Meet Grant Goodman who plays Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night and Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility.

Have you ever worked at the Festival before? If so, for how many years and in what roles/capacity?

This is my third season at the Festival.  In years prior I played Macbeth, Petruchio inThe Taming of the Shrew, Bassanio in Merchant of Venice and Le Bret in Cyrano de Bergerac.

What brought you to Utah Shakespeare Festival?

My first season here (back in 2008), when I came out to play Petruchio, I auditioned in Chicago.  I didn't really know anyone at the Festival but later, R. Scott Phillips, the Executive Director, told me that he knew quite a few people that knew my work.  So, I guess that had a hand in my landing here too!

 Grant Goodman as Orsino in Twelfth Night

 Grant Goodman as Orsino in Twelfth Night

Why Utah Shakespeare Festival? What is it about the Festival that brings you back?

First and foremost, the crowds and the atmosphere.  USF has such a great fan base and following - like no other theatre in the country.  It's magical to be here in Cedar City at about 7pm when the Greenshow is about to begin and the sun is setting and the weather is perfect.  The energy of the crowds as they watch the Greenshow and file into the Adams or the Randall is just tremendous.  It's a true festival feeling.  One of the many other reasons I love it here is because of the energy and excitement generated by true rotating repertory theatre.  Six shows plus the three Greenshows running at any one time, with a company of actors, designers, staff and crew that come from all over the world makes for an exhilarating environment!

What brought you to your field and what keeps you doing your craft? 

I had some amazing teachers in high school that taught Shakespeare and made it come alive.  They had us memorize speeches from his plays to learn from them.  I loved it!  I also saw a production at The Actors Theatre of Louisville of Macbeth when I was in high school that made me want to become a Shakespearean actor.

What’s your education/training background? 

I went to the National Shakespeare Conservatory and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Neil Geisslinger and Grant Goodman in Twelfth Night

Neil Geisslinger and Grant Goodman in Twelfth Night

What are you looking forward to the most this summer? 

Again, I think the crowds and the enthusiastic reception of what we do here.  The seminars in the grove and the panels and talkbacks etc., give us a great chance to meet the audiences. It's so refreshing to see how much our work means to them.

Who/What inspired you to pursue your dream of acting?

My father was a football coach, and although he always encouraged me to pursue my interests, none of my other teachers in high school wanted to push me in the direction of the arts for fear of what my father might think!  It wasn't until I had a student teacher in drama say that she thought I should "move to New York and be an actor" that I actually thought it was a real possibility.

What is your favorite Shakespeare play? 

My simple answer to this is usually - whatever Shakespeare play I happen to be doing at the time! Mainly because once you get in the inside of one of his plays, you see just how wonderfully crafted it is and how elegant the language is. Especially his later plays.  If forced to choose I might say Pericles.  It's such a gorgeous story and it has two of the most beautiful scenes Shakespeare (and/or his collaborator!) ever wrote.

What is your dream role? 

I actually just had the great, good fortune to play my dream role just prior to coming to Cedar City! - The title role in Hamlet!

 

 

Twelfth Night photos by Karl Hugh