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.
Creating a stage play from a movie can be fraught with problems, most notably the inclination most of us have of comparing the different genres. When the Utah Shakespeare Festival first announced it was one of three theatres in the country granted the rights to produce Shakespeare in Love, the stage play adapted from a movie, our loyal patrons were excited, but had a number of questions. . . .
One of the hottest trends in the theatre world has been the adaptation of hit movies into musical theatre productions. Think Dirty Dancing, Ghost, Sister Act, and The Bodyguard to name a few. Many of these films, with their slick pop songs are almost ready-made for the transition into a Broadway musical. The greater challenge, however, lies in transforming a popular film not into a singing and dancing showcase, but into a traditional play. This is the challenge and the beauty of Shakespeare in Love.
The Utah Shakespeare Festival will be celebrating our Armed Forces by offering free tickets to all our 2017 plays to service personnel and their families. The Festival appreciates the sacrifices of the men and women who serve and wants to recognize their dedication and commitment to this country
The curtain is up, the lights are lit, and the professional reviewers are having their say about the 2017 season of the Utah Shakespeare Festival—and for the most part, they have been saying good things. Rather, than you having to search the internet archives, we have provided a wide variety below. We hope you agree with what the critics have been saying.
Fans of the Utah Shakespeare Festival have had an amazing opportunity the last year or more to see the creation of a new play. It has been an experience that will culminate in August with the opening of the world premiere of nationally-recognized playwright Neil LaBute’s How to Fight Loneliness.
Ever since Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the book Treasure Island, it has been enjoyed by readers of all ages as a thrilling coming-of-age story. As Sean Graney, director for this summer’s production of Treasure Island, said, “I think it is important for people to gather together and watch a story about a young person discovering his own moral code, . . .”
The musical Guys and Dolls, running at the Utah Shakespeare Festival through September 1, rocked the world on its debut and nearly every reboot since. Because of that illustrious history, it’s not always easy to take on this celebrated oldie, but director Peter Rothstein, new at the Festival this year, has met the challenge.
It has happened to all of us. You are listening to a fun song on the radio as you are driving, singing along as you take a left turn. A friend in the passenger seat says, “Did you know this is from Guys and Dolls?”
After you have seen William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) this summer, you may find yourself asking: “Who are these guys that could take Shakespeare’s canon and turn it into such hilarity?” Well, these guys are the enigmatic Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor. You can thank them for this vaudevillian play coming to the Utah Shakespeare Festival this season. Martin, Tichenor, and the play itself are all from the Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC) which has left audiences in tears of laughter ever since the RSC began in 1981.
What should a playgoer expect when he or she enters a theatre to see a play with a title like Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged)? Granted, the script was originally created by the world-famous Reduced Shakespeare Company, and the Festival’s production is a regional premiere. But, what is this play?
Every year, the Utah Shakespeare Festival receives thousands of comments from our guests telling us about their experiences here. It is always gratifying and instructive for us to read through them. Granted, not all the comments are positive, but even those that aren’t are helpful as we look to make your experience even better. . . .
These days the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s offices are all abuzz with the opening of the 2017 season. We all have Shakespeare on our minds as the plays become a reality and we welcome you to our theatres. But we also enjoy Shakespeare in other genres, especially in good books. In fact, we have some great recommendations to add to your summer reading.
As part of its opening week celebrations for the 2017 season, the Utah Shakespeare Festival on July 7 announced its 2018 season. The fifty-seventh season, which will run from June 28 to October 20, will include eight plays in three theatres.
He’s eighty-six, no “eighty-six and one-half” years old, and has loved and lived the Utah Shakespeare Festival dream for nearly sixty years, but Founder Fred C. Adams shows few signs of slowing down.
Would you like a little more “hands on” adventure as part of your play going this summer? Are you, your friends, or your family looking for something with a little more verve, that will connect you more closely to your theatrical experience? If so, then the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s new Shakespeare U may be just what you are looking for.
The Festival recently received word that it has been awarded two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts to help fund the world premiere of Neil LaBute’s How to Fight Loneliness and the Festival’s Shakespeare-in-the-Schools 2018 touring production of The Tempest.