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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Merry Wives of Windsor at the world-famous outdoor Adams Shakespearean Theatre in Cedar City, Tuesday, August 7, 2012.
Find arts around Utah with our summer events bucket list

From Shakespeare to orchestra music, plenty of scenic adventures await Utah arts lovers.

First Published May 30 2014 03:13 pm • Last Updated Jul 01 2014 02:57 pm

It won’t be just drama as usual around the Cedar City campus of the Utah Shakespeare Festival this summer.

After all, by the time the curtain rises on preview shows the week of June 23, theatergoers will be able to see some dirt piles on the block of the Randall L. Jones Theatre. While that construction backdrop might not be colorful enough to make it on the festival’s main stages, it’s a symbolic move forward for the $35 million Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center.

At a glance

Backstage with ‘Sense and Sensibility’

In partnership with KUED, Utah Shakespeare Festival is bringing a roadshow to Salt Lake City to promote its upcoming world premiere of Jane Austin’s “Sense and Sensibility.” Moderating a Q&A will be Aspen Anderson, a Utah Valley University history instructor who is the Utah regional coordinator for the Jane Austen Society of North America.

When » Monday, June 9, 7 p.m.

Where » Salt Lake City Main Library Auditorium, 400 S. 200 East.

More » Raffle tickets for prizes from KUED, The King’s English Bookshop and USF will be distributed to the first 300 attendees.

Also » KUED will preview upcoming PBS dramas, including a new season of “Shakespeare Uncovered.” Jennifer Adams, author of “Remarkably Jane” and the BabyLit “Sense and Sensibility” board book, will sign books at 6:30 p.m.

Info » 801-585-3523

As an aside, please note this bit of backstage intrigue: Vaughn is playing the Baker in “Into the Woods” opposite his wife, Melinda Pfundstein, who plays the Baker’s Wife. The couple met in USF’s 2001 production of “Pirates of Penzance” and fell in love while playing husband and wife in 2004’s “Henry IV Part 1.”

For Vaughn, having acted in two separate productions of the show, as well as in “Henry V,” helps in his directorial duties. It’s the third show in the festival’s production of the 10 plays in Shakespeare’s history cycle, which began in 2013 with “King John” and “Richard II,” and are continuing to be produced in chronological order.

For the history plays, the festival has hired three actors — Larry Bull, Henry Woronicz and Sam Ashdown — to play ongoing roles. Bull will play Henry IV this season, after portraying the character in “Richard II” last fall. Henry Woronicz will play Falstaff this summer and next in the continuing Henry story, while Ashdown will play Prince Hal this summer, then in “Henry IV, Part 2” and further in “Henry V.”

Making casting commitments so far in advance is unusual for USF, but it should make it easier for theatergoers to follow the characters as the history unfolds across the plays. “It’s a chance to us to invest in the actors and the characters,” Vaughn says.

Also on the schedule at this year’s festival is a rare original work: a world premiere of “Sense and Sensibility.” The show will be directed by Joseph Hanreddy, who was commissioned to adapt the Jane Austen novel with J.R. Sullivan, a former USF associate artistic director. The pair also adapted Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” which the festival produced in 2010.

“Into the Woods,” fracturing familiar fairy tales, is only the second Stephen Sondheim musical to be produced at USF. Also on the docket are Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors,” “Measure for Measure” and “Twelfth Night” (which will continue into October). Marc Camoletti’s “Boeing Boeing,” a farce about a playboy who is dating three flight attendants, and Steven Dietz’s “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure” will play in the fall.

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The complex, aimed to be completed for the 2016 festival season, and will include a new Shakespearean theater, a smaller studio theater and production building, as well as the Southern Utah Museum of Art.

It’s "overwhelmingly poetic" that construction has begun for what has long been festival founder Fred Adams’ vision, says co-artistic director Brian Vaughn. "To know that it’s happening now after so many years of heart and labor and passion — that’s a wonderful thing," Vaughn says between rehearsals for the show he’s acting in, "Into the Woods," and the show he’s directing, "Henry VI Part 1."

As an aside, please note this bit of backstage intrigue: Vaughn is playing the Baker in "Into the Woods" opposite his wife, Melinda Pfundstein, who plays the Baker’s Wife. The couple met in USF’s 2001 production of "Pirates of Penzance" and fell in love while playing husband and wife in 2004’s "Henry IV Part 1."

For Vaughn, having acted in two separate productions of the show, as well as in "Henry V," helps in his directorial duties. It’s the third show in the festival’s production of the 10 plays in Shakespeare’s history cycle, which began in 2013 with "King John" and "Richard II," and are continuing to be produced in chronological order.

For the history plays, the festival has hired three actors — Larry Bull, Henry Woronicz and Sam Ashdown — to play ongoing roles. Bull will play Henry IV this season, after portraying the character in "Richard II" last fall. Henry Woronicz will play Falstaff this summer and next in the continuing Henry story, while Ashdown will play Prince Hal this summer, then in "Henry IV, Part 2" and further in "Henry V."

Making casting commitments so far in advance is unusual for USF, but it should make it easier for theatergoers to follow the characters as the history unfolds across the plays. "It’s a chance to us to invest in the actors and the characters," Vaughn says.

Also on the schedule at this year’s festival is a rare original work: a world premiere of "Sense and Sensibility." The show will be directed by Joseph Hanreddy, who was commissioned to adapt the Jane Austen novel with J.R. Sullivan, a former USF associate artistic director. The pair also adapted Austen’s "Pride and Prejudice," which the festival produced in 2010.

"Into the Woods," fracturing familiar fairy tales, is only the second Stephen Sondheim musical to be produced at USF. Also on the docket are Shakespeare’s "The Comedy of Errors," "Measure for Measure" and "Twelfth Night" (which will continue into October). Marc Camoletti’s "Boeing Boeing," a farce about a playboy who is dating three flight attendants, and Steven Dietz’s "Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure" will play in the fall.


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Also newly reworked this year are the British and Scottish editions of the free nightly Greenshow, which include some of the historical elements drawn from Shakespeare’s era. The show will include signature bits such as Punch and Judy skits, a Maypole and the egg dance, complete with a dozen raw eggs.

For young performers, the Greenshow also provides an opportunity to learn how to interact with audiences and improvise while performing, as well as how to project your voice in an outside venue.

Adams is co-directing this year’s Greenshow, nodding back to the original vision of his late wife, Barbara, who launched the preshow during the inaugural 1962 festival as a way to acclimatize audiences to the language and music of the Elizabethean era.

"We’re speaking a language you have to adjust your ear to," Adams says. Thirty minutes of singing and dancing helps audiences "get out of their world and get them back into the Old World, and the gentler, quieter more robust time of Shakespeare."

USF » In repertory June 23-Oct. 18

Where » 351 W. Center St., Cedar City.

Tickets » Midweek $28-$73; weekend $32-$77; at bard.org or 800-PLAYTIX or 435-586-7878. Buy early: Prices can increase by as much as $10 as shows begin to sell out.

Tip » On Thursday nights starting July 11, the festival’s best talent shows off as part of a weekly after-hours Cabaret show. Proceeds help fund trips by casting directors, agents and artistic directors, in an aim to help USF actors land future jobs. 11 p.m. Thursdays at The Grind Coffee House, 19 N. Main St.; donations at the door.

Once you’ve made plans for your Shakespearean summer diet, you’ll be ready for a feast of music, dance and theater.

Deer Valley Music Festival » The Utah Symphony will welcome a diverse lineup of guests, ranging from Kenny Rogers and the Texas Tenors to Ben Folds and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, to its summer home. There also will be performances of more traditional orchestra repertoire in Park City’s St. Mary’s Church.

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