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Opening Night: Over a Year in the Making

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Photos from Pericles, which opened the 2021 season, top to bottom: Sarah Suzuki (left) as Antiochus’s Daughter, Todd Denning as Antiochus, and Danforth Comins as Pericles; Chris Mixon as Pander and Sarah Shippobotham as Bawd.

Return to the Stages Marks Sixty Years and Will Be Dedicated to Founder Fred C. Adams

Photos from Pericles, which opened the 2021 season, top to bottom: Sarah Suzuki (left) as Antiochus’s Daughter, Todd Denning as Antiochus, and Danforth Comins as Pericles; Chris Mixon as Pander and Sarah Shippobotham as Bawd.

Thursday was a night over a year in the making—the resumption of plays at the Utah Shakespeare Festival after the 2020 season was canceled because of COVID-19. After a joyous opening night of The Greenshow, audiences were invited into the theatre by the traditional trumpet fanfare, and the stage soon exploded with action and color.

The opening play was Shakespeare’s Pericles in the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre. It will be followed in the days to come by Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, The Pirates of Penzance, Ragtime, Cymbeline, Intimate Apparel, and The Comedy of Terrors.

But before the stage was turned over to the actors, Executive Producer Frank Mack and Artistic Director Brian Vaughn made a quick appearance to express heartfelt thanks to patrons, donors, company members, and others for making this season happen. They also spoke about Festival Founder Fred C. Adams who passed away in 2020. This season is dedicated to his vision, friendship, and memory. A celebration of his life is being planned for later this summer.

Also, in an act of faith and joy, the pair announced the 2022 season. Details can be found on the Festival’s website.

 “The confluence of many circumstances will combine to make 2021 a special season—celebrating sixty years of great professional theatre in beautiful Cedar City, honoring our visionary founder who made all this possible, and getting to produce shows for our wonderful audiences, by our amazing artists, after a year-long hiatus,” said Mack when discussing the season.

“The 2021 season marks sixty glorious years producing Shakespeare under the stars at the Utah Shakespeare Festival,” added Vaughn. “It will be a season filled with celebration and reflection, including honoring the legacy of Fred and the incredible achievements of his remarkable life.”

The season will run through October 9 in three theatres. Tickets are $23 to $85 and are on sale now: go to the Festival website at bard.org, call 800-PLAYTIX, or visit the Ticket Office at the Beverley Center for the Arts.

© Utah Shakespeare Festival 2023 www.bard.org