Carole Mikita reporting Actors, directors and technicians from around the country have descended upon Southern Utah. They have started rehearsals; sets are being built; and the wardrobes are getting arranged--for the Utah Shakespearean Festival.
Every new group goes through orientation - even Shakespearean actors. First the line up to sign in, then smile for the camera, and very soon, they will meet the vocal coach.
Dudley Knight, festival vocal director: "Vocal director involves making sure everybody can be heard, everyone can be understood... That they're making sense of what they're saying..."
For a time, they become the property of the costume department. Out comes the tape measure for every limb and the head.
Some festival veterans are returning; John Tillotson was last in Utah 15 years ago.
John Tillotson, USF actor: "Doing that play, changed my life and coming back here, I’m hoping that I might be able to repeat that experience..."
Others are here for the first time.
Michael Sharon, USF actor: "I've never been to Utah before, this is my first time in the State and my first time in Cedar City and at the festival. I have a number of friends who have worked here before... People rave about it."
There is some homegrown talent who perform here.
Vanessa Ballam Brenchley, USF actor: "Being from Utah and having the opportunity to work at the Utah Shakespearean festival is quite a wonderful experience because it's something that I’ve always wanted to do...so, it's nice to be invited back again..."
Just their arrival creates excitement in Cedar City and hope for a successful 44th year.
Fred C. Adams, founder & exec. prod. Utah Shakespearean Festival: "I just think this is gonna be a season of surprises and a season of legends..."
But first, they'll be called on to stretch themselves in so many ways.
The Utah Shakespearean Festival will open six plays in six days, beginning June 27th.