2016 Expected to be a Big Year at the Utah Shakespeare Festival

CEDAR CITY, UT – The future is rising at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Taking shape on the campus of Southern Utah University is the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts, which will house the Festival’s new outdoor theatre, the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre; the Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre; and much needed production, rehearsal and education space. The center for the arts is sure to become an arts mecca and one of the premier arts destinations in the West.

Thus, 2016 is a big year at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the leadership team is excited to share the much-awaited announcement of the 55th season running from June 27 to October 22. Artistic Directors David Ivers and Brian Vaughn recently announced the season, which includes three Shakespeare classics, three musicals and two comedies.

Opening in the outdoor Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre will be Henry V by William Shakespeare. This is the final play in the Henry IV tetralogy and a continuation of the Festival’s commitment to the History Cycle. In Henry V audiences will watch as young Prince Hal takes the throne to become one of England’s finest kings.

Also featured in the Engelstad Theatre is Shakespeare’s timeless romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. Much Ado introduces us to the bantering Beatrice and Benedick, one of Shakespeare’s wittiest and most lovable pair of lovers. And “it’s all for one and one for all” in Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s famous action packed, sword fighting quest for all time, The Three Musketeers.

Audiences can rest assured that the open-air Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre will have the same intimate actor-audience relationship they’ve grown to love.  In fact, the Engelstad will enhance the experience for both our audience members and our company. It will be ADA accessible, have additional restrooms and will be on the same side of the street as the Randall L. Jones Theatre. The new theatre is the next step in further elevating the capacity of the Utah Shakespeare Festival to continually produce artistic, relevant, and meaningful productions of William Shakespeare’s work.

In the Randall L. Jones Theatre a sidesplitting comedy awaits you with a hilarious Marx Brother’s romp, The Cocoanuts with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and book by George S. Kaufman. This musical comedy is sure to leave audiences rolling in the aisles. And, opening later in the season is the unforgettable mismatched pair of Felix and Oscar in Neil Simon’s beloved comedy, The Odd Couple.

With final details pending, another family popular musical will be added to the Randall mix and announced soon.

The Festival is thrilled to open the Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre, a 200-seat theatre, which will provide a third, flexible option for smaller, more intimate plays. The first play to be produced in the Anes Studio Theatre will be Shakespeare’s powerful political drama, Julius Caesar. It’s an action-packed drama perfect for an election year. It’s a play that still resonates with today’s modern audience.

And rounding out the Festival’s programing is a new musical murder mystery, Murder for Two, which features just two actors. One actor investigates the crime. The other plays all the suspects. And they both play the piano. It’s a tour-de-force musical that will keep everyone on their toes. Murder for Two features book and lyrics by Kellen Blair and book and music by Joe Kinosian.

With so much changing next year, be assured that “Your Festival Experience” is still at the forefront of every visit, but now all located in one amazing Center for the Arts. The Festival will still offer props, costume, actor and literary seminars, orientations, Greenshows and of course backstage tours of our new facilities.

Excitement and anticipation is rising as everyday buildings take shape. Thank you for your support and continued belief in the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Watch the website (www.bard.org) for more information as it’s revealed throughout the year.

Tickets for the 2016 season go on sale August 4. They will be available via the Festival website, www.bard.org; telephone, 800-PLAYTIX or at the Ticket Office.

 

In Summary:

In the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

  • Henry V by William Shakespeare, June to September
  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare, June to September
  • The Three Musketeers by Ken Ludwig adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, June to September

In the Randall L. Jones Theatre

  • The Cocoanuts, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and book by George S. Kaufman, June to October
  • The Odd Couple by Neil Simon, September to October
  • Mary Poppins, June to September

In the Eileen and Allen Anes Theatre

  • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, July to October
  • Murder for Two, book and lyrics by Kellen Blair and book and music by Joe Kinosian, August to October