Shakespeare will not be by the Bow this summer

Article content

Enough no more; Tis not so sweet now as it was before.

No one could lament it better than the Bard himself. A popular summer theatre festival will be on hiatus this year due to financial constraints.

Article content

Theatre Calgary’s annual Shakespeare by the Bow program had actors performing various scenes from Shakespeare plays, first at Prince’s Island Park and then throughout the city in 2022 and 2023.

Article content

“Shakespeare by the Bow is a program that we are very proud of and that we enjoy producing,” says TC executive director Maya Choldin. “However, it is also a very expensive venture to bring to life. To maintain the levels of production, artistry, and logistics, we need to re-examine how to make this program viable. This program has always been supported by the generosity of our audiences (pay-what-you-will donations), and a few wonderful corporate and individual donors. However, we need to take a step back in 2024 and look for ways to make Shakespeare by the Bow successful.”

Charlie Gould, left, and Bobbi Goddard performed The Tempest as part of Shakespeare by the Bow in Prince’s Island Park in 2015. Photo by Aryn Toombs /Calgary Herald

Originally called Shakespeare in the Park, the program was started in 1987 by Mount Royal University. The program was dormant in 2011 before Theatre Calgary partnered with MRU in 2012 to bring it back to life in Prince’s Island Park. The pandemic forced it to go on the road in 2021 under the name ‘Shakespeare on the Go’, and it continued to tour Calgary and area in both 2022 and 2023. Last year, in July and August, Shakespeare on the Go featured a troupe of seven emerging artists who took Anna Cummer’s adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to various locations around the city. In the past, Shakespeare by the Bow put on such classics as Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hamlet, and The Tempest.

Choldin says Theatre Calgary is discussing with some key Calgary organizations about engaging the program in 2025.

“This is a program that can succeed with partners that have both the access to additional funding, and the interest of helping build and support the next generation of emerging artists in Calgary.”

Share this article in your social network