Casting for Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare in Love
CEDAR CITY, UT—The Utah Shakespeare Festival recently announced many of the actors playing roles in Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare in Love this summer. The two plays are complementary to each other (Shakespeare in Love imagines how the Bard may have written Romeo and Juliet), and many of the actors will play the same or similar roles in the two plays. Please check for all the latest casting news at www.bard.org.
Shane Kenyon is appearing at the Festival for the first time, playing the star-struck lover, Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet and Kit Marlowe in Shakespeare in Love, as well as Jacque DeBoys in As You Like It. He has appeared at numerous regional theatres, including Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Steep Theatre, Irish Theatre of Chicago, Rivendell Theatre, and more. He has also appeared on television in Chicago Justice, Chicago PD, Empire, Mind Games, and Chicago Code and on film in Jessica and Olympia. “I grew up coming to the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and it has been a dream of mine to perform at the Festival,” he said. “This is the fulfillment of so many childhood dreams. I can’t wait to experience everything performing at the Festival has to offer.”
Quinn Mattfeld is returning to the Festival to play Will Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love and Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, as well as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls. He has played many roles at the Festival, including Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher, Edward Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility, Robert in Boeing Boeing, and Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night. Most recently he has also appeared as Mr. Wormwood in the first national tour of Matilda! The Musical, with the Royal Shakespare Company. “I am absolutely thrilled to be returning for my sixth season at the Festival, and playing the Festival’s namesake is such a rare and humbling experience,” he said. “What an honor and joy to get to come back to my artistic home in Utah.”
Betsy Mugavero will play opposite Kenyon as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and opposite Mattfeld as Shakespeare’s muse and love, Viola de Lesseps, in Shakespeare in Love. She has appeared at the Festival in six separate seasons, playing such roles as Constanze in Amadeus, Julia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Kitty in Charley’s Aunt, Molly in Peter and the Starcatcher, Jacquenetta in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and others. “I am lucky this summer to get to live Shakespeare’s most famous love story in two very different ways and through the eyes of two complex and equally inspiring female characters,” she said in talking about the upcoming season. “I’m humbled, honored, and thrilled.”
Susannah Florence will take on the roles of Lady Montague in Romeo and Juliet and Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love, as well as Celia in As You Like It. Festival audiences will remember her from last year at the Festival when she played Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins and Ursula in Much Ado about Nothing. Other theatres she has appeared at include Pioneer Theatre Company (Dolly in One Man, Two Guvnors, Shaindel in Fiddler on the Roof, and Sarah/Ghost/TV Producer in King Charles III) and Sting & Honey (William Shakespeare in Kings’ Men).
Jeb Burris is returning to the Festival to play Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and Ned Alleyn in Shakespeare in Love, as well as Orlando in As You Like It. Other roles at the Festival have included Jim O’Connor in The Glass Menagerie, Cateby in Richard III, Chiron in Titus Andronicus, Dumain in Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Dauphin in King John, Ferdinand in The Tempest, and Fenton in The Merry Wives of Windsor. “I am thrilled to be returning to the Utah Shakespeare Festival,” he said. “Getting the chance to play Mercutio and Ned Alleyn will be a unique experience for me, and one I very much look forward to.”
Richie Call is appearing at the Festival for the first time. He will be playing the roles of Lord Montague in Romeo and Juliet and Peter and Ralph in Shakespeare in Love, as well as several roles in Guys and Dolls. He is an assistant professor of acting at Utah State University and has appeared at numerous regional theatres. Although this is his first time acting at the Festival, he actually has a rather long history here: “I first attended the Festival in 1998 when I was an apprentice working for the Lyric Repertory Company,” he said. “I now run that apprentice program, and I’ve been bringing students to see Festival shows for years. It’s an honor to get to work in these spaces, with these people, on these shows, for this company.”
Aaron Arroyo is new to the Festival this year, playing the roles of Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, Nol and Ensemble in Shakespeare in Love, and Ensemble in Guys and Dolls. He has also appeared in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Our Class, and Sight Unseen at the University of California at Irvine; and Death of a Salesman and The Winter’s Tale at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. In addition, he has toured with the Missoula Children’s Theatre.
Michael Manocchio is also new to the Festival this year. He will be playing Sam in Shakespeare in Love, Balthasar in Romeo and Juliet, and William in As You Like It. He has worked at numerous other theatres, including Moscow Art Theatre School, Goodman Theatre, American Theater Company, Teatro Vista, Chicago Dramatists, Titan Theatre, Hilberry Theatre, the side project, and 20% Theatre Company.
Tickets are now on sale for the Festival’s 56th season, which will run from June 29 to October 21. For more information and tickets visit www.bard.org or call 1-800-PLAYTIX.
The Utah Shakespeare Festival is part of the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts at Southern Utah University, which also includes the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA).