A can’t-miss 2014 season, which runs from June 23 to October 18, is coming together at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Paving the way to artistic success is a talented lineup of highly experienced directors who are hard at work on this year’s plays.
Laura Gordon is returning to the Festival to direct this summer’s production of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. Gordon directed last season’s Love’s Labour’s Lost and The Winter’s Tale in 2011. Measure for Measure is a seldom-produced but daring dark comedy, where Shakespeare tests integrity and decency to the limit. Gordon commented about the show saying, “what I find interesting about the play are the psychological journeys of the characters and the high stake dilemmas that many of the characters are facing. I want to find a way to bring the 17th century to the Utah audience in 2014, rather than having the audience travel back in time to meet the play.”
Artistic Director Brian Vaughn will direct the third play in the Festival’s continuing History Cycle, Henry IV Part One. Last year Vaughn had the honor of directing the regional premiere of Peter and the Starcatcher at the Festival, which received rave reviews. He was also a guest director for the Orlando Shakespeare Festival in 2013. This will be Vaughn’s first time directing in the Adams Shakespearean Theatre, but after acting on the Adams’ stage for over twenty years, Vaughn is very familiar with the nuances of that space. Henry IV Part One is one of Vaughn’s favorite works by Shakespeare, and he’s very excited to explore this historical family drama.
After directing last summer’s musical comedy, Anything Goes, Brad Carroll is back at the Festival with this year’s The Comedy of Errors. Carroll has been involved with numerous productions at the Festival including, Les Misérables, Johnny Guitar, HMS Pinafore, Spitfire Grill. Also, in collaboration with Peter Sham, Carroll created and composed Lend me a Tenor: The Musical and Christmas Carol: On the Air. It's double the laughter and twice the fun in Shakespeare's hysterical Comedy of Errors. There’s not one, but two sets of twins and there will certainly be shenanigans swirling around them.
The world premiere of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility will be directed by co-adaptor, Joseph Hanreddy. Hanreddy along with J.R. Sullivan were commissioned over two years ago to write this script for the Festival and after many staged readings and rewrites, it’s ready to make its debut on the Randall L. Jones stage. Hanreddy and Sullivan also successfully adapted Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which was seen at the Festival in 2010. Sense and Sensibility is full of repressed passion and soaring emotions. It tells the touching and comic story of the Dashwood sisters who are both looking for true love, but in very different ways.
Jeremy Mann returns to the Randall L. Jones to direct Stephen Sondheim’s fractured fairytale, Into the Woods. Mann has directed and conducted several classic musicals at the Festival, including The Music Man, Man of La Mancha, and The Secret Garden. Mann thinks “Into the Woods has the potential to resonate powerfully for audiences, both young and old, because ultimately it’s about the challenge of being a human, and how to face individual and communal problems on this planet.”
Artistic Director David Ivers will direct Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, Twelfth Night, which plays in the Randall L. Jones Theatre from June until October. Last season at the Festival, Ivers directed a brilliant production of Twelve Angry Men. For two years in a row, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has invited Ivers to be a guest director at their prestigious company. Ivers is very excited “that Twelfth Night will have such a long run in the Randall, allowing Shakespeare to be exposed to our loyal guests and new students across many regions.” It’s all hilarious confusion and rollicking laughs in this, one of Shakespeare's most sparkling gems.
New to the Festival will be Christopher Liam Moore who is directing Boeing Boeing. Moore has worked at many other regional theatres including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Rep, South Coast Rep, Guthrie Theatre, and Arena Stage. Boeing Boeing features a playboy bachelor who is living the life, juggling the arrivals and departures of three gorgeous flight attendants. But his supersonic lifestyle goes into a tailspin when flight schedules change and all three women arrive at his apartment on the same evening. It is a bumpy, but hilarious ride in this classic farce, full of flirtatious hijinks, slamming doors, and utter confusion.
Co-adaptor of Sense and Sensibility, J.R. Sullivan will direct playwright Steven Dietz’s Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure. Sullivan has directed many productions at the Festival some of which include Stones in His Pockets, Glass Menagerie, Henry V, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, and The Importance of Being Earnest. Murder is elementary in this a mystery adventure about the world’s most popular detective. "The game is afoot, Watson—and it is a dangerous one!"
Last, but certainly not least, this year’s Greenshow will be co-directed with Festival Founder Fred Adams and Associate Education Director Josh Stavros. Adams and Stavros have worked on many Festival projects. Most recently, in 2011, Adams directed and Stavros was the assistant director for A Midsummer’s Night Dream, which was broadcast live on BYUtv and won a Regional Emmy for Best Special Event Coverage Live.Adams and Stavros are excited to direct The Greenshow because it’s a perfect way to spend forty minutes before that evening’s show. The free pre-show entertainment features spirited song and dance. Add Elizabethan sweets, and you'll have a fun-filled frolic to prepare you for the main stage performance that follows.
Tickets are on sale for the Festival’s 53rd season, which will run from June 23 to October 18, 2014. The eight-play season includes Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, The Comedy of Errors, Henry IV Part One, and Twelfth Night. The season will also include the world premiere adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility written by Joseph Hanreddy and J. R. Sullivan, Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, Steven Dietz’s adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, and Boeing-Boeing by Marc Camoletti.
For more information and tickets visit www.bard.org or call 1-800-PLAYTIX.