August 14-18, 21-25, 28 – September 1

Shakespeare at the Rock – The Merchant of Venice

7:00 p.m.; Rock Garden


Money makes the world go 'round: Portia has it. Bassanio wants it. Shylock lends it. Antonio owes it – and it will cost him dearly. Dark in its humour and bawdy in its romantic hijinks, The Merchant Of Venice takes audiences on a journey of love, mercy and (in)justice.

The historic Rock Garden provides the perfect atmosphere for a night of inspiring theatre under the stars. Don’t miss out on this highly physical and creative variation presented by Burlington’s own Tottering Biped Theatre.

Each performance will include a half hour intermission with garden tours available during that time.


Rock Garden will close to the general public at 5:30 p.m.
Garden opens at 6 p.m. to those who have purchased tickets. Seating is first come first served.


The performance is rain or shine however in the event of inclement weather, RBG will determine at 5 p.m. if the theatrical performance will be re-scheduled. To check for rescheduling please check our Facebook page or call the weather hotline at 905-527-1158 ext. 404. Your ticket will be valid to attend a future show of your choosing. Each ticketholder will be contacted by email to make arrangements for an upcoming show. For those with dinner reservations, dinner service will go ahead as planned.


If the performance has to stop while in progress due to weather each ticketholder will be contacted by email to make arrangements for an upcoming show.


Refunds will only be issued in the case of a weather cancellation on the last performance of this series (September 1st) when rescheduling is not possible.


No outside food or drink permitted.


Purchase Tickets


Adult: $25.00

Senior** / Student*: $16.00

Child (4-12 years old): $10.00

Children (3 and under): Free


RBG members will receive 10%

*Anyone showing a student card indicating full-time attendance in a recognized post-secondary institution.

**RBG considers a senior to be a person of 65+ years of age


*Prices are subject to HST

*Tickets are non- refundable and final sale.


Purchase Tickets

Dinner Show Package

Join us for a prix fixed dinner in the Rock Garden Café. Seating begins promptly at 5:00pm.


Adult: $60.00

Senior / Student: $51.00

Child (4-12): $45.00

1-3 years old: $8.00

0-12 months: Free

RBG members will receive 10%

*Anyone showing a student card indicating full-time attendance in a recognized post-secondary institution.

**RBG considers a senior to be a person of 65+ years of age


*Prices are subject to HST.

*Tickets are non- refundable and final sale.

*Gratuity is not included.

Purchase Tickets


Prix Fixe Menu


Choice of Starter

Chef’s soup of the day
Tossed Green Salad with House Balsamic Vinaigrette


Choice of Entree

Pan Seared Lake Erie Pickerel with Three Sisters Salad
Pan fried pickerel and lemon dill sauce served with melange of squash, peas, corn and beans
Sweet Potato Barley Risotto with Sliced Flank Steak
Fresh made wheat barley risotto finished with sweet potato, green peas and grilled local flank steak



Chef’s Maple Bread Pudding
Chef’s Crème Brulee



Assorted Soft Drinks, Coffee or Tea


Additional Beverages

Niagara VQA Wine (6 oz. pour) $7
Domestic Beer (330 ml.) $7
Import & Local Micro Beer (330 ml) $8
Assorted Cocktails (1 oz. pour) $8



Chris Reid has been involved with a number of theatrical productions in Toronto, Oakville, Mississauga and Erin. He is a Kindergarten teacher who lives in Georgetown with his wonderful family.


Zach Parsons is a graduate of the University of Waterloo Theatre program, and this is his fourth show with Tottering Biped Theatre. Recent credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Second Life (Tottering Biped Theatre), Cut-Throat: The Isolation of Ambition (Toronto Fringe), and, more recently, various film projects. He is also a musician, who records cover songs, writes/records original music, and experiments with composing.

Antonio, Aragorn

Michael Hannigan has trod the boards of many of the local stages, both professionally and out of a sheer love of his chosen guilty pleasure: the theatre. He has served as an Associate Artistic Director for both the Tivoli and Citadel theatres, helming several productions for each; as well as for The Players Guild, DLT, Theatre Burlington, Shooting Star Productions, and others in the GTHA. He is pleased to be returning to "Shakespeare On The Rock", having appeared as Aegeus/Quince in last season's A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM.


Alma Sarai is a proud Burlingtonian, freshly graduated from the UTM Theatre and Drama Studies joint program with Sheridan college and so very excited to be returning to the RBG Rock Garden this summer in her second show with Tottering Biped!

Jessica, Balthazar, Solanio

Claudia Spadafora is a theatre-maker and multimedia artist rooted in the Hamilton area and currently earning her Bachelor of Arts at McMaster University. Claudia has participated in over 20 shows in the area, as a performer, writer/director, sound designer and assistant stage manager. Recent credits include Silent Treatment (writer/director, Honours Performance Series), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena, Tottering Biped Theatre), and #dirtygirl (Kiera, Fringe Festival Audience Choice). When out of the theatre, Claudia creates film and multimedia art pieces, with a focus in feminist work and mental illness advocacy.

Launcelot, Tubal, Salerio

Jesse Horvath is thrilled to be participating in his second production of Shakespeare at the Rock. After graduating from McMaster University, Jesse has split his time acting and doing arts administration work within the city of Hamilton. Most recently he coproduced the Hamilton Fringe’s Frost Bites festival as part of the ALERT program. Past acting credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theseus, Oberan, Flute), I do, I do, I do (Jamie), The Three Ladies of London (Mercadorus).

Nerissa, Duke

Jamie (Milay) Kasiama is an emerging multidisciplinary artist, based in Hamilton, Ontario. Jamie is currently studying Theatre & Film studies and Multimedia at McMaster University. Recent acting credits include: Performer/Creator, WHITE, Paprika Festival (2017) Alex/Fovea, COVE, McMaster School of the Arts (2017) Zeb, This Installation is not Interactive, Hamilton Frostbites Festival (2017) Doctor Imani, Cas9, McMaster School of the Arts (2016).

Morocco, Lorenzo

Shawn DeSouza-Coelho is a writer, theatre theorist/practitioner, and professional magician based in Toronto, Ontario. He is currently doing research for his third book, 90 Days, a graphic novel about sex and pornography addiction. His second book, Whenever You’re Ready (Forthcoming 2018, ECW Press), details the life and career of retired Stratford Festival stage manager Nora Polley.



Jessica Keenan is a Vancouver and Hamilton based independant and Apprentice Stage Manager. Jessica is thrilled to be working with Tottering Biped again, and hopes you are as tickled pink over Shakespeare as she is! Jessica is a graduate of Studio 58.

Brianna Seferiades is an emerging designer and theatre maker going into her fourth year of Theatre and Film Studies at McMaster University. Her most recent credits include the School of the Arts Major Production of Cas9 (2016), the Honours Performance Series production of Silent Treatment (2017), and McMaster Thespian Company's Macbeth (2017).

Trevor Copp, Artistic Director


Trevor Copp founded Burlington’s Tottering Biped Theatre (TBT) in 2009, a professional company emphasizing original, issue driven, and highly physical work. He has been a professional actor, dancer, director, choreographer, educator, theatre devisor and arts advocate for over 15 years. His work ranges from classical to contemporary, performing in over 30 cities Nationally and Internationally and numerous Professional Theatre Festivals.



Tottering Biped Theatre is teaming up with Royal Botanical Gardens to create our area's only professional outdoor Shakespearean theatre. We're combining the natural beauty of the David Braley & Nancy Gordon Rock Garden – a recently rejuvenated, historic botanical attraction - with the moving stories of Shakespeare.


In all of our work we look for the social issues embedded in the stories, using theatre as a forum for the questions that touch us all. This year, we chose 'The Merchant of Venice' - a revered but seldom staged production - precisely for the play’s head-on approach to discrimination. Why does Shylock react so vehemently to the breaking of Antonio's bond? We hope to address this question in a way that witnesses the responsibility of majority cultures to its minority groups.


We are also addressing a serious problem in our regional theatre ecology - the lack of early professional opportunities for artists in our region. The Hamilton/Burlington area is losing creative thinkers to Toronto and other large cities, as there are not enough paid opportunities for emerging artists in our region; by starving artists out of our local area, we also starve ourselves of the creative passion they offer. We pay our talented, upcoming theatre-makers so as to encourage them to remain here, where their roots are laid, and to use their creativity to benefit of our whole region.


We are looking for partners to help us make this happen. In its first year, Shakespeare at the Rock exceeded all expectations. 2,000 patrons arrived to see 8 performances in 2016, prompting a longer run, and a more ambitious production for 2017. The combination of this company, these plays, and this idea - giving a start to local, talented creatives - has a tremendous potential to radically transform the arts scene in our region. This is a sharp, culturally engaged local audience of thousands who could be seeing your company's name - or your name - front and centre, making this dream happen. If you're up for this conversation, I'd love to hear from you -

About Tottering Biped Theatre

Tottering Biped Theatre (TBT) was founded in 2009 as a social justice inspired Theatre Company. We are a resident company at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre and have toured/been presented by regional professional theatres (Hamilton’s Theatre Aquarius, London’s Grand Theatre, and Kitchener’s MT Space), Performing Arts Centres (Oakville, Guelph, Brampton, Hamilton, Mississauga), and theatre Festivals (IMPACT, Undercurrents, In the Soil) and internationally. In recognition of our work, TBT has been featured in over 15 publications including the Canadian Theatre Review and TEDx.