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Returning Festival Actors: Who's Back?

Top photo: Elijah Alexander as King Richard III in the 2011 production of Richard III. (Photo by Karl Hugh) Bottom photo: Photo courtesy of Elijah Alexander.

By Liz Armstrong

The Festival officially opened last week and will run until October 7. We are thrilled to welcome our friends and guests back for our 62nd Season! We’re also thrilled to welcome back members of our performing company. For a full calendar view of all our shows, visit bard.org/calendar. 

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet is directed by Betsy Mugavero, whom Festival audiences will remember as a member of the performing company in eight seasons between 2008 and 2019. Returning Festival actors in lead roles include: Cassandra Bissell as Lady Capulet, Ty Fanning as Romeo, Tim Fullerton as Capulet, Alex Keiper as Nurse, Gilberto Saenz as Tybalt, and Marco Antonio Vega as Paris.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is Shakespeare’s beloved tale about fairies, dreams, and lovers and is directed by Jessica Kubzansky. Returning Festival actors in lead roles include Cassandra Bissell as Hippolyta/Titania, Ty Fanning as Demetrius, Corey Jones as Thesues/Oberon, and Alex Keiper as Petra Quince. 

Jane Austen’s Emma The Musical with book/music/lyrics by Paul Gordon; orchestrations by Brad Haak, Paul Gordon, and Brian Allan Hobbs; based on the novel by Jane Austen

This is Austen’s enduring love story featuring an imperfect, but loveable, main character. Returning Festival actors in lead roles include Allie Babich as Emma, Laura Brennan as Harriet, Tim Fullerton as Mr. Weston, Rhett Guter as Mr. Knightley, Kat Lee as Mrs. Weston, Chris Mixon as Mr. Woodhouse, Melinda Parrett as Miss Bates, Jim Poulos as Mr. Elton, and Gilberto Saenz as Frank Churchill.

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

This piece of classic American theatre, A Raisin in the Sun, tells of a family’s dreams, breaking down barriers, and defining hope. It is directed by Derek Charles Livingston, the Festival’s interim artistic director/director of new play development. Returning Festival actors include Corey Jones as Walter Lee Younger and Nazlah Black as Mrs. Johnson. 

The Play That Goes Wrong by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields

The Play That Goes Wrong is a hilarious, chaotic, and ill-fated play-within-a-play. Returning Festival actors include Nazlah Black as Sandra, Laura Brennan as Stage Hand, Rhett Guter as Chris, Chris Mixon as Dennis, Melinda Parrett as Annie, and Jim Poulos as Max. 

Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens is rarely performed and explores friendship, wealth, and the foibles of a materialistic society. Returning Festival actors include Elijah Alexander as Timon, Anatasha Blakely as Isadore/Poet, Jasmine Bracey as Lucullus/Caphis, Darin F. Earl II as Varro/Painter, Nell Geisslinger as Apemantus, and Jeremy Thompson as Ventidius/Factotumus/Soldier.

Coriolanus by William Shakespeare

Coriolanus is another of Shakespeare’s rarely-produced plays that focuses on themes of ambition, family, love, and power. Returning Festival actors include Elijah Alexander as Aufidius/Roman Citizen, Anatasha Blakely as Valeria/Roman Citizen, Jasmine Bracey as Menenius Agrippa/Roman Citizen, Darin F. Earl II as Sicinius Veletus/Roman Citizen, Nell Geisslinger as Junius Brutus/Roman Citizen, and Jeremy Thompson as Titus Lartius/Roman Citizen. 

To purchase tickets or for more information for the 2023 season, visit bard.org or call 800-PLAYTIX.

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