Shakespeare set for Sidney in September

See the Bard on Beacon during Sidney Shakespeare by the Sea

Sidney will be getting a little more culture this summer as Sidney Shakespeare by the Sea is set to take the stage in September in an unusual location.

Beacon Park and the bandshell will play host performers from Victoria Shakespeare by the Sea and Discovery Dance Theatre Sept. 6 to 8 in performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet.

Sidney Shakespeare by the Sea is being produced by the TIDES Group and organizer Steve Duck said he’s looking forward to bringing the productions to Sidney.

“This is going to be an exceptional event for Sidney,” said Duck, adding that the draw of Sidney Shakespeare by the Sea will help bolster local businesses like Sidney’s shops and restaurants.

Duck said that although he already has an inkling that the Saanich Peninsula will have an appetite for the event, this year’s program will serve as a gauge for how much interest there is in having the event become an annual thing.

“I see the weekend in September as a possible gateway for something bigger, something more like a festival,” he said.

With Sidney already being a destination for theatrical and musical productions thanks to the Charlie White Theatre at the Mary Winspear Centre, Duck said it was a natural choice for the Town to host an outdoor theatre event in the summer.

“And depending on weather, we will always have the option to move the performance indoors at the Charlie White, so it will go on rain or shine,” he added.

The idea was pitched to the Town of Sidney early last summer but time constraints and bylaws which forbid events requiring tickets in Beacon Park put the idea on hold until this year.

Now, Duck said, with the bylaw revised and ticket sales started, it’s all systems go for the new event.

“It really is an amazing, unique location to host something like this in and it’s going to be really fun,” he said.

Five performances are scheduled for The Bard on Beacon Sidney Shakespeare by the Sea. On Friday, Sept. 6 at 7:30 p.m. A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed at the Charlie White Theatre (this is the only performance scheduled to be at the Mary Winspear Centre).

On Saturday, Sept. 7 there will be performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. outdoors in Beacon Park of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and on Sunday, Sept. 8 there will be performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Beacon Park of Romeo and Juliet.

Performances scheduled outside may be moved to the Mary Winspear Centre due to weather conditions.

All performances are ticketed with proceeds supporting the Victoria Shakespeare by the Sea and Discovery Dance Theatre.

Tickets, $25, can be purchased from the Mary Winspear Centre box office by calling 250-656-0275 or by visiting www.marywinspear.ca.

Seating at all events is on a first come, first served basis (festival seating).

For additional event information, email info@tidesgroup.com.