Mark Twain’s timeless classic sweeps us down the mighty Mississippi as the irrepressible Huck Finn helps his friend Jim, a slave, escape to freedom. Their adventures along the way are hilarious, suspenseful, and heartwarming, bringing to life your favorite characters from the novel, and leaving you humming tunes such as “River in the Rain,” “Worlds Apart,” and the rousing anthem “Free at Last.”


"ALL THE GLEE AND ENTHUSIASM a musical could muster." { more . . . }
— Cristy Meiners, Deseret News

"A BEAUTIFUL STORY, chapter by chapter, that is cohesive and valuable." { more . . . }
— Jennifer Mustoe, Front Row Reviewers

"THE CAST'S WONDERFUL PERFORMANCES make Big River a success on any metric." { more . . . }
— Russell Warne, Utah Theatre Bloggers Association

"THERE'S A LOT TO LOVE in the Utah Shakespeare Festival's production." { more . . . }

— Brian Passey, The Independent



Director — Melissa Rain Anderson
Choreographer — Christine Rowan
Music Director — Michael Gribbin
Scenic Designer — Jason Lajka
Costume Designer — K. L. Alberts
Lighting Designer — William C. Kirkham
Sound Designer — Barry G. Funderburg
Voice and Text Coach — Nathan C. Crocker
Fight Director — Jason Spelbring
Stage Manager — Amy Witherby*

Scene: Along the Mississippi River Valley, late 1840s

There will be one intermission.


Huckleberry Finn —Rob Riordan*
Jim —Ezekiel Andrew
Widow Douglas —Colleen Baum*
Miss Watson —Stephanie Lambourn*
Judge Thatcher —A. Bryan Humphrey*
Pap Finn —John Ahlin*
Tom Sawyer —Michael Doherty*
Teacher —Chris Mixon*
Ben Rogers —Ian Allred
Jo Harper —Austin Glen Jacobs
Simon —Landon Tate Boyle
Dick —Lance Rasmussen
Preacher —Jim Poulos*
Strange Woman —Colleen Baum*
Slaves/Servants —Veronica Otim, Daria Pilar Redus, Andre Spathelf-Sanders, Keith Livingston
The King —Chris Mixon*
The Duke —Jim Poulos*
Hank —Landon Tate Boyle
Lafe —Russ Benton*
Andy —Lance Rasmussen
Tarts —Samantha Allred, Katie Fay Francis, Cailen Fu, Stephanie Lambourn*
Young Fool —Austin Glen Jacobs
Mary Jane Wilkes —Samantha Allred
Susan Wilkes —Katie Fay Francis
Joanna Wilkes —Cailen Fu
Counselor Robinson —Russ Benton*
Alice —Veronica Otim
Alice’s Daughter —Chaye Lynn Brown
Sheriff Bell —John Ahlin*
Harvey Wilkes —A. Bryan Humphrey*
Sally Phelps —Stephanie Lambourn*
Silas Phelps —Russ Benton*
Doctor —A. Bryan Humphrey*
Ensemble —John Ahlin*, Ian Allred†, Samantha Allred, Colleen Baum*, Russ Benton*,
Landon Tate Boyle, Katie Fay Francis, Cailen Fu, A. Bryan Humphrey*, Austin Glen Jacobs, Stephanie Lambourn*, Henry A. McDaniel, Chris Mixon*, Veronica Otim, Jim Poulos*,
Lance Rasmussen, Daria Pilar Redus, Andre Spathelf-Sanders, Keith Livingston


Huckleberry Finn/Jo Harper/Young Fool—Landon Tate Boyle; Jim—André Spathelf-Sanders; Widow Douglas/Strange Woman/Tart/Mary Jane Wilkes/Joanna Wilkes—Katie Fay Francis; Miss Watson/Susan Wilkes/Sally Phelps—Cailen Fu; Judge Thatcher/Harvey Wilkes/Doctor/King—Henry A McDaniel; Pap Finn—Russ Benton*; Tom Sawyer/Simon/Preacher/The Duke/Hank—Austin Glen Jacobs; Ben Rogers/Lafe/Counselor Robinson/Silas Phelps—Lance Rasmussen; Dick/Andy/Sheriff Bell—Ian Allred†; Alice—Daria Pilar Redus

Understudies never substitute for listed players unless an announcement is made prior to the performance.

*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.
†Appearing courtesy of the Southern Utah University Fellowship Program.

Firefly effects provided by Firefly Magic.


The director and fight choreographer are members of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union.


The costume and sound designers are represented by the United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829 of the IATSE.

Videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited.

@utahshakespeare | #bigriverusf


Play Details

June 30 – September 1, 2018

Randall L. Jones Theatre

Music and Lyrics by Roger MIller
Book by William Hauptman
Adapted from the novel by Mark Twain

Melissa Rain Anderson

2 hrs. 30 mins.

Learn More
Study Guide

Content Advisory
Based on Mark Twain’s classic American novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Big River contains the “n-word,” consistent with the times and themes Twain and the musical adaptors were writing about. The language forces audiences to confront the inhumanity of slavery and intolerance, which is far more insidious and toxic than the offensive language associated with it. To eliminate or otherwise diminish the language, would make it more difficult to find meaning and discover the insights and genius of Twain and the Broadway musical creators. The play can be a thoughtful and heart-warming piece of theatre for any audience.

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