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Festival Feature: Meet Festival Charge Artist Shiloah Frederick

Shiloah Frederick
Shiloah Frederick

The success of the 2023 season at the Utah Shakespeare Festival has been a team effort. It’s the result of the ultimate collaboration between many departments and staff––from props, sound, set, costumes, marketing, company management, guest services, acting, administration, and much more. 

Shiloah Frederick was a huge part of the creation of the plays this season. As Festival Charge, Frederick oversaw painting teams as they prepared the sets for the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre and Randall L. Jones Theatre. 

A charge artist is responsible for the painting and service treatment of the scenic elements for a production. But for Frederick, her title encapsulated much more than that. Along with creating high quality sets for the plays, cultivating a team that created a positive atmosphere and worked well together was a priority for the artist. 

Frederick received the Festival’s Gene Chesley Memorial Design Award for the 2023 Season. The honor is awarded to a young Festival designer in recognition of outstanding talent and dedication. 

“Shiloah has been selected because of her outstanding talent in transforming surfaces into theatrical works of art that help tell stories to Utah Shakespeare Festival’s audiences,” Interim Artistic Director Derek Charles Livingston said, “And for her leadership with her colleagues and among the artists as the Festival Charge.” 

Frederick adamantly noted that she wouldn’t have received the award without her team. 

“Everything we do is such a team aspect, I wanted to give [the award] to the whole painting department,” Frederick said. “But my leadership is something I’m proud of, because I put a lot of intention into creating a vision for the summer.” 

Frederick’s Journey from Painting to Theatre

Originally from a town outside of Chicago, Frederick attended the University of Illinois to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting. 

During her education at the university, Frederick took a one hour practicum class in the theatre department to decompress from the stress of Fine Arts. 

“I started working in scenic design and I loved it,” Frederick said. “It took everything I liked in Fine Art and put it into something that had a career possibility.”

After completing a two-year training program at Cobalt Studios in the Scenic Artist Training Program in White Lake, NY, Frederick took a position as a charge artist at a theatre in Logan, Utah, where she worked for Lyric Repertory Company.

As for coming to Cedar City, one of Frederick’s classmates from Cobalt previously had the Festival Charge position, but after taking a full time job elsewhere, asked Frederick if she would be interested. 

Frederick was extremely interested, and fell in love with the job, returning for her second season in 2023. For the artist, being Festival Charge is the perfect intersection between art, leadership, and theatre. 

Her Work at the Festival 

This season, Frederick worked most closely on the plays in the Randall L. Jones Theatre––A Raisin in the Sun, Jane Austen’s Emma The Musical, and The Play That Goes Wrong––although she also oversaw and assisted the painting team that worked on the Engelstad shows. 

“I feel most proud of the Emma floor with the deep blue/green and gold inlay,” Frederick said. “We do a lot of brick, wood, and stone [flooring], and so to do something that was so lovely was [fun].” 

The Play That Goes Wrong was Frederick’s favorite show she worked on at the Festival. 

“We did all the stenciled wallpaper, which was a long and tedious process,” Frederick said. 

But the hard work was worth it, as now audience members get to admire the art as they watch the production onstage.

In addition to painting the sets, a large part of Frederick’s work at the Festival is cultivating relationships with her team. 

“Once a week, we got the team together to talk about communication and processing emotions,” Frederick said. 

As Festival Charge, Frederick also does the hiring for the painting team, oversees the budget, decides the schedule, and creates a team culture that she and her team want to keep coming back to. 

“One of the huge benefits of being at the Festival is the dedication other people have for making other people’s lives easier,” Frederick said. 

To see Frederick’s hard work, purchase tickets to the 2023 season by calling 800-PLAYTIX or by visiting bard.org.

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