Festival's 2012 Season to Top All OthersJune 20, 2012
Author: Jen Burt
With great anticipation for a 2012 program packed with theatrical blockbusters, the Utah Shakespeare Festival will open its summer season in just one week’s time.
According to artistic directors Brian Vaughn and David Ivers, the Festival’s 51st season will present some of the most challenging and potentially the most rewarding productions in the history of the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Actors, directors and artisans alike are all working around the clock to make sure everything in just right for opening night, following a week of preview performances, which begin Thursday, June 21.
Opening performances then begin Thursday, June 28 for “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” June 29 for “Scapin” and “Mary Stuart,” and June 30 for “Les Misérables” and “Titus Andronicus.” Tickets are still available for most plays and dates, but they are selling fast.
A great deal of buzz surrounding the forthcoming season is a building excitement for the Festival’s first ever production of “Les Misérables,” one of the world’s most popular shows and Broadway’s third longest running musical. The upcoming production has been met with so much enthusiasm, in fact, that the Festival will run “Les Misérables” through the fall as well as summer seasons. In fact, many performances have already sold out.
Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, “Les Misérables” is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. It focuses on the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean as he searches for meaning, love, and redemption in nineteenth century France. The musical includes some of theatre’s most memorable songs: “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own,” “Bring Him Home,” and “Do You Hear the People Sing,” among many others.
The Utah Shakespeare Festival—Utah’s only Tony Award-winning theatre—has worked to bring this production to Southern Utah for nearly ten years.
“I am thrilled we are finally able to produce “Les Misérables” on the Randall L. Jones stage,” said R. Scott Phillips, the Festival’s executive director. “It is the one show that our guests have requested over and over for many years.”
The summer season’s remaining line-up is no less impressive:
IN THE ADAMS SHAKESPEAREAN THEATRE
“The Merry Wives of Windsor” by William Shakespeare features that loveable rogue, Falstaff, in a battle of wits with two of Windsor’s most clever women.
“Titus Andronicus” has been produced at the Festival only one other time. This vicious tale of revenge is one of Shakespeare’s earliest tragedies and was one of his most popular plays during his lifetime.
“Mary Stuart” by Friedrich Schiller is a political intrigue telling the dynamic story of Mary Queen of Scots and her conflicts with Elizabeth I, Shakespeare’s queen. Written in 1800, it is compelling and highly charged Elizabethan drama.
IN THE RANDALL L. JONES THEATRE (in addition to “Les Misérables”)
“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a classic and potent stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s immensely popular and important novel. This much-read story is extremely relevant today as its beloved characters—Scout, Jem, Dill, Atticus, and others—come alive on the Festival stage.
“Scapin” is a modern adaptation of Moliére’s hilarious comedy. It is irreverent, pun-filled, thoroughly modern, and filled from top to bottom with comic madness.
FALL 2012 PRODUCTIONS (in addition to “Les Misérables”)
“Hamlet,” perhaps the greatest play in the English language, comes to the indoor Randall Theatre this year for a new look at William Shakespeare’s vision of murder, betrayal, family, love, and loss.
“Stones in His Pocket, “an audience favorite at the Festival, will return with David Ivers and Brian Vaughn once again playing a host of characters in this tragic, comic, and ultimately surprising tale of two Everymen.
Tickets are now on sale for the 2012 season at www.bard.org and 1-800-PLAYTIX (800-752-9849). The season runs from June 21 to October 20.
After a successful trial run last year, the Festival will continue its Festival Family Days and Student Access cards. Both programs encourage and invite a younger demographic to attend the Festival and are great benefits to the campus and local communities.
“To sustain the growth and stability of the Festival, we need to constantly find ways to reach out and connect to a younger audience,” said R. Scott Phillips, Festival executive director. We started programming a family friendly matinee in the Auditorium Theatre because we want parents to enjoy the Festival with their kids and expose them to Shakespeare at a young age,” said Phillips.
This year’s family friendly matinee is The Merry Wives of Windsor. Tickets are $15 for select performances: July 11, 18, 26, 31, August 9, 15, 22, and 29. Tickets must be purchased by June 15. Use the discount code FAMILY when purchasing tickets online at bard.org.
Also, Student Access cards are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Utah Shakespeare Festival Ticket Office. These cards are $35 and allow one student unlimited access to Festival productions from August 15 through October of this year. Students must present their student ID and another form of ID to purchase the Student Access Card at the Festival Ticket Office. To redeem the card for tickets, students must show their card and a matching student ID on the day of the show. Tickets are non-transferable.