Utah Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Brian Vaughn recently announced a slate of nine highly-creative, talented, and experienced directors for the Festival’s 2019 season. The directors come from home bases across the country and bring a wealth of diverse experience to next season, which is themed around the family.
It’s a wrap for the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2018 season, and Festival administrators are excited about the season’s success both artistically and financially. Everybody at the Festival took a deep breath, celebrated for a moment, and then continued work on the 2019 season which is fast approaching. But before they moved on, Executive Producer Frank Mack and Artistic Director Brian Vaughn took a few minutes to review the highlights of 2019.
Utah Shakespeare Festival guests made life a little better for those in need this fall, by donating nearly two tons of food to the Iron County Care and Share. The food was donated as part of the Festival’s sixteenth annual Fall Food Drive from September 17 to October 13.
This weekend the 42nd annual Shakespeare Competition gave out dozens of awards and scholarships to drama, dance and music students. The competition is the largest scholastic Shakespeare competition in the country, and this was a record-breaking year with nearly 3,600 students from 123 schools in seven states and the U. S. Virgin Islands.
It is with sorrow that Southern Utah University and the Utah Shakespeare Festival share the news that Dr. Charles L. Metten, founding dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts and long-time director, actor, and administrator at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, passed away on the morning of September 27 at the age of 91.
We’re coming to the end of the season here at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, but there’s still a couple more weeks to come and see The Liar! It’s a hilarious farce that you definitely don’t want to miss; with twins, mistaken identities, and hilarious misunderstandings, the play is almost Shakespearean! But The Liarisn’t a Shakespeare play— no, this is a Corneille.
From The Taming of the Shrew to King Lear to The Comedy of Errors, the ways that masters interact with their servants can reveal a lot about a play’s themes. The master/servant relationship is also a very important part of this season’s The Liar. However, the master/servant dynamic is somehow very different in The Liar than in anything we've really seen in Shakespeare.
The endearing Dorante lies to get whatever he wants— especially women. So when he first meets Lucrece and Clarice, he lies to impress them. And, of course, some of the funniest scenes in theatre result. But there’s one question that sticks out. Why is The Liar so funny? What makes it so interesting to audiences?
In the fourth and final installment of blog posts by actor John Ahlin, the man playing Falstaff this summer reflects on the wonders of southern Utah and of being on stage in the middle of indescribable vistas, canyons, and valleys. He also marvels at what he calls "the best audiences in the country," those that come to the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
The Utah Shakespeare Festival is once again collecting food for the less fortunate in our community. The sixteenth annual Fall Food Drive will be September 10 to October 13, with a goal to raise as much food as possible for the Iron County Care and Share.
Who is your favorite character? How do you prepare for this demanding role? Do you think this is an anti-war play? Who are the "good guys" and the "bad guys"? Why is The Muse part of this play? Why is this play important to us today? These are all questions we were able to recently ask Artistic Director Brian Vaughn about his role in An Iliad. We think you will find his answers thought provoking and stimulating.
In an effort to make what many are calling “the favorite production of the season” even more available, the Utah Shakespeare Festival has announced additional performances of the spellbinding play An Iliad. The largely one-person show, featuring Artistic Director Brian Vaughn as The Poet, is currently playing in the Randall L. Jones Theatre, but numerous additional performances have been added in the intimate Anes Studio Theatre.
In Part Three of John's Ahlin's blog on playing the role of Sir John Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, he writes about the amazing actors he is working with, including a funny scene that was made funnier by an experienced actor, a swig of sack, and a rare combination of temperature and dew point. He also has some seasoned advice for young actors.
Mike Reiss, writer and producer for the wildly popular animated television show The Simpsons, will be at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University August 29–31. While here, he will be workshopping his hilarious play Shakespeare’s Worst! A Play on a Play as part of the Festival’s Words Cubed new play readings, as well as participating in a lecture/presentation and book signing.
A life-size statue of Lady Macbeth will soon join eight other Shakespearean characters at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. The latest installment in the Pedersen Shakespeare Character Garden will be unveiled August 21 at 11:30 a.m.
The Utah Shakespeare Festival will be celebrating our Armed Forces with free tickets for military personnel to selected performances on September 4–7. The Festival appreciates the sacrifices of the men and women who serve and wants to recognize their dedication and commitment to this country.
In Part Two of John's Ahlin's blog on playing the role of Sir John Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, he tackles the comedy of the corpulent knight: "Being funny on demand is like trying to get the hiccups on purpose—difficult. So imagine the butterflies an actor feels, about to enter as Falstaff. . . . Backstage before a comedy, some actors will want to draw up both knees and go fetal, but to me the trick is to grab those knees, yell 'Cannonball!' and jump right in."
"Twins, disguise, and maidens who conspire / Are all a part of this season's The Liar! / Now, all these shenanigans might make you dizzy; / So let this rhymed synopsis keep you busy." Festival writer and blogger Kathryn Neves puts her tongue firmly in her cheek and tells the story of The Liar in rhymed verse, the same style as the play being presented starting September 14.
The Utah Shakespeare Festival’s Words Cubed program for new plays is set to introduce audiences to two very different plays this season: Gertrude and Claudius,a prequel to Hamlet,will play August 24, 25, and 30 and September 1. Shakespeare’s Worst! A Play on a Play,a hilarious retelling of The Two Gentlemen of Verona,will be performed August 29 and 31.
Actor John Ahlin played a very memorable Sir John Falstaff in 2015 in the Festival production of Henry IV Part Two and has returned this year to play the role of the lovable old knight in The Merry Wives of Windsor. And he has agreed to provide a few posts on our blog about his feelings about Falstaff, the play, and the Festival. "The Big Sir: Thoughts on the Honor of Acting at the Utah Shakespeare Festival" is his first installment.
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