After canceling this summer’s season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Utah Shakespeare Festival is holding out hope that next summer will be spectacular.
The 2021 season “will be like no other in our history,” Frank Mack, the festival’s executive producer, said in a statement. The season will mark 60 years since the festival’s founding in Cedar City — and the season will be dedicated to founder Fred C. Adams, who died Feb. 6 at the age of 89.
Tickets for the 2021 season — ranging from $23 to $85 — are now on sale. Tickets can be bought in person at the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts in Cedar City; on the phone at 1-800-PLAYTIX, or online at bard.org.
Next summer’s season will feature eight plays, five of them holdovers from this year’s canceled season. One of those is the opening-night production, set for June 21 in the outdoor Engelstad Theatre on the Southern Utah University campus: Shakespeare’s less-performed sea adventure “Pericles.” It will run through Sept. 9.
That opening weekend will feature two more Shakespeare plays in the Engelstad, both planned for this year: “Richard III” (June 22-Sept. 10), which rounds out the festival’s history cycle and completes the saga of the War of the Roses told in “Henry V” and the three parts of “Henry VI”; and the twin-centered farce “The Comedy of Errors” (June 23-Sept. 11).
The other holdovers slated for 2021 are Gilbert and Sullivan’s swashbuckling operetta “The Pirates of Penzance,” in the indoor Randall L. Jones Theatre, June 25-Oct. 9; and Shakespeare’s fantasy-laden romance “Cymbeline” in the Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre, July 16-Oct. 9.
Three more titles round out the 2021 season:
• “Ragtime,” the musical — with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and a book by Terrence McNally (who died in March of complications from COVID-19) — based on E.L. Doctorow’s novel about characters pursuing the American dream at the dawn of the 20th century, in the Jones Theatre, June 26-Sept. 11.
• John Goodrum’s “The Comedy of Terrors,” a spooky variation on “The Comedy of Errors,” with two actors playing all five characters, in the Jones Theatre, July 29-Oct. 9.
• “Intimate Apparel,” the first play by Lynn Nottage (a Pulitzer winner for “Ruined” in 2009 and “Sweat” in 2017), about a Black seamstress who makes lingerie for her clients, saving her money to open a beauty parlor — while also waiting for the man of her dreams. It plays in the Ages Studio Theatre, July 17-Oct. 9.
The festival will also bring back its regular activities, including the free outdoor Greenshow and the scene-changing demonstration called “Repertory Magic,” as well as backstage tours, seminars, orientations and classes.