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'Shakespeare is for everybody,' actor says of Cedar City festival

By Carole Mikita | Posted - Jun 27th, 2013 @ 7:21pm


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CEDAR CITY — While Utahns are planning their summer vacations, the Utah Shakespearean Festival organizers hope to be on the list of travel destinations.

The Utah Shakespearean Festival is celebrating its 52nd year of musicals and Shakespeare productions in Cedar City. In 2012, the festival drew crowds with its blockbuster productions of "Les Miserables." This year, the festival producers say that there is a performance for every member of the family.

"Shakespeare is for everybody," said actor Melissa Perevra. "He didn't just write for nobility. He wrote for the groundlings. Even though you may not understand the first time he says it, you may (understand) the second time and the third one, for sure."

Many schools across the U.S. teach Shakespeare in their classrooms, and festival directors said that seeing a Shakespeare performance brings the stories to life.

"If you are one of those people who can just take it all in, it's all here for you," said "Anything Goes" director Brad Carroll. "If you are someone who only loves musicals, we do a spectacular musical here every summer."

The festival also provides free literary seminars and discussions the morning after productions where you audiences can give feedback to the director and actors. Backstage tours are also offered of the sets.

For families traveling from out of town, Cedar City has welcomed a variety of new motels and restaurants.

"There's great shopping here," said Adrienne Funderberg, a visitor from Indiana attending the festival. "There's plenty of things to do when you're not watching the show. Just the atmosphere is awesome, totally unlike everything I've been to where I live."

State-licensed day care is also provided for parents attending shows. Managers said that children can build their own castles at the day care and act in their own mini productions.

"Storytelling is at the heart of that, both for the family and just for an individual," said c-artistic director for the Utah Shakespeare Festival David Ivers. "(The festival) is refreshing and nourishing in a way that no other experience is."

"12 Angry Men," "Peter and the StarCatcher" and the broadway musical, "Anything Goes" are just a few of the productions premiering at this summer's Shakespearean Festival.

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