways, making traditional Shakespeare plays accessible and enjoyable for all. To that end, Bard on the Beach adapts productions to make them relevant to today’s modern world. By approaching relevant contemporary topics in their annual productions, Bard productions have the ability to reach new audiences who will discover a newfound appreciation for the world famous bard. 

Go to to reserve your Bard on the Beach tickets today.