MINTY: Head outdoors to see Bard in the Valley’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew’

Also: Kick off summer with an “art party” hosted by The Arts Council of Surrey

Aaron Holt (as Petruchio) and Mandy Dyck (as Kate) in Bard in the Valley’s production of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew

SURREY — It’s official, we are into the summer season.

Summer solstice this year was on Monday, June 20 at 3:34 Pacific time. That is the moment when Earth’s northern axis of rotation is most tilted to the sun. We got about 17 hours of daylight that day, and this year summer solstice coincided with a strawberry full moon. That only occurs every 70 years or so. The strawberry full moon marks the start of strawberry season.  Summer, strawberries and sunshine. This is the recipe for Bard in the Valley, or BIV.

The company is presenting William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” on three outdoor stages in Langley this summer, offering 16 performances between June 29 and July 31. This is Bard in the Valley’s seventh season, and admission is still free at 11 of the 16 performances. “The Taming of the Shrew” is produced by BIV president Diane Gendron and directed by Darcy J. Knopp. Knopp has been involved with Bard in the Valley since its inception in 2010, both as a lead actor and a director.

The show is a comedy, mostly – depends on your point of view. Husband tames shrewish wife by degradation, starvation and isolation. Or, the other take is that there is a clash of egos and strong personalities as the characters strive to gain the upper hand in their relationship. It is funny, and even though Shakespeare celebrated his last summer 400 years ago, the story still resonates with today’s social conventions.

“Bard in the Valley’s version of ‘The Taming of the Shrew,’ while set in a modern-day golf and country club, is true to the language and relationships that are Shakespearean to the core,” Gendron says. “BIV is delighted to highlight the work of two young artists in this show,” she adds. “The play features original, high-energy dances by choreographer Tanya Schwaerzle and the delightful musical direction of Lauren Trotzuk.

“Bard in the Valley is able to continue to offer this exciting, summer theatre admission-free thanks to generous community support,” Gendron added. “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.”

The audience is invited to come early and bring a blanket, lawn chairs and a picnic. Chairs will also be available at all venues, as will snacks. Donations will be welcome to help cover production costs.

At three outdoor venues, the show will be staged on the lawn in front of Fort Langley Community Hall (free admission on June 29, 30 and July 1, 7 p.m. start), Township 7 Winery (from July 8 to 16 on select dates) and at Langley’s Douglas Park (from July 21 to 31, select dates). CLICK HERE for more event details.

There are costs involved with any production, even if the actors and crew are volunteers, so many thanks go to all of the sponsors; may your summer be filled with sunshine and strawberries.

Of course, I know summer isn’t all about sunshine, long days and theatre outside.

You can kick off summer with an “art party” hosted by The Arts Council of Surrey. The organization presents “Arts 2016,” the 32nd juried exhibition showcasing works by established and emerging visual artists from across the Lower Mainland, at Surrey Art Gallery on Friday, June 24 from 7 to 9 p.m.

“Arts 2016” features more than 50 works in various media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, fabric arts and photography. This juried show means prizes are awarded in each category. This exhibition is popular with locals and visitors alike, and everyone is invited to vote for the People’s Choice Award to be announced at the close of the exhibition. Friday’s opening reception includes formal remarks and the presentation of awards beginning at 7:15 p.m. Admission is free, and usually refreshments are served. Can’t guarantee that there will be strawberries, but it is a party, it is art and it is summer. Yay.

melminty@telus.net

 

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