The 2017 season for Bard in the Valley will open on Thursday, June 29 on the lawn in front of the historic community hall in Fort Langley. (Special to the Langley Advance)

Langley actor takes turn in director’s chair of Bard’s Much Ado

There will be 16 showings of Much Ado About Nothing in three outdoor Langley venues this summer.

Bard in the Valley is presenting Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing on three outdoor stages in Langley this summer, offering 16 performances between June 29 and July 30.

This is Bard in the Valley’s (BIV) eighth season and admission is still free at 11 of the 16 performances, explained producer and president Diane Gendron.

Dylan Coulter has had lead roles with BIV in two previous productions – Julius Caesar and Taming of the Shrew, but this time he’s tackling the director’s role.

“The Bard knew what he was doing when he wrote Much Ado About Nothing. It’s a play filled with witty banter, a dastardly villain sneaking her way through the plot, a foolish constable, dramatic conflict, many laughs and not one, but two love stories,” said Coulter.

Armed with a background in stage combat and a passion for Shakespeare, Coulter graduated from the Langley Fine Arts School and has an education in film from the Vancouver Film School and a degree in theatre and English from the University of the Fraser Valley.

“This show was built to be a crowd-pleaser and we’ve had a blast piecing it together with music and dance,” he added. “A show like this really does require a unique take, and the company has been very excited to take on this challenge and develop our own artistic vision. The characters in the play are ready to fight each other just as soon as share a laugh, and it’s that tension, something Shakespeare really does best, that drew me to Much Ado About Nothing.”

Bard in the Valley’s version of Much Ado makes subtle references to Canada’s 150th anniversary by way of little surprises for the audiences to discover in the music choices and on the set, Gendron announced.

“BIV is delighted to highlight the musical direction of Lauren Trotzuk, once again. This production is underscored by live music played by the multi-talented members of the cast,” she elaborated.

Bard in the Valley is able to continue to offer this “exciting, summer theatre” admission-free thanks to generous community support, Gendron said, putting on her president’s hat.

“In addition, we have a terrific group of 60 talented actors, creative artists, and dedicated people on the crew and production team who volunteer their time and energy for the season.”

Donations are welcome to help cover production costs, she added, noting there is a concession that will help generate a bit of extra revenue.

Chairs will be set up at all venues, but audience members are welcome to come early, bring a blanket or lawn chairs and a picnic, and spread out on the lawn in front of the stage.

“Expect something special when you join us on a summer’s evening to listen to some Shakespeare wafting on the breeze. Come by, be ready to play and slip into our fantastical world,” Coulter said.

Summer 2017 performance dates:

• On the lawn in front of Fort Langley’s historic community hall. Admission free. June 29 and 30, as well as July 1 (as part of the Canada Day celebrations) – performances begin at 7 p.m.

• At the Township 7 Winery – Tickets are $20 by calling 604-532-1766 or email wine@township7.com. Those shows run July 7, 8, 9, 14, and 15. The Sunday, July 9 performance is a matinee, beginning at 2 p.m. The others are evening performances starting at 7 p.m.

• On the Spirit Square stage in Douglas Park in Langley City. Admission is again free on July 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, and 30. The Sunday performances are matinees and begin at 2 p.m. The rest are evening performances begin at 7 p.m.

For more information about the Bard in the Valley Theatre Company people can visit their website at: www.bardinthevalley.com.

• Stay tuned to the print and online editions of the Langley Advance

for more on this summer’s BIV production

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