Utah Shakespearean Festival

Posted - Oct. 20, 2004 at 12:24 p.m.



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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Few words strike more fear and confusion into the hearts of some people than the word "Shakespeare." His use of flowery language and iambic pentameter are prone to intimidate readers. This negative connotation is the one regret of Fred Adams, founder of the Utah Shakespearean Festival. He frequently assures people that seeing a performance makes Shakespeare's works entertaining and easy to understand.

With both parents heavily involved in theater, Fred was raised on Shakespeare. After trying out the New York theater scene, Fred moved to Cedar City in 1959 to begin a foundation of a theater program at the College of Southern Utah. Two years later he founded the Utah Shakespearean Festival.

Since that time, the College of Southern Utah has grown into a University, and the Shakespearean Festival has grown into one of the premier festivals in the world.

The Utah Shakespearean Festival is unique because all its productions are done with historical accuracy. Fred tells me that if William Shakespeare himself were to attend a performance, he would recognize everything from the costumes to the scenic devices. Even the festival's stage is patterned after 16th century stages. It is so authentic, in fact, that the BBC and Royal Shakespeare Company filmed part of its series there.

The festival has been recognized internationally for its spectacular performances. It was awarded the Tony for "Outstanding Regional Theater" in 2000 and was named the 2001 National Governor's Conference "Outstanding Arts Organization in America."

Fred enjoys working with more than 400 theater professionals who come from every state and half a dozen countries to create the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Their hard work and phenomenal talent make Shakespeare understandable and fun for people of all ages. The festival's fall schedule runs until October 30th.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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