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Festival's Shakespeare in the Schools Othello to Have Public Performance in Cedar City

By Liz Armstrong

CEDAR CITY, UT – Each year the Utah Shakespeare Festival presents a Shakespeare in the Schools tour to bring quality performances and workshops to schools and communities throughout the West, and has been doing so for twenty-nine years.

This year, the condensed 75-minute performance of Othello will allow students and teachers to experience professional theatre and to interact with and learn from the tour’s company members through workshops and talk-backs.

“We are very excited about sharing Othello with audiences,” Associate Education Director Stewart Shelley said. “This is the first time we have toured this show and in an increasingly divisive world, this production is incredibly valuable. It serves as a springboard for further discussions including the value of communication; the dangers of jealousy, rage, and hatred; and the importance of love and trust in any relationship.”

Cedar City Public Performance
Before Shakespeare in the Schools takes the timely message of Othello across Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah, there will be a public performance on January 27 in Cedar City.

At 7:30 pm, the performance will be held at the Southern Utah University Auditorium Theatre, located on the southwest corner of University and 300 West. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children over age six. To purchase tickets, go to bard.org/othellotour or call 1-800-PLAYTIX. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

About the Touring Team
“Director Cordell Cole and a talented team of designers and actors have created a visually stunning, aurally impactful production of this classic tragedy. It is one not to be missed,” Shelley said.

In addition to Cole as director, the production team consists of Technical Director April Salazar, Tour Manager Abby Nakken, and Stage Manager Lindy Rublaitus.

Cordell Cole • Director
Cordell Cole previously toured with the Festival’s 2019 productions of Macbeth and Every Brilliant Thing. Previous mainstage productions include Ragtime, Julius Caesar, Pericles, and Richard III. He has performed all over the country and other favorite productions include Into The Woods, Spamalot, Something Rotten, The Seagull, and As You Like It.

April Salazar • Technical Director
April Salazar received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with an emphasis in Design and Technology from Texas A&M. She was the technical director for the 2022 Much Ado About Nothing tour and worked as an electrician and spotlight operator during the 2022 season at the Festival. She has also worked at Laredo Theatre Guild International, Santa Fe Opera, and Tuacahn Center for the Arts.

Abigail Naaken • Tour Manager
Abigail Naaken received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Classical Acting from Southern Utah University. Previously at the Festival she has been in the 2019 tour of Macbeth, Cymbeline, Shakespeare in Love, Romeo and Juliet, and Fiddler on the Roof. She has also performed with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.

Lindy Rublaitus • Stage Manager
Lindy Rublatius is currently earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communication-Theatre-Teaching and was a teaching artist at Black Hawk Children’s Theatre in Iowa. She was an assistant stage manager for As You Like It at the University of Northern Iowa, stage manager for Clue at Waterloo Community Playhouse, and properties head for Blood at the Root at University of Northern Iowa.

About the Actors
Darin Earl II • Othello
Darin Earl II received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Journalism from Rider University. He has teaching credits from Writers Theatre of New Jersey, Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, and Mount Saint Dominic’s Academy. Earl was an understudy on Off-Broadway in Ye Bear & Ye Cub at 59E59 Theaters and played Damian in Inferno: A New Work About Sin at The Flea Theater. His film credits include “The Dennis Boys,” “852 Forest Road,” and “Foul Play.”

Ian Geers • Iago
Ian Geers received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from Boston University and was a teaching artist at Montana Shakespeare in the Schools, National Players, and Performing Arts Center Chicago. He has acted at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Michigan Shakespeare Theater, and Virginia Stage Company. Geers has also been in the television show “Chicago P.D.”

Rachel J. Jones • Desdemona
Rachel J. Jones received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. She has played Lady Macbeth in Macbeth at Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Marianne in Constellations at Liberty Exhibition Hall, and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music.

Nazlah Black • Emilia/Bianca/Others/Intimacy Captain
Nazlah Black received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from the Cornish College of the Arts. At Emit Theatre, Black played Viola in Twelfth Night, Cordelia in King Lear at Barefoot Shakespeare, and Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night at Match:Lit. They also played Rosalind in the film “As You Like It,” presented by Shakespeare in the Woods.

Noah Ratgen • Cassio/Others/Associate Fight Choreographer/Fight Captain
Noah Ratgen received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from Shenandoah Conservatory. He has acted in many roles at Children’s Theatre Company, was in A Christmas Carol at Guthrie Theatre, played Malcolm in Macbeth at Hoosier Shakespeare Festival, and was Iachimo in Cymbeline at Nashville Shakespeare Festival.

Nic Sanchez • Roderigo/Others
Nic Sanchez received a Bachelor’s Degree from New York University. He has taken on a plethora of roles at American Shakespeare Center, played Lucio in Measure for Measure at Smith Street Stage, and portrayed Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night for Shakespeare in the ‘Burg.

Shay Jowers • Brabantio/Montano/Lodovico/Others
Shay Jowers is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. They have played Renfield in Dracula: Mina’s Quest and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Nebraska Repertory Theatre.

The Utah Shakespeare Festival’s production of Othello is part of Shakespeare in American Communities: Shakespeare for a New Generation, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest. It is also sponsored by Ally Bank, POPS Utah State Office of Education, and Southern Utah University.

If you have any questions, contact the Utah Shakespeare Festival Education Department at 435-865-8333 or usfeducation@bard.org, or visit bard.org/othellotour.

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