About the Book
A celebration of the twenty-eight-year history of Western Canada’s most illustrious Shakespeare festival.
Over the summer of 1990, six thousand Vancouverites flocked into a rented tent at Vanier Park to watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was the inaugural production of what would become one of the city’s most popular and enduring yearly cultural events, the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. Twenty-five years after Bard’s debut, the company had an operating budget of almost $6 million, and attendance had ballooned to nearly 100,000 for the season. Today it is undoubtedly one of the most successful theatre companies in the country.
Bestselling author and long-time Bard aficionado Jayne Seagrave goes behind the scenes to discover what makes the festival tick. The story of Bard on the Beach unfolds in five “acts” highlighting the people, history, growth, and future of this unique theatre company and features dozens of full-colour photographs of sumptuous sets, elaborate costumes, tireless volunteers, actors in mid-soliloquy, and more. All the World’s a Stage is a stunning, informative, and entertaining keepsake for Bard on the Beach fans new and old.
"This is a love story. The story of a man whose love for performance and the written word, supported by a talented troupe of actors, dedicated professionals, and a legion of enthusiastic volunteers, has fostered that love and shaped it into one of this country’s great festivals." —Rick Cluff, host, The Early Edition, CBC Radio, Vancouver
"I wish to say thank you to Bard on the Beach for the many ways it has enriched the lives of the citizens of Vancouver. When I see those tents go up, I know that positive and good things are about to happen." —Phillip Owen, former mayor of Vancouver
"Every once in a while a topic and a writer align perfectly. Seagrave’s book is a must for all who marvel at Bard on the Beach and muse about the magic behind its success. A great read!" —Rick Antonson, past president and CEO, Tourism Vancouver
"A wonderful, well-deserved love letter to Vancouver’s internationally renowned Bard on the Beach, as well as a savvy textbook on how to start and develop a world-class theatre and engage an audience and community. A must-read for every ambitious arts producer." —Jim Volz, PhD, California State University, Fullerton; editor, Quarto
"A lovely book—direct, unpretentious, filled with fact, fun, and anecdote. It is not just for the friends and faithful followers of Bard, who are legion, but for anyone interested in an object lesson in imagining the improbable and making it magnificent." —Max Wyman, writer, critic, educator, administrator, and actor
"Every summer my English grandchildren come to Vancouver, and the first thing on their list of adventures is to check out what’s playing at Bard on the Beach. All the World’s a Stage is the perfect gift, for them, for me, and for everyone else. (Vicki Gabereau, Canadian radio and TV personality and authorEvery summer my English grandchildren come to Vancouver, and the first thing on their list of adventures is to check out what’s playing at Bard on the Beach. All the World’s a Stage is the perfect gift, for them, for me, and for everyone else." —Vicki Gabereau, Canadian radio and TV personality and author
"This book communicates [Seagrave’s] adoration of Bard on the Beach and its founder and leader, and is likely to be of interest to those looking for behind-the-scenes descriptions of day-to-day theatrical operations as well as those passionate about all things Shakespeare and Bard on the Beach in particular.” —Ginny Ratsoy, Ormsby Review