Candace Radcliffe goes over plans with fellow teacher Rick Harmon.

Perchance to dream in Crescent Beach

Shakespeare by the Sea envisioned for theatre-goers

You’ve heard of Bard On The Beach – but how about Shakespeare By The Sea?

Producing the classic works of William Shakespeare each summer in her own (figurative) backyard has been a dream of  Candace Radcliffe, Earl Marriott Secondary drama teacher, for years.

But now, the Crescent Beach resident – with her Beach House Theatre creative partners, former Marriott drama guru Rick Harmon and Marriott grad/set designer extraordinaire Nicole Chartrand – has met all the initial challenges of achieving the goal.

An outdoor – but sheltered – inaugural Shakespeare By The Sea production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been given the green light by the City of Surrey for five performances Aug. 15-19, 2012 at Crescent Beach. The talented team, which created a memorably magical version of the bard’s most accessible classic at Marriott in 2005, plans to transform the parking lot area adjacent to Blackie Spit into a lit open-air theatre with some 200-250 seats under an arching tent.

A tiered stage set will have the most dynamic backdrop imaginable – in the team’s words: “the incredible natural stage of Blackie Spit in the background.”

“We feel like Crescent Beach is the star,” said Radcliffe, adding that much thought and discussion with city officials has gone into choosing a performance area that works best for the company and the community.

“We didn’t want to be confrontational with anybody,” she said.

“We’re just so excited about the potential for the project and what it could be.”

The weather, of course, is always an imponderable when an outdoor event is planned in B.C.

“We have chosen what is, historically, the warmest, driest period of the year,” said Harmon. “But no matter what the weather is, the show will go on.”

It’s likely there will be no argument about that from the actors, for whom Radcliffe and Harmon plan to draw on some keen alumni from Marriott productions. The team also plans to open up casting to the community at large early next year.

“We’re looking at a broad age range, generally anywhere from 19 to 60,” Radcliffe said.

“We’re also going to need a large group of volunteers.”

The organizers also see Shakespeare By The Sea as an opportunity to mentor youth, particularly in the many behind-the-scenes technical roles required to create an instant outdoor theatre.

“This will be the first time we have done a production that isn’t in an existing theatre,” admitted Harmon, whose directing credits also include many community shows with the Fraser Valley Gilbert and Sullivan Society and Peace Arch Musical Theatre Society.

To make the Beach House Theatre/Shakespeare By The Sea project a reality will require genuine community support – including significant financial contributions from individual donors and corporate sponsors to the tune of some $70,000-$80,000.

Fundraising is currently underway, with a major limited-ticket event planned for Morgan Creek Golf Club for Feb. 25.

Just getting to this point has been an intense experience, they said – including meeting all the requirements of establishing a non-profit society.

But they’re happy they have a board of directors with a strong background in the arts – and the business of arts – including former Marriott principal, and current Tamanawis Secondary principal, Margaux Molson.

“It’s one of the most incredible groups of people I’ve ever worked with,” Radcliffe said.

And it’s not lost on the team that the project has many potential tie-ins with local businesses and promoting the Semiahmoo Peninsula – and Crescent Beach in particular – as a destination.

It’s their hope that many others will see the potential, and want to get on the band wagon.

For more information on how to get involved with the project, visit www.beachhousetheatre.org or call Radcliffe at 604-710-4929.

 

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Pods’ set up at Surrey homeless centre

Temporary shelter set up in April to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Suspect sought in alleged indecent act in South Surrey

Police say incident occurred near 13 Avenue and 131 Street

New video evidence in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial shown in court

The defence closed its case following the playing of the video in court, marking the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found a body in the 11300-block of Bridgeview Drive: Surrey RCMP

PHOTOS: White Rock Farmers’ Market ‘welcomes all vendors’

Relaxing pandemic restrictions mean full spectrum of vendors can return to uptown market: manager

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read