Bard on the Bandstand returns with Shakespeare at the circus

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows production features gender reversed roles.

Jacq Ainsworth, debuting as director for this year’s production, said that it is a very friendly cast this year. (Contributed)

The circus is coming to town this summer in Shakespearian form.

Bard on the Bandstand is returning to Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge in July, bringing William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors to the stage.

This year, the Emerald Pig Theatrical Society’s Bard on the Bandstand production will be like a night at the circus, bringing more comedy, fun activities and physical activity on stage.

On July 6, Emerald Pig will hold a fundraiser, with proceeds going towards the production. The fundraiser will be held at West Coast Flying Trapeze in Pitt Meadows, at 6 p.m., and the evening won’t be short of circus activities. Attendees will be able to participate in any or all of the activities such as juggling, aerial silks and trapeze. Tickets for the fundraiser are $20.

Sharon Malone, from Emerald Pig and producer of this year’s production, said that this is the group’s second time doing The Comedy of Errors, following a production in 2011, when members played it out as gangsters.

“We almost always choose to put a twist on the production, to keep it accessible to our audiences,” she said.

Celebrating its 14th year in production and 10th performing Bard in Pitt Meadows, Emerald Pig has always been involved in the community by bringing a free production to enjoy outdoors, as well as raising funds and donations for the Friends in Need Food Bank.

Last year, Emerald Pig raised almost $2,000 and over 800 pounds of food.

READ ALSO: Merry Wives leads to trickery and lies in upcoming Maple Ridge production

The production is free to attend, it is a family friendly event and Malone said it’s fun for everyone involved.

“It’s kind of our gift back to the community,” she added.

“Enjoy Shakespeare like you’ve never seen him before – at the circus.”

Jacq Ainsworth, director for The Comedy of Errors, decided to add in an extra twist in the plot by switching the genders of the main characters, both being named Angelica with both of their servants named Drameda.

This will be Ainsworth’s first year directing, but she has been apart of Emerald Pig for years and acting in the plays since 2010.

She said that this year the cast has been friendly and that her perspective has changed since she is on the other side of the production, especially that on gender politics. She said that it has been interesting to see how, by switching the genders, the characters now interact with one another.

When the one brother consoles the other because of jealousy toward his wife always being at work, it reminds them to “celebrate who you’ve married, not who you want them to be,” Ainsworth added.

• The productions will run at Pitt Meadows Spirit Square from July 18-20 and at Maple Ridge Memorial Peace Park from July 25-27, starting at 6:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring their family and donations for the food bank.

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Ad for The Comedy of Errors production taking place in July, by Bard on the Bandstand. (Contributed)

Ad for Bard at the Circus fundraiser taking place in July, by Bard on the Bandstand. (Contributed)

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