Cedar City, UT – Fall is the season of community involvement at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. From food drives to blood drives, from community donations to joint dramatic productions with the community—the Festival and the Cedar City area come together in unique ways during October and November.

Fall Food Drive

The 12th annual Fall Food Drive wraps up October 31, as the Festival and community members work together to collect food for the Iron County Care and Share. Thus far, the partnership has collected over 800 pounds, so there is still plenty of work to do.

Local residents can participate by donating six items of nonperishable food per individual on the day of the performance directly to the Festival and receive a half-price ticket to any Tuesday through Thursday performance. Food donation barrels are located in the Randall L. Jones Theatre lobby next to the ticket window.

"The support of our community is so critical to the success of the Utah Shakespeare Festival Fall Food Drive,” said Executive Director R. Scott Phillips. “Since 2003 the Festival has provided a forum where generous and caring playgoers can see great theatre and support those less fortunate through our annual fall food drive.  And over the years, our guests have demonstrated time and time again their generosity and support of those in need by supplying food as part of a ticket purchase.”

Residents of Iron, Washington, Kane, Garfield, Sevier, Piute, and Beaver counties in Utah are eligible for the discount, as well as patrons from Lincoln County, Nevada. All residents should bring proof of residency and six nonperishable food items for each discounted ticket they wish to purchase. This offer is good Tuesday through Thursday on the day of the performance only. There is a limit of four discounted tickets per resident I.D.

Dracula’s Blood Drive

The Festival, the Red Cross and Count Dracula just completed a spooktacular blood drive Dracula (from this season’s popular horror play) encouraged ghouls, goblins and vixens to signup, roll up their sleeves and have their veins drained.

The one-day event netted 22 pints of blood, enough to potentially save the lives of over 60 people in need. Nine of the donors were “first-timers.”

In Utah, every eight minutes someone needs blood, and the Red Cross strives to collect an average of 2,350 units of blood in the state each week to meet patient’s needs. Blood is needed everyday for cancer patients, accident victims, premature babies, and other ill or injured people. The Festival and our community were happy to help.

State Bank of Southern Utah Challenge Donation

Citing their desire to give back to the community that has supported them for over 50 years, State Bank of Southern Utah (SBSU) officials recently presented a check for $50,000 to the Festival. The bank’s donation will assist with the approximately $750,000 still needed to complete landscaping and fund equipment for the $38 million complex, located on the campus of Southern Utah University.

“The Festival is a huge asset and will continue to benefit our community for years to come,” explained Tyler Brown, SBSU director of marketing. “We hope this gift will not only help the building of the new center, but challenge other community minded businesses that are able to give.”

Presenting the SBSU donation to the Festival were Brown; Eric Schmutz, president and chief executive officer; Kirk Jones, director of operations; and Linda Wilson, member of the board of directors.

The new center, which is currently under construction, includes two new theatres for the Festival and will be ready for the opening of the 2016 Festival season in July.

Exploring Human Origins and Staged Reading of Inherit the Wind

From October 16 to November 12, the Cedar City Public Library will be one of only 19 libraries in the county to present the Smithsonian exhibit, Exploring Human Origins. As part of the month-long celebration, the Festival has joined forces with the library and the community to present a staged reading of a scene from Inherit the Wind, a play which is based on the famous 1925 “Scopes Monkey Trial” in Tennessee.

The reading, directed by Festival Education Director Michael Bahr, will be November 11 at 7 p.m. in the Cedar City Festival Hall. A discussion with the performers will follow the performance. Admission is free.

“I am so excited that we can come together to celebrate the things that make us human and discuss one of the great debates of the 20th century,” said Bahr. “Inherit the Wind is particularly appropriate because it formulates the arguments of both sides of the issue of evolution and religion in a way that elevates the discussion. I can’t wait to share it with our community.”

Tickets for the Festival’s 2015 season, which will run until October 31, are now on sale. The fall season includes The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Dracula and Charley’s Aunt. For more information and tickets visit www.bard.org or call 1-800-PLAYTIX.