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Port Moody actor reprises role for Bard on the Beach

Sharon Crandall of Port Moody is back on the BMO Mainstage as Corin in "As You Like It." She also portrays Caesar's wife in "Julius Caesar."

A Port Moody actor is reprising her role this summer in the smash hit As You Like It, a Beatles-inspired show that launches the 34th season of Bard on the Beach.

Sharon Crandall is portraying Corin, a character she played on the Vancouver stage when the company first mounted its version in 2018 to sensational reviews.

She was also part of the cast that took the musical to Edmonton and Winnipeg in 2019.

Corin, Crandall told the Tri-City News, is a simpleton who lives in the Okanagan.

"She's a country bumpkin who just goes with the flow," she said.

"She takes what comes at her. There is something to be said for living a simple life. I often have to think to myself, 'Why am I worrying so much?' I should be more like Corin! There would be so much freedom in that."

Conceived and directed by Daryl Cloran, the Shakespearean comedy from 1599 follows Rosalind as she escapes to the woods with her cousin, Celia, and finds love.

For this year's adapted production that runs on the BMO Mainstage from June 8 to Sept. 30, Crandall is also taking on the roles of Dame Frances' attendant, as well as dance captain.

Still, Crandall will have three additional characters to juggle for another Bard show at Vanier Park: Julius Caesar.

In that tragedy, which is also the BMO Mainstage from June 15 to Sept. 24, Crandall plays Calphurnia — Caesar's wife — plus a soldier and a citizen.

First performed in 1599, the story sees Brutus joining forces with Cassius to kill Caesar to stop him from becoming a tyrant; however, Caesar's wing man, Antony, fights back against the conspirators, and a civil war ensues in Rome, Italy.

Similar to As You Like It, Julius Caesar is also updated with a modern setting.

As well, it cites political struggles happening today around the world and has some gender-bending roles: The character of Mark Antony is portrayed by Jennifer Lines while Cassius is Emma Slipp, “which brings a different dynamic to the show,” Crandall said.

"We don’t say anything about the switches, so the relationship between Cassius and Brutus, which is played by a male actor, for example, is really cool and interesting to watch."

Crandall said she’s excited to be involved in two Bard productions that evolve with society and challenge social norms.

The company, she said, "is in tune with what’s happening out there and makes it relevant for today’s audiences. It's also nice to see more actors on stage with diverse backgrounds."

"In 2018, I was performing in As You Like It for a matinee and I locked eyes with an Asian high school student in the crowd," she added.

"I thought to myself, 'This is what I’m here for: For her to see someone who looks like her on stage. That's why I do this.'"

Tickets to see Bard on the Beach productions are now on sale by calling the box office at 604-739-0559 or visiting the event's website.

Special events for As You Like It include the Bard fireworks night on July 22, 26 and 29; two matinees on July 16 and Aug. 20; and Bard Pride Night on June 24.