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Coriolanus: "Shakespeare's Most Powerful Play"

“Action is eloquence,” Coriolanus, Act III Scene II 

The Utah Shakespeare Festival announces the cast members for this season’s production of Coriolanus, directed by Lisa Peterson, who is making her directorial debut at the Festival this season. She is also directing Timon of Athens and is a two-time OBIE Award-winner for her productions of An Iliad and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire. Her most recent production, Good Night, Oscar, is on Broadway and stars Sean Hayes who just last night won a Tony Award for Lead Actor in a Play.

Coriolanus is one of Shakespeare’s most powerful plays with some of his most beautiful writing,” Peterson said. “It is a contemporary play. It’s so much about, ‘what does it take to step up and lead?’”

Featuring beloved returning Festival actors and those arriving for the first time, this rarely-performed Shakespeare play follows the hot-headed Coriolanus– obsessed with becoming Rome’s ruler. This play focuses on themes of ambition, love, family, and power.

“This bold group of twelve actors are going to put on both plays,” Peterson said. “It seems impossible, but I love the impossible.”

The cast is as follows: 

Elijah Alexander


Elijah Alexander
is returning to Festival as Tullus Aufidius/Roman Citizen in Coriolanus and Timon in Timon of Athens. His productions previously at the Festival include Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice and more. Alexander has performed at the RSC Royal Shakespeare Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public, five seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, three seasons at California Shakespeare Festival, The Denver Center, and The Guthrie, among many others. He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA and currently portrays the character Atticus Aemilius in The Chosen TV series.

Anastasia Blakely

Anastasha Blakely is returning to the Festival as Valeria/Roman Citizen in Coriolanus and Isadore/Poet in Timon of Athens. She is also understudying the roles of Menenius Agrippa/Citizen in Coriolanus and Lucullus/Caphis in Timon of Athens. Previously at the Festival, she was in The Tempest, All’s Well That Ends Well, and the Shakespeare in the Schools education tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

Jasmine Bracey

Jasmine Bracey is returning to the Festival as Menenius Agrippa/Roman Citizen in Coriolanus and Lucullus/Caphis in Timon of Athens. Bracey’s previous roles at the Festival include Prospero in The Tempest, Belarius in Cymbeline, and Mrs. Dickenson in Intimate Apparel. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and has performed at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Guthrie, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and The Goodman, among others. 

Christopher Centinaro


Christopher Centinaro
is debuting at the Festival as Adrian/Roman Citizen in Coriolanus and Sempronius/Merchant/Soldier in Timon of Athens. He has performed at Indianapolis Shakespeare Company, Studio Theatre, Ruth N. Halls Theatre, and Kean University. 

Jack Doherty

Jack Doherty will be Nicanor/Roman Citizen in Coriolanus and Servilius/Soldier in Timon of Athens. Making his debut at the Festival, Doherty has also performed at the Round Barn Theatre and Western Michigan University. 

Darin F Earl II

Darin F. Earl II is returning to the Festival as Sicinius Velutus/Roman Citizen in Coriolanus and Varro/Painter in Timon of Athens. He is also understudying Coriolanus in Coriolanus and Alcibiades in Timon of Athens. He was Othello in this year’s Shakespeare in the Schools education tour of Othello and has also performed at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and Scranton Shakespeare Festival. 

Nell Geisslinger

Nell Geisslinger will be Junius Brutus/Roman Citizen in Coriolanus and Apemantus in Timon of Athens. Previously at the Festival, she was in Twelfth Night, Boeing Boeing, and Sense and Sensibility. In addition to eleven seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Geisslinger has performed at South Coast Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and more. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.

James Ryen

James Ryen is making his Festival debut as Coriolanus in Coriolanus and Alcibiades in Timon of Athens. He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and has participated in seven seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, as well as performing at American Repertory Theatre, New Art Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, and more. 

Gabrielle Francine Smith

Gabrielle Francine Smith will be making her debut at the Festival as Virgilia/Roman Citizen in Coriolanus and Flaminius/Jeweller/Soldier in Timon of Athens. She is also understudying the roles of Volumnia/Citizen in Coriolanus and Flavius in Timon of Athens. Smith has also performed at the Phoenix Theatre Company, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Kansas Repertory Theatre, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, and more.

Jeremy Thompson

Jeremy Thompson is returning to the Festival as Titus Lartius/Roman Citizen in Coriolanus and Ventidius/Factotumus/Soldier in Timon of Athens. Previously at the Festival, he recently performed in the Festival’s Utah tour of Every Brilliant Thing earlier this year and has been in All’s Well That Ends Well, King Lear, Trouble in Mind, and Cymbeline, to name a few. Thompson has also performed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Island Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Repertory Theatre, and Book-It Repertory Theatre. 

Sheila Tousey

Sheila Tousey will be Volumnia/Roman Citizen in Coriolanus and Flavius in Timon of Athens. Although this is her debut at the Festival, she has also performed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Yale Repertory Theatre. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Jeorge Bennett Watson

Jeorge Bennett Watson will be Cominius/Roman Citizen in Coriolanus and Lucius/Hortensius in Timon of Athens, making his Festival debut. He is an active stage, film, and television actor and has performed at Roundabout Theater, Arena Stage, Studio Theater, The Huntington Theater, Williamstown Theater, and Resident Ensemble players to name a few. He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Kinsley Seegmiller
Rory Shakespear

Kinsley Seegmiller and Rory Shakespear will alternate playing Young Martius in Coriolanus as young performers. Kinsley is from Cedar City and will be in the fourth grade in the fall. She loves traveling with her family, gymnastics, and is excited to perform at the Festival this season. Rory is also from Cedar City and has performed in Once Upon a Time with Cedar City Children’s Musical Theater; in Matilda and Brigadoon with Cedar Valley Community Theater; and in Honk with the Festival’s Playmakers. 

The 2023 season of the Utah Shakespeare Festival runs from June 21 to October 7 and includes Romeo and JulietA Midsummer Night’s DreamJane Austen’s Emma The MusicalA Raisin in the SunThe Play That Goes WrongTimon of Athens, and Coriolanus, as well as all the experiences surrounding the plays, such as The Greenshow, seminars, orientations, and backstage tours. Tickets and information are available by calling 800-PLAYTIX or visiting bard.org.

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