The Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum are once again partnering to provide Christmas at the Homestead and Holiday Market. Offering just the right mix of Christmas magic and old-style “frontier” celebration, this fun, family friendly, and affordable kick-off to the Christmas season has become an increasingly popular annual event for southern Utah residents and visitors.
Utah Shakespeare Festival guests made life a little better for those in need this fall, by donating over two tons of food to the Iron County Care and Share. The food was donated as part of the Festival’s fifteenth annual Fall Food Drive from September 13 to October 22. Residents of southern Utah and eastern Nevada were able to donate six items of nonperishable food and receive a half-price ticket to a Festival production.
It sounds like the characters of an English soap opera: King John who signed the Magna Carta in 1215. Richard II, a weak king whose throne was taken from him by his cousin. Henry IV whose right to the throne was always suspect. Prince Hal, who rose from his riotous youth to become the beloved Henry V. His son, who became King Henry VI while an infant and suffered from mental illness. The murderous hunchback, Richard III. And King Henry VIII, the father of Queen Elizabeth, who ruled during much of Shakespeare’s life.
The Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2018 season offers an eclectic mix of eight plays in three theatres, exploring a number of themes relevant in today’s world. The season will run from June 28 to October 20, 2018. “With four diverse Shakespeare offerings (including the next in our History Cycle), a world-premiere musical centered around one of the world’s most iconic figures, two delightful classic and contemporary comedies, and a Tony Award-winning musical based on one of the most controversial novels of our time, this season promises to resonate on all levels,” said Artistic Director Brian Vaughn.
It’s Halloween once again. Here at the Utah Shakespeare Festival we love scary stories and are enjoying the spookiness of the season. Think about it: classic literature, including theatre, has brought about the scariest monsters in horror history; there’s just no better time for literature lovers than Halloween. So many great writers wrote horror, and I would say that the best horror writer of all time was Shakespeare!
The Utah Shakespeare Festival recently announced that Kami Terry Paul, who has worked at the Festival in various marketing positions over the past sixteen years, has been promoted to the position of general manager. She will be replacing Zachary Murray, who recently left the Festival to take a position with Southern Utah University. In her new position, she will be responsible for the business and financial operations of the Festival.
This weekend the 41st annual Shakespeare Competition, hosted by the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University, gave out dozens of awards and scholarships to drama, dance and music students. The competition is the largest scholastic Shakespeare competition in the country, and this was a record-breaking year with nearly 3,400 students from 109 schools in five states.
Utah Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Brian Vaughn recently announced a slate of eight highly-creative, talented, and experienced directors for the Festival’s 2018 season. Many have directed at the Festival before, but some will be new to Festival audiences. “I have such profound admiration and respect for these directors,” said Vaughn in making the announcement. “They each bring a unique blend of insight, passion and commitment to the work that will electrify these plays with tremendous clarity and immediacy. I’m excited to have them here.”
"There really is nothing like the Shakespeare Competition,” said Michael Bahr, education director for the Festival. “For forty years the competition has provided young people an outlet to share their passion and excitement for the arts, while also cultivating the future generation of arts professionals.”
Patrick Page, known for his Broadway roles such as Scar in The Lion King, The Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Green Goblin in Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark has added a second performance of his one-man show at the Utah Shakespeare Festival on September 29.
Two senior staff members will be taking their bows and exiting the Utah Shakespeare Festival stage this fall. Jyl Shuler, long-time development director, has announced her retirement effective October 31; and Zachary Murray, general manager and recently interim executive director, is taking a new job in the Southern Utah University Budget Office beginning October 1.
I can hardly wait! The Tavern will delight families, so I’m bringing the kids along for this one. Although it was not written with children in mind, it is family-friendly and promises to entertain audiences of all ages, from all places.
In late-1800s Utah, railroad tracks from east and west were joined for the completion of the first transcontinental railroad, the first telephone service in the state was established in Ogden, and the Utah Territory was being administered by a series of territorial governors appointed by the president of the United States. Such is the background for The Tavern.
After twenty-eight years away, Patrick Page is returning to the Utah Shakespeare Festival to perform his one-man show All the Devils Are Here, an exploration of the evil depicted in Shakespeare’s plays. He will present a public performance in the Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre at 2 p.m. on September 29. General admission tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Festival Ticket Office.
Utah Shakespeare Festival audiences, who have loved this year’s edition of The Greenshow, have a chance for a different treat during the last week of the popular and free pre-play entertainment. On the evenings of September 4–9, The Greenshow stage will become home to three local musical groups sure to be hits with Festival guests.
The Utah Shakespeare Festival is once again collecting food for the less fortunate in our community. The 15th annual Fall Food Drive will be September 4 to October 21, with a goal to raise as much food as possible for the Iron County Care and Share.
As we get closer to the world premiere of How to Fight Loneliness, we get more and more excited. This is an opportunity for the Utah Shakespeare Festival to not only bring Neil LaBute, a major voice in American theatre, to the Festival, but to perform a major new work by him for the first time anywhere. In order to dive deeper into LaBute’s words, we sat down with director David Ivers to learn more about this engaging new play.
The last play to open this year at the Festival is our own adaptation of George M. Cohan's The Tavern, set in southern Utah. It is a mash-up of local and regional history, romantic melodrama, classic Western fiction and film, the physical comedy of silent film greats like Buster Keaton, with a little bit of Shakespeare's on top. It's a comic ride you won't want to miss.
What is it like to take an idea, research it, create a story with words on a page, then bring that story to life on the stage? It depends a bit on whether you are a playwright or an actor—but for either it is an exhilarating, but long, process. Just ask Art Manke, playwright, and Kim Staunton, actor.
Like many brilliant artists, prior to his greatest success Shakespeare was a twenty-something writer, performer, and entrepreneur, steadily rising to the top yet still struggling to fully harness his genius. Through the creativity and imagination of Shakespeare in Love, audiences have been privileged to witness a living, breathing young Shakespeare that had previously been lost to time. Shakespeare in Love embodies the Bard in those formative years that spawned a creative explosion unprecedented in the history of theatre.