A message from our Artistic Director- Richard Beaune
On behalf of Prime Stock Theatre, I am delighted to welcome you to the 2023 Bard on Bower Festival. It amazes me how much artistic ground we will be covering with our program this year. From the magic of fairyland to the political intrigue of real history and a splash of tongue in cheek parody, one really sees the scope of what Shakespeare provides for present day theatre artists to play with. And we have assembled a terrific ensemble to play together. If you have come to see one show, I thank you for taking part in our festival, and I strongly encourage you to take in another in order to fully appreciate the range of our company. If you’ve seen more than one, then you already know what I’m talking about. We’re grateful for your support and delighted to continue to be a part of this great community. We hope you enjoy the shows!!
Director’s Notes by Michael Clark
In the original “youth rebellion” play, the future King Henry V (Harry) is avoiding his volatile father, King Henry IV, who somewhat reluctantly took the crown from his cousin Richard II (the plot of last summer’s play, btw). The wars of succession spilling out from Richard’s fall came to be known as the War of The Roses and are the subject of all 8 of Shakespeare’s history plays. Shakespeare's writing about this political instability was his way of examining the uncertainty in Elizabethan society around the succession that would follow the death of its aging, childless queen.
Hanging out in the slums of London, young Harry participates in the life of the common people at the Boar’s Head Inn. Subbing in for Harry's cold, stressed father here is Sir John Falstaff. Iconoclast, impoverished nobility, highway robber, Falstaff teaches Harry an alternative way of seeing life. At court, the young Hotspur, a lord who is Harry’s age, is leading armies and quelling rebellions on Henry IV’s behalf, fulfilling the role everyone at court wishes young Harry would take on before he becomes their king.
Harry’s two lives come crashing together when Hotspur turns on Henry IV and mounts his own rebellion, threatening to overthrow the king and end Harry’s life. Harry is forced to make hard choices about loyalty, duty and friendship in the thundering climax of the play.
Henry IV was Shakespeare’s most popular play during his lifetime. It was the most often performed and the most “pirated” - in the form of seven unofficial quarto (pocket sized) editions printed and sold before Shakespeare’s complete works were published by his Globe Theatre colleagues after his 1623 death in First Folio (large sized format).
Henry IV is unlike anything ever written before by anyone (including Shakespeare). Its characters and story lines range across the societal spectrum - literally from kings in court to serving wenches in taverns – to dramatize the chaos and disintegration of English social cohesion after the the overthrow of Richard II. The prose and the verse Shakespeare wrote for Henry IV are far more natural than anything written before it.
Henry IV also introduced Sir John Falstaff to world literature. The most fun, outrageous and subversive character in all of Shakespeare, Falstaff became so popular that he would figure in three more of Shakespeare’s plays, including Henry IV Part 2 and the Merry Wives of Windsor, written specifically request of Queen Elizabeth. Until the 20th century, when we became obsessed with Hamlet’s existential crisis, more was written about Falstaff than all of Shakespeare’s other character’s combined.
As You Like It
Director's Notes by Richard Beaune
As You Like It is one of my favorite plays. I don’t know if it’s because of my personal history with the play having worked on some memorable productions for the Stratford and St. Lawrence Shakespeare festivals. I think it’s more than that. I’ve always felt that the theatre should be a celebration of the human condition, and what better to celebrate than love? This is a play where, in the face of danger and the foibles of human silliness, love wins out in the end. I’m all for that. In our production, I’ve tried to focus on what each character learns about love and where and how they learn it. Perhaps we can all learn something about how to love better by watching each of these various interpretations of what it is to love.
Shakespeare was probably working on this play around the same time that he was working on Hamlet, and the similarities are many. But the big difference is that in Hamlet a lot of people end up dead whereas in As You Like It a bunch of people find love. Why isn’t this play as highly regarded then as the tragedy? Comedy suffers in the esteem of academics because they’re mostly interested in the word on a page, but its appeal is only really given voice in a live performance. Without an audience, comedy isn’t very funny, or nearly as fun. So, what makes this show as profound as Hamlet – maybe even more, is your participation. When you breathe life into our play it rises from the petty to the profound. Such is your power when you join us in this theatrical experience. We’re more aware of you than you might think, and we’re more grateful for your participation than we can say.
With your help, we hope to create a masterpiece of a live event for each performance. But without your help, it will only be a series of fine words. Thanks for the help.
Here is our amazing Cast & Crew in alphabetical order:
Halina, a native Red Deerian is excited to take part in this years Bard on Bower performances. She is an avid actor in the Shakespeare scene, as well as a recent graduate from Koinonia Christian School and an archer/coach at Springbrook's Archery Club. She grew up a competitive dancer, and is no rookie when it comes to giving a show her all. She hopes that through her acting, no matter the role, she may invite everyone to experience the characters' lives from a brand new, and exciting perspective.
Richard Beaune - Artistic Director
Director - As You Like It & Consulting Director/Falstaff - Henry 4
Richard Beaune has performed in every province and territory across Canada in both official languages over a career spanning more than 35 years. His work as actor and director has garnered rave reviews and several awards, including a Dora Mavor Moore Award and a Canadian Comedy Award, and has been seen in Canada’s largest theatres, including the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, as well as the smallest indie theatres and found spaces. He is the current Artistic Director of Prime Stock Theatre. Ultimately, his goal in life is to make you smile. www.richardbeaune.com
Frederick/Alfreida - As You Like It
Bardolf/York/Soldier - Henry 4
Bailey is thrilled to be a part of her first Bard on Bower season this year! She just recently graduated from Queen’s University after stage managing her first student show and is now working as a performer and playwright. Her first play, Ghostlight, just had its first workshop reading with the Nextfest Art Company in June, which is something she never thought would come her way but is so grateful it has. Bailey’s favourite recent credits include playing Countess Andrenyi in Domino Theatre’s Muder on the Orient Express and portraying Mary Blathwayt in the staged premier of Leslie Arden’s new musical, The Lancashire Lass.
Production Manager - Bard on Bower Festival
Karley is this year’s Production Manager for Bard on Bower. She is an event coordinator, comedian, livestreamer and content creator. As a Treehouse Youth Theatre alum, she has utilized her skills as a former actor to pursue a career in entertainment and event management. She is a firm believer in laughter as the best medicine, and live theatre as one of the most important art forms in our world. She is so very proud of the Bard on Bower cast and crew and greatly admires the hard work and dedication they bring to the Bower Ponds Stage year after year. Enjoy the show!
Director - Henry 4
Michael directed his first Shakespeare play in 1992. He directed several more as the Artistic Director of Onion Theatre in Edmonton, meeting the wonderful Richard Beaune in the process. In 1999 he began seven seasons as Artistic Director for Nakai Theatre, a new writing theatre in Whitehorse, where he also founded several festivals. In 2006 he returned to Edmonton to become Artistic Director of Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre for eight seasons. Between 2001 and 2014 he directed, among other plays, 13 new Canadian works that 23 other theatres have since produced. Michael has directed new plays, Shakespeare, opera, and contemporary theatre in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New York. He’s thrilled to work with such a wonderful cast and crew on Henry 4.
Hotspur/Sherrif/Traveller 6/Wretched Soldier 6 - Henry 4
Silvius - As You Like It
Everett Dool is a local actor based out of Lacombe. This is his second year with Bard on Bower. He is excited to be reprising his role from last year, Hotspur in Henry IV, Part 1 and to be bringing a new character to life as Silvius in As You Like It. He is also excited his shoes are still kicking from last year's show as well.
Westmorland/Traveller 1/Servant - Henry 4
Charles/Raemis - As You Like It
Dustin Funk is no stranger to the acting scene. After attending Red Deer College for acting in both theatre and film, he has performed in many shows for Central Alberta Theatre, Innisfail Town Theatre, and Primestock Theatre. This is his second year performing for Bard on Bower having played Oberon in last year’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His most recent performance, however, was in Central Alberta Theatre’s production of The Lonely Diner.
Set Designer/Props Master - Bard on Bower Festival
Carrie has been teaching and designing in Alberta for over 30 years, including award-winning children's theatre and epic main stage productions at Red Deer College. Now retired, she enjoys working with local theatre companies to enhance their productions.
Rosalind Jackson Roe
Rosalind - As You Like It
Worcester/Chief Justice/Woman/Traveller 5/Wretched Soldier 5 - Henry 4
Rosalind Jackson Roe (she/her) is an Alberta-based theatre artist who recently graduated from Baylor University with a BFA in Theatre Performance and BBA in Digital Marketing. Passionate about exploring humanity through language and storytelling, she particularly connects with theatre that reimagines history and demands a thorough examination of what it means to be human. Recent favourite roles include Goneril in King Lear, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Suze in the Texas debut of Fairview, Emma in Emma and Claire in Proof.
Website: www.rosalindjacksonroe.com Instagram: @rosroe
Production Stage Manager - Bard on Bower Festival
Reina Jugueta is pleased to expand her horizons as the production stage manager for this year’s shows. She previously assisted in costumes and dressing last year and 2018. She’s been a stage manager for a few shows in CAT’s dinner theatres like Crimes of the Heart, Miracle on 34th St and Lonely Diner as well as the workshop production run for the new operatta “It’s Coco” which was produced in Red Deer in June 2022.
Head Carpenter/Builder - Bard on Bower Festival
Rick returns this season to once again construct the set for Bard on Bower having previously built the set in 2021/2022 and serving as Technical Director for Bard on Bower in 2015. Rick was the resident Technical Director at Red Deer College before the program folded. During his time at RDC (now RDP), Rick managed the scenic shop and provided strong mentorship to upcoming stage technicians. Before his time at RDC he taught for many years at Notre Dame High School. Rick’s past experience also includes Stage Carpenter for the Badlands Passion Play and for Theatre Calgary.
Apprentice Stage Manager - Bard on Bower Festival
Eloheeka Lumeka (Apprentice Stage Manager) is a tenth-grade student who actively participates in theatre throughout the community. She is a part of TreeHouse Youth Theatre, improv classes at LTCHS and participates in one-acts. Eloheeka is grateful to have the opportunity to be the Apprentice Stage Manager for Bard on Bower. Experiencing theatre from a different perspective was an amazing experience, and she will continue her involvement in Red Deer’s theatre and hopefully the film community. She extends her thanks to Richard Beaune (Director), Reina Jugueta (Production Stage Manager), and the entire cast of As You Like It for making her experience enjoyable. She hopes you enjoy the show.
Costume Designer - Bard on Bower Festival
Gwen, is happy to be back at Bower Ponds for her 11th show. A graduate of the costume cutting programme at Red Deer College, she has acquired an extensive collection of interesting costumes. Gwen also does costumes for Tree House Youth Theatre and Central Alberta Theatre. Some of her favorite shows that she has worked on are Sweeny Todd Jr. (Tree House Youth Theater), Sherlock Holms Series (CAT), Blood Relations (CAT), and As You Like It (Prime Stock Theater). Gwen would like to thank her friends and family for all the support she gets. “Hope you enjoy all the hard work that goes into these shows!”
Blunt/Francis/Traveller 3/Wretched Soldier 3 & Assistant Fight Director - Henry 4
Le Beau & Assistant Fight Director - As You Like It
Vahn James McCagg is from Red Deer, Alberta. They have a degree from Red Deer College in Motion Picture Arts and have been doing theatre since elementary school. They have been in Sweeny Todd (Tree House Youth Theatre), Animal Farm, Legally Blonde the Musical (Red Deer College), Blood Relations, All Together Now (C.A.T) The Thin Grey Line (Red Deer Players) and Midsummer's Nights Dream (Primestock Theatre).
Assistant Production Manager - Bard on Bower Festival
Kate Pasula was born and raised in Red Deer. She recently graduated from the University of British Columbia with her degree in Honours English Literature and Theatre. She pursued projects in Vancouver, and her recent credits include stage managing Metro Theatre's production of Wait Until Dark. This fall, she is moving to Toronto to pursue her Master's degree in Drama, Theatre, and Performance. She is thrilled to join the Bard on Bower Festival, working in her beautiful hometown in the industry she loves.
Celia - As You Like It
Lancaster/Kate/Doll/Traveller 7/Wretched Soldier 7 - Henry 4
Irene Poole is an actor and singer-songwriter from Banff, AB. She is thrilled to be returning to Bard on Bower for her second summer, after playing Richard in Richard II and Helena in Midsummer during last year's festival. Other recent credits include: Love's Heavy Burden (Rosaline), A Dinosaur Tale (puppeteer), Next to Normal (Natalie), 52 Pickup (M), and Twelfth Night (Feste). When not acting, Irene enjoys performing her original songs, knitting, and spending time in nature. Follow along @irene.b.poole on Instagram. Love and thanks to the whole cast and crew!
Olivia/Corin - As You Like It
Mortimer/Peto/Sir Michael/Messenger/Wretched Soldier 8 - Henry 4
Casey Powlik is an actor/performer located in central Alberta. She was a competitive gymnast for most of her youth. The performance component of gymnastics inspired her passion for acting and performing. She brings her love and excitement for acting to every project and role, hoping to expand her experience and reputation in the acting profession. This summer through Bard on Bower 2023, Casey will bring her passion for acting to life on stage for audiences to enjoy. She recently finished her first year teaching drama with Cornerstone Youth Theatre in Red Deer, Alberta. Casey is planning on travelling to Europe this fall to expand her theatre experience and make more connections with people there in the performing arts. She is also an avid cat lover and an enthusiastic baseball fan.
Clowne - As You Like It
Poins/Douglas/Wretched Soldier 1 - Henry 4
Alex Rogers is an actor and improvisor based in Red Deer. Alex has been a part of creating shows for over a decade in Central Alberta. Recent credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream (Prime Stock Theatre), Fully Committed (Sylvan Lake Theatre), and Drinking Alone (Innisfail Town Theatre). Grab a friend, or a goose, and enjoy the show.
Fight Director - Bard on Bower Festival
Sound Coordinator - Bard on Bower Festival
This is Ryan's second year at Prime Stock Theatre. He started as an Apprentice Stage Manager on Henry 4 but soon took on the responsibility of Sound Coordinator for both shows. He is freshly out of high school, and is looking to pursue a career in the arts.
Phebe/Adam - As You Like It
Henry IV/Quickly Traveller 2/Wretched Soldier 2 - Henry 4
Starlise is happy to have come full circle back to her roots from Vancouver. After 11 years of pursuing, learning, teaching and creating in the bustling city, she is now eager to rejoin the warm artistic community of Central Alberta. Her favorite Shakespeare credits include: Mercutio (RDC), Dromio of Syracuse (PrimeStock Theatre), Ophelia (Blackspear Productions) and Laertes (Harlequin Theatre). She is so excited to play a King, sword fight and speak these juicy words with this beautiful cast and crew.
Assistant Director - Henry 4
Allison is an emerging theatre artist living and creating on Treaty 6 and Treaty 7 land. She is delighted to return to the Bard on Bower for a third season and her first foray into direction! Recently Allison is proud to have been Production Manager in Lunchbox Theatre’s inaugural Associate Artist Company, and Production Apprentice on Vertigo Theatre’s Misery. For Prime Stock: Richard II (Green/Carlisle/Exton), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Flute/Cobweb), A Comedy of Errors (Dromio of Ephesus), Much Ado About Nothing (Princess Jane/Dogberry.) Upcoming: Date Night (Sunflower Collective Theatre).
Jaques - As You Like It
Hal - Henry 4
Orlando- As You Like It
Northumberland/Glendower/Vernon/Watch/Traveller 4/Wretched Soldier 4- Henry 4
Layne Zazalak is an actor local to Central Alberta and has always enjoyed sharing the Bower Ponds stage with PrimeStock Theatre. If you caught the shows last year you would have seen Layne playing Bottom (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and old John of Gaunt and Northumberland (Richard II). It is always such a joy to be able to take some classic text and bring it to this beautiful outdoor venue. When not on stage you can find Layne playing games, reading books or streaming Wednesday evenings at twitch.tv/anotherworld (shameless self plug.) He really hopes you enjoy the show!
Prime Stock Theatre Board of Directors:
President - Lori Lane
Secretary - Stephan Weninger
Treasurer - Danae Brousson
Artistic Director - Richard Beaune
General Manager - Kimberly Beaune
Member at Large - Dan Vasquez
Member at Large - Dustin Lawrence
Artistic Director Emeritus - Thomas Usher
Prime Stock Theatre would like to thank the following Sponsors & Supporters!
Their generous support allows us to bring the magic of Live Theatre to you, our audience.
Sponsors & Funders (click the links):
Special Thanks To:
Morgan McKee, Annette Eby, Mariia Onyshchuk, Sui-Fan Wong, Scott Block Theatre, Braden Guido, Lowen Carlson, Ryan Fedoruk, Kimberly Beaune and all of our amazing volunteers.
If you didn't get a chance to donate a the show you can open this page on a desktop and find a donate button below. Unfortunately it is not visible on Mobile. (We're working on it!)