Rosalind (Lois Anderson) and Orlando (Todd Thomson)

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival will return in its 22nd season with the light-hearted romantic comedy As You Like It, starting on June 9 with previews on June 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8. The show will run Tuesdays through Sundays from June 2 to September 24 at the new Mainstage Theatre tent in Vanier Park.

The Mainstage is custom built with 742 seats to help accommodate more Bard on the Beach theatre lovers. As well, set & scenery designer (and Mainstage Theatre Stage Designer) Kevin McAllister will utilize the newly-configured stage to showcase the play’s Forest of Arden sculptural elements.

The play is set in 1642 during England’s Puritan era. In this merriest of comedies, Shakespeare draws on his signature themes of disguise, misplaced affections and pastoral passion.

The setting is ripe for romance when Rosalind, daughter of the banished Duke, runs away in disguise with her cousin Celia to the Forest of Arden. There they meet a pair of feuding brothers and Rosalind (masquerading as a young man), finds herself uniquely poised to teach her unknowing suitor Orlando the way to win a woman’s heart.

I won’t go into further detail here, but the twists and turns in the play will end on a very happy note.

Tickets are priced at $21 to $33 (previews and matinees); evening performances are $40. There’s a new $30 Youth rate (for those 25 and younger) good for evening performances only. All prices include HST. Tickets can be ordered either online or by phone (604.739.0559).

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