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26 Fun Facts From Our 62nd Season!

Photo: A scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photo by Karl Hugh.

Our 62nd season came to a close on October 7, after sixteen weeks of outstanding performances. Let’s reminisce on what a beautiful season it was. Enjoy 26 fun facts from our 62nd season below:

2023 Productions 

  1.  This is only the second time that Timon of Athens has been produced at the Festival in 62 years. The previous production was thirty years ago in 1993!
  2. Timon of Athens and Coriolanus director Lisa Peterson is a two-time OBIE Award-winner. Her most recent production prior to the ones at the Festival, Good Night, Oscar, is currently on Broadway. Actor Sean Hayes received a Tony Award for his performance. 
  3. Romeo and Juliet Director Betsy Mugavero played Juliet the last time it was produced at the Festival in 2017. 
  4. In addition to his positions at the Festival as Interim Artistic Director and Director of New Play Development, Derek Charles Livingston also took on the role as a director this season, successfully leading A Raisin in the Sun
  5. The Play That Goes Wrong was our best-selling production, with approximately 26,900 tickets sold. Jane Austen’s Emma The Musical came in second, selling 19,950 tickets. 
  6. A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway. This was also the first time Lorraine Hansberry’s play saw Festival stages.
  7. This is the 11th time A Midsummer Night’s Dream was produced at the Festival. 
  8. Jane Austen was worried she had created a main character that “no one but herself would much like.” Ironically, Emma has become one of her most popular characters, however imperfect the female main character may be. 
  9. This was the first season that another group outside of the Festival has ever been in charge of a Greenshow night. The Paiute Tribal Youth Performers from the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah performed The Greenshow: Paiute Heritage and Celebration

Other

  1. New leadership was selected and announced this season, with John DiAntonio as Artistic Director and Michael Bahr as Executive Managing Director. 
  2. American Sign Language interpreted performances were reintroduced this season and were offered for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Play That Goes Wrong
  3. 537 tickets were reserved for active military personnel and veterans at no charge for Military Appreciation Week. 
  4. 3,390 pounds of food were donated to the local Iron County Care and Share during the Festival Fall Food Drive. 

Props

  1. There were over 1,160 props this season, including 131 pieces of furniture. 
  2. 937 trim rosettes were made for the set of A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  3. 200 Thistleweed Fairies were made and handed out to children during The Greenshow: Appalachia Night
  4. The chaise lounge in The Play That Goes Wrong had to be redone several times. It kept breaking in rehearsal because of the immense physical abuse the prop received. Eventually, it was perfected. Appearing like a period piece of furniture should, it was engineered to be light and strong and made out of aluminum. 
  5. Almost all of the props in The Play That Goes Wrong had to have multiple copies made to survive the 80 performances of the physically demanding show. 

Education

  1. 25,316 guests attended Festival events in the Seminar Grove, which included props, costume and actor seminars, and play orientations. This number accounts for 28 percent of our total audience.
  2. Backstage Tours, which have been on hold since 2019, made their return this season. Over 1,000 guests in school groups were led through Festival theatres with the Education Department. An additional 1,232 patrons were led on 27 ticketed tours.
  3. There are summer camps and courses available through our Education department, and this summer, 150 students and 24 educators attended. 
  4. Festival actors Rhett Guter, Allie Babich, and Marco Antonio Vega once competed in the annual Shakespeare Competition. This season, they collectively acted on Festival stages in Romeo and Juliet, Jane Austen’s Emma The Musical, The Play That Goes Wrong, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Learn more about their journey here. 
  5. The largest of its kind, the Shakespeare Competition hosted 105 schools and nearly 3,000 students from Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Wisconsin. 
  6. In a single weekend, the Shakespeare Competition equates to over $1 million dollars in economic impact on Cedar City. 
  7. The Wooden O Symposium hosted scholars from across four continents. 
  8. 982 students purchased Student Access Passes. Those passes were used for 4,837 admissions.

Thank you for helping make our 2023 season such a success. We can’t wait to see you next year! For a 2024 play lineup and to purchase tickets, click here.

What's On

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The Taming of the Shrew

June 19 - September 7, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

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Henry VIII

June 17 - September 5, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

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RADA Production

July 30-August 3, 2024

Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

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Much Ado About Nothing

June 21 - October 5, 2024

Randall L. Jones Theatre

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The Mountaintop

July 13 - October 5, 2024

Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

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Silent Sky

July 12 - October 5, 2024

Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

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The 39 Steps

June 22 - October 5, 2024

Randall L. Jones Theatre

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The Winter's Tale

June 18 - September 6, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

© Utah Shakespeare Festival 2024 www.bard.org Cedar City, Utah