Familiar Faces Returning
to Utah Shakespeare Festival Stages
Latest Round of Casting
Includes Several Festival Veterans
CEDAR CITY, UT — The Utah Shakespeare Festival recently announced more casting for its 2012 season. Among them are nine actors who have graced the Festival stages before and whom Festival guests will certainly be excited to see again. These familiar faces include Leslie Brott, Sara Griffin, Michael Harding, Phil Hubbard, A. Bryan Humphrey, Ben Jacoby, Max Robinson, Tina Scariano, and George Walker. A complete casting list will be available soon at www.bard.org.
“Our acting company this year is shaping up to be one of the strongest and most memorable ever,” said Brian Vaughn, artistic director. “To have such a diverse group of returning actors signifies their commitment to the Festival’s mission, as well as their commitment to the importance of classical theatre.”
Leslie Brott is appearing this year in three very different roles: Mrs. Dubose in To Kill a Mockingbird, Hannah Kennedy in Mary Stuart, and the Nurse in Titus Andronicus.
She has appeared at the Festival in numerous roles for the past twenty years, including last year’s turn as Eulalie Shinn in The Music Man. Other roles include Dolly Levi in The Matchmaker, both Mistress Page and Mistress Ford in productions of The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Kate in The Taming of the Shrew.
Brott recently relocated to Logan, Utah, where she is the head of acting in Utah State University’s theatre department.
Sara Griffin will be at the Festival this summer as the young love interest, Anne Page, in The Merry Wives of Windsor and in various roles in the epic musical, Les Misérables. She will also be playing the tragic Ophelia in Hamlet, which opens in September.
She will certainly be remembered by last year’s Festival audiences as Laura Wingfield in A Glass Menagerie and Lady Anne in Richard III. She also appeared in 2010 as Miss Lydia Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Hero in Much Ado about Nothing.
“I am thrilled to return to Utah!” she said in talking about this upcoming season. “Any artist would be lucky to be a part of this festival, and I am incredibly grateful for another opportunity to be a company member.”
Michael Harding, a long-time actor at the Festival, is appearing this year as Sir Hugh Evans in The Merry Wives of Windsor, William Davison in Mary Stuart, and Publius in Titus Andronicus.
He has appeared in numerous plays since 1997, including roles in The Music Man, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado about Nothing, and many others.
Another Utah resident, Harding is an associate professor of theatre at Dixie State College in St. George.
Phil Hubbard is returning to the Festival this summer to play Mr. Gilmer in To Kill a Mockingbird and various roles in Les Misérables, as well as Claudius in Hamlet, which opens in September.
In the past he has played such roles as Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, John Dickinson in 1776, Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, Wagner in Room Service, and Innkeeper in Man of La Mancha.
"I'm thrilled to be returning to the Festival for my tenth season,” said Hubbard. “The strength of the company, the great community, and the zealous and supportive audiences make the Cedar City experience very special for a company member. Can't wait to get started!"
A. Bryan Humphrey is appearing this year as Judge Taylor in To Kill a Mockingbird, Amias Paulet in Mary Stuart, and Marcus Andronicus in Titus Andronicus.
He has appeared in numerous plays at the Festival, but this is his first visit since 2006 when he played Master Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Harry Binion in Room Service. He has also been seen here as Froggy LeSueur in The Foreigner, Baptista in The Taming of the Shrew, Pantalone in The Servant of Two Masters, Lloyd Dallas in Noises Off!, and Mr. Applegate in Damn Yankees, among others.
“The Utah Shakespeare Festival was my first professional acting job, and since then I've been privileged to return for fourteen seasons,” said Humphrey. “It has become a part of my heart and bones and mind and spirit.”
Ben Jacoby is returning to the Festival this summer to play the roles of Pistol in The Merry Wives of Windsor and several roles in Les Misérables, as well as Laertes in Hamlet which opens in September.
This is his second year at the Festival. Audiences will certainly remember him as Tom Wingfield in last year’s The Glass Menagerie, as well as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, and William in Richard III.
“I'm thrilled and honored to be returning to the Festival this season,” said Jacoby. “It's an ideal place to go to work: remarkable performing spaces, intelligent and devoted audiences, and a tremendously talented and committed company of artists. I can't wait to be back!”
Max Robinson, a Salt Lake City actor, is appearing this year in the very disparate roles of Thènardier in Les Misérables and Bob Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird.
He is probably most remembered to Festival audiences for his 2011 hilarious portrayals of Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Mayor Shin in The Music Man. He also appeared in 2010 as Tubal in The Merchant of Venice and Magwitch in Great Expectations.
Christina Scariano will be back at the Festival this as Cosette in Les Misérables and the Dubose Maid in To Kill a Mockingbird.
She last appeared at the Festival in 2009 as Mrs. Shelley and Mrs. Winthrop in The Secret Garden and as a Featured Performer in The Greenshow.
George Walker is appearing this summer at the Festival as Host of the Garter in The Merry Wives of Windsor and various roles in Les Misérables.
Many Festival-goers will remember him as Arles Struvie in Greater Tuna, Gower in Pericles, Fakir in The Secret Garden, Bardolph in Henry V, Ambrose Kemper in The Matchmaker, Young Tito in Lend Me a Tenor: The Musical, and several others.
“As we embark on our 51st season at the Utah Shakespeare Festival we are thrilled with the virtuosity and commitment of our new and returning artists,” said David Ivers, artistic director. “We remain indebted to, and look forward to providing another successful season, to our community of Cedar City, our host Southern Utah University, and the state of Utah.”
Tickets are now on sale for the 2012 season at www.bard.org and 1-800-PLAYTIX (800-752-9849). The season runs from June 21 to October 20.