ARTSMARTS – Janis La Couvée

The Bard shakes up summer theatre

Ah – the lazy days of summer! It’s a perfect time to escape outdoors and combine spectacular scenery with performance. Whether it’s Shakespeare under the Garry oaks at Camosun College or close to the water at Fisherman’s Wharf, cycling or ambulating along the Galloping Goose to take in mini-plays, relaxing on the lawns of Beacon Hill Park to watch dance, music and film – the opportunities abound. What new spot and experience will you discover this year?

Eclectic Gallery in Oak Bay hosts the colourful paintings of Christine Reimer and Krysia Gallien in July with a public reception on July 9. eclecticgallery.ca

Tuesdays in July, Esquimalt-based Township Community Arts Council presents the second annual Memorial Park Music Fest with a wide-range of popular local musicians. townshiparts.org

Join Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre July 5 to 24 for Oscar Wilde’s most enduringly popular play The Importance of Being Earnest, and discover why being born in a handbag is just as hysterically funny as it was over a century ago. Bluebridgetheatre.ca

An abundance of Shakespeare awaits eager audiences this summer. The Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival celebrates 26 years July 7 to 30 with A Winter’s Tale directed by Barbara Poggemiller and a gender-switched Twelfth Night directed by Janet Munsil. Fans and neophytes alike can reveal in immortal words at Camosun College’s Landsdowne campus. Vicshakespeare.com

Victoria’s Shakespeare by the Sea moves to Fisherman’s Wharf Park for its fifth season (June 28 to Aug 7) with a three-show festival including Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, and Richard the Lionhearted, an original work by CorAx Productions. Look for them in September on the Saanich Peninsula and in Nanaimo. Vancouverislandshakespearearts.com

Since 2009, Theatre SKAM presents SKAMpede (formerly Bike Ride) a mobile performance feast on the Galloping Goose, July 8 to 10. New this year, the HUB moves to Harbour Road. Bike, walk or scoot to a myriad of mini-plays or relax to music and shows at the HUB. Be sure to look for SKAM Pop-Ups in public parks and at local markets too, during July and August. Skam.ca

Founded in 2013, Ballet Étoile creates some of my favourite summer memories. There is something incredibly elegant about sipping a glass of wine under the vines at Muse Winery for Summer Musings (July 10/17) or packing a picnic to enjoy the performances at Butchart Gardens (July 31 & Aug 1). Balletetoilecanada.com

The 19th ROMP! Festival of Dance July 8 to 17 welcomes a new, free outdoor program ROMP! in the PARK so audiences can enjoy dance in the City of Victoria’s core garden oasis at Beacon Hill Park. At the Metro Studio, Vancouver-based Joshua Beamish premieres Lone Wolf, an evening of solos and Meagan O’Shea takes over the theatre with We Don’t Need Another Hero, a provocative dance-theatre work inspired by the occupy movement. suddenlydance.ca

Returning by popular demand, Paper Street Theatre Co presents The Dungeons and Dragons Improv Show at the Intrepid Theatre Club July 29/30. “Gather ‘round fair Victorians, pick up your longswords and dice, and embark upon a campaign like no other!”  paperstreettheatre.ca

Janis La Couvée is a community builder, writer and arts advocate.

 

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