Season and Casting Announcement: Shakespeare BASH’d

Artwork: Matt Nish Lapidus. Featured: (L to R) Naomi Wright, E.B. Smith, Hallie Seline

Shakespeare BASH’d has just announced their 2018-2019 season.

The season begins with a staged reading of The Duchess of Malfi written by John Webster and directed by Co-Artistic Director Julia Nish-Lapidus. Shakespeare BASH’d began their company with staged readings and over the past two seasons they’ve returned to their roots to present dynamic stagings of some of Shakespeare’s lesser-known contemporaries. Just in time for Halloween, The Duchess of Malfi is on for one night only on October 28th at The Baby G.

The Duchess of Malfi is a macabre tragedy about a powerful woman whose two brothers seek to control her. “This is such an exciting and ridiculous play,” says BASH’d Co-Founder Julia Nish-Lapidus. “It really has it all: severed hands, poisoned bibles, werewolves!” Naomi Wright (Canadian Stage‘s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet) plays the Duchess and Michael Man (Chekhov Collective‘s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) plays her lover Antonio. “I’m most excited to spend Sunday nights with this group of people,” says Man. “Love the people BASH’d brings along, it’s always a fun bunch. Drinks + good company + solid material = what more can I ask for?!” Andy Pogson and Tristan Claxton play Cardinal and Ferdinand, the Duchess’ duplicitous brothers.

The Duchess of Malfi also features: Felix Beauchamp, Bailey Green, Kevin Hammond, Cora Matheson, Tatyana Mitchell, Jesse Nerenberg, and Shayna Virginillo (for more info on each cast, scroll down to the gallery below).

Men in rage strike those that wish them best (Othello 2.3)

In February, BASH’d returns to the Monarch Tavern with Othello, directed by Co-Artistic Director James Wallis, who has been assistant directing at the Stratford Festival for the past three seasons. E.B. Smith (eight seasons at Stratford) will play the title role of Othello. “I am most looking forward to making more art with some of my favourite collaborators and friends,” says Smith. “The BASH’d team is brilliant at finding simplicity and specificity in Shakespeare’s text and it is a thrill to tackle this, one of the most beautiful plays in the canon, with this spectacular company.” Olivia Croft (Measure for Measure with Shakespeare BASH’d) will join the creative team as Assistant Director.

James Graham (The Howland Company’s Puck Rock) will play Iago. “We [BASH’d] share a mission to dig deep for the most compelling choices in the text and and a belief that exploration continues right through until closing night,” says Graham. “It is a beautiful gift for an actor.” BASH’d company member and director Catherine Rainville plays Desdemona, “I have no doubt this show is going to painful and wonderful to watch.” 

And Melanie Leon, who plays Montana, says she’s looking forward to performing a “real” fight scene, “Especially one that doesn’t involve me getting stabbed repeatedly in the back or clumsily falling into a deep pit (Shakespeare, am I right?)”

The Othello cast also features: Jennifer Dzialoszynski, Dylan Evans, David Mackett, Drew O’Hara, and Asha Vijayasingham.

Love is merely a madness (As You Like It 3.2)

In May, the season will end with As You Like It at at a to-be-announced location. “As You Like It is Shakespeare’s great Pastoral Comedy,” says director Drew O’Hara. “It’s hard to imagine now, but I can’t wait to shake off the winter blues by ringing in the spring with this delightful comedy of love, discovery, and sheep!” This love story will feature multiple gender-bent characters that will bring new light to the different relationships within the play.

Hallie Seline (The Howland Company founding member) will play Rosalind and Justin Mullen will be making his BASH’d debut as Orlando. “I’m so excited to work on this fantastic story with a group of artists who are fired up about Shakespeare,” Mullen says, “and sharing that passion in an unconventional space; by far, one of the coolest things about this project.”

Olivia Croft will return to play Jaques in As You Like It after assistant directing Othello. When asked about what excites her about these projects, Croft says: “Delving into Shakespeare has always been about study to me. I am excited as an actor to always be able to study my craft, in the hope of bringing to light glimpses of humility, compassion, and strength with the wise action of both past and present creators. I’m thrilled to be returning to Shakespeare BASH’d as a collaborator, to be in the room with talented, and like minded individuals who just can’t contain what needs to be said.”

As You Like It will also feature: Daniel Briere, Jade Douris, Aubree Erickson, Julia Nish-Lapidus, and Cara Pantalone.

While several roles are still being finalized for Othello and As You Like It, rehearsal begins in one week for The Duchess of Malfi. To celebrate the launch of their 2018-2019 season, Shakespeare BASH’d is hosting a night of Karaoke on Friday September 7th at the Theatre Centre Café/Bar. For more information, click here. Tickets are PWYC at the door and all proceeds go towards the upcoming season.

If you can’t make it out to karaoke but still want to support their work, you can donate to their Indiegogo campaign

To learn more about James Wallis and Julia Nish-Lapidus—partners in life and Shakespeare—read their Artist Perspective for Intermission, Five Years of Love, Beer and Shakespeare, or visit their website.

SHAKESPEARE BASH’d 2018-2019 Season

The Duchess of Malfi

By John Webster

Sunday, October 28, 8pm at The Baby G (1608 Dundas St W)

Director: Julia Nish-Lapidus

Featuring: Felix Beauchamp, Tristan Claxton, Bailey Green, Kevin Hammond, Michael Man, Cora Matheson, Tatyana Mitchell, Jesse Nerenberg, Andy Pogson, Shayna Virginillo, Naomi Wright


By William Shakespeare

February 5-10, 2019 at the Monarch Tavern (12 Clinton St)

Director: James Wallis / Assistant Director: Olivia Croft

Featuring: Jennifer Dzialoszynski, Dylan Evans, James Graham, Melanie Leon, David Mackett, Drew O’Hara, Catherine Rainville, E.B. Smith, Asha Vijayasingham

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare

May 2019 at a To Be Announced Venue

Director: Drew O’Hara / Assistant Director: Bailey Green

Featuring: Daniel Briere, Olivia Croft, Jade Douris, Aubree Erickson, Justin Mullen, Julia Nish-Lapidus, Cara Pantalone, Hallie Seline

Meet the casts of The Duchess of Malfi, Othello, and As You Like It:

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Written By

Bailey is the former editor-in-chief of Intermission. She's a bilingual actor and writer originally from St. Lazare, Quebec. She hoards books, lives north of Bloor, and spends way too much money on bubble tea.