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Fifth Annual Make A Scene Fundraiser to be the Most Fun-Filled Festival Gala Yet

By Liz Armstrong

The Utah Shakespeare Festival is proud to announce the fifth annual Make A Scene fundraising event on April 19 in West Valley City, UT. The one-night-only gala will feature dinner and a comedic performance of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Quinn Mattfeld.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:00 and the performance at 7:30. This will be an exciting chance to meet with actors, state and local politicians, business leaders, media personalities, Festival administration, and more. 

Located at 3333 S. Decker Lake Dr., the event will be held at the West Valley Performing Arts Center and boasts the largest professional cast yet. 

Director of Development and Communication Donn Jersey guarantees that Mattfeld who will share the stage with Festival favorites Melinda Parrett and Michael Doherty will have those in attendance “belly-laughing for 65 minutes straight.”

Quinn Mattfeld debuted at the Festival in 2009, and has been in two of the Festival’s past mainstage productions of Romeo and Juliet. He played Benvolio in the 2009 production and Tybalt in 2017. The actor has most recently been in the Festival’s productions of Shakespeare in Love (2017), Hamlet (2019), and Macbeth (2019). Mattfeld’s experience and humor made him the perfect fit to star at the gala. 

“Quinn wrote the script especially for this night, and is directing and acting in it too. It’s just going to be so much fun,” Jersey said. “It’s Romeo and Juliet with a comedic twist, and the script is just ridiculous. We are writing four or five different scenes with our professional actors and surprise guests that will be joining onstage.”

Melinda Parrett first came to the Festival in 2007 for roles in Candida and Lend Me a Tenor. She has performed in over twenty roles at the Festival, including last season, when she starred as Mrs. White in Clue and Elsa Schraeder in The Sound of Music

Michael Doherty debuted at the Festival in 2015. He took roles last season as Mr. Green in Clue, Lavatch in All’s Well That Ends Well, and Jonas Fogg in Sweeney Todd. He also starred in last year’s Make A Scene Gala in the one-actor show, Every Brilliant Thing.

Professional magician and Festival actor Rhett Guter will bring something different to the gala this year, performing magic tricks in the lobby and throughout dinner. His expertise will add another layer of fun to the fundraising event. Guter is known for his roles at the Festival in the 2013 production of Peter and the Starcatcher and his most recent roles in Ragtime and The Pirates of Penzance in the 2021 season.

In addition, Mia Gatherum, an actress from the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University, will be taking on the role of Juliet alongside Mattfeld as Romeo. She has a strong tie to the Festival, having performed in numerous Playmakers Education Program productions when she was growing up in Cedar City. 

“When you get this all-star cast to share their talents and wit…it’s going to be a super fun night,” Jersey emphasized. “It’s going to be whimsical and accessible and fun, while also raising important funds for the Festival.”

The ticket price is $275, and there are sponsorship tables of eight available for sale. Although you don’t have to attend dinner to see the show, don’t miss out on any of this fun-filled night!

To purchase a ticket or reserve a table for this annual fundraiser, contact Development Assistant Emily Cacho at 435-586-7877 or through email at emily@bard.org. Reservations can be made up to the day of the event.

Follow our Instagram and Facebook accounts @utahshakespeare to stay up-to-date on gala announcements.

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