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Utah Shakespearean Festival opens fall season

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CEDAR CITY -- Following a very successful summer season, cast and crew of the Utah Shakespearean Festival hope to impress audiences with their fall productions.

There are a variety of shows from which to choose. During the fall season, festival organizers say they hope to take audiences on great adventures, make them ponder life through the eyes of a girl caught in a desperate time, and keep them rolling in the aisles.

"The Adventures of Pericles"
It's a tale of high adventure, in which the title character undertakes a perilous odyssey, searching for thrills, riches, and family. But, dangers and uncertainty face him on every seashore as he sails from country to country, and from intrigue to intrigue.

William Shakespeare's Pericles wins the bout and the crowd cheers, "Knights prepare for mirth, for mirth becomes a feast!"

From triumphs, to romance, to near disasters, the Odyssey-like drama "The Adventures of Pericles" takes the hero on a series of travels through the ancient world, ultimately to discover himself.

"We've met the good people and the bad people and the evil people and the pirates. They're all in this play, and Shakespeare brings it to a wonderful conclusion," says R. Scott Phillips, executive director of the Utah Shakespearean Festival.

The story of a young girl in hiding, of growing up, of evil and hope also comes to the festival in "The Diary of Anne Frank". The actress playing Anne Frank says this new adaptation is truer to her diary.

"She talks about her love of writing and what it really meant to her in the show," actress Mariko Nakasone says. "So I think there are so many ways this diary literally brings, this version of the diary brings it to life much more fully."

"Greater Tuna"
Welcome to Tuna, Texas, home of "Greater Tuna" - where the population is small, but the personalities are big. Join Thurston and Arles on OKKK radio as they bring you the daily happenings, complete with UFOs, Smut Snatchers, and Puppy Pushers, and where laughter fills every 30-second sound bite.

In "Greater Tuna", Thurston and Arles and their neighbors report the weather, news and gossip on OKKK radio. The season's comedy is a slice of rural America in which two actors portray a cast of offbeat residents in the town of Greater Tuna.

Brian Vaughn, one of the most popular actors with festival audiences for years and the festival's new co-associate producers, is directing for the first time on the main stage. He describes his characters as outlandish and ridiculous.

"Some of them are bigoted and extreme on their political views and so forth. But at the end of the day, the heart of the play is about people just getting by," Vaughn says.

Vaughn says this fall season brings something for everyone, which is what the festival is all about.

The Utah Shakespearean Festival fall plays run through Oct. 23 in Cedar City. Festival managers are offering free tickets to military families for Sept. 30 performances.


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