St. George is a city with a vibrant performing arts scene that includes events and shows to celebrate classic literature and theater. One of the highlights of the summer and fall seasons is the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Every year from June through October, talented guild actors get together to put on fantastic plays that feature the Bard’s classic works. All of the fun takes place at Southern Utah University in nearby Cedar City.
The Shakespearean Festival held its first season in 1962, and today it’s one of the longest running and most well-attended theater productions in the country. People come from far away to enjoy the performances, and those who are near St. George or the Cedar City area are in a special position to immerse themselves in the festival experience. In addition to the performances, the Festival hosts educational programs and classes. There will also be opportunities to attend seminars and backstage tours that will reveal the behind the scenes work that goes into making each season a success.
There are two areas where the shows are held: the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, which pays homage to William Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, and the Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre. The Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City has won awards for the quality of its productions, including the Regional Theater Tony Award in 2000. It also won a regional Emmy Award for its first live broadcast during the Festival’s 50th anniversary production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
This year the following plays will be apart of the festival: Much Ado about Nothing, which will show from June 27th to September 8; Henry V, which will be on stage from June 28 through September 10; and Julius Caesar, which runs from July 29 to October 22. It’s not just the excellent actors that make the Festival such a wonderful experience, but the setting itself which truly brings these classic works to life. Tickets can be bought online and start at $24 — shows tend to sell out quickly. If you’ll be in the area and you enjoy the works of Shakespeare, don’t miss the chance to see the performances at the 2016 Shakespearean Festival.