2014 Utah Shakespeare Festival offers a 'smorgasbord'

Published: Saturday, June 21 2014 3:40 p.m. MDT

The Adams Memorial Shakespearean Theatre, located on the campus of Southern Utah University, was dedicated in 1977. Many of the Utah Shakespeare Festival's Shakespeare plays are performed on its stage.

Provided by Utah Shakespeare Festival

Three sets of twins in two different plays, a rebellious son, unrequited love, mixed-up fairy tales, mystery and more will abound at the 2014 Utah Shakespeare Festival.

With four plays from William Shakespeare’s canon, three additional well-known plays and a musical, this year’s docket continues the festival’s tradition of offering “something for everybody,” said Fred C. Adams, Utah Shakespeare Festival founder and executive producer emeritus.

“That’s really what we offer here is a smorgasbord, if you will, a complete spread from a play as deep and intense as ‘Measure for Measure’ all the way up to something as bright and light as ‘Into the Woods,’ ” he said.

As a result of the “smorgasbord” offered, the eight plays explore many different themes and situations, some of which may be more or less appropriate for children and teens. The festival’s staff encourages parents to investigate the content of the plays before purchasing tickets.

“Some of the plays have different kinds of themes to them, but we try to make sure at the end of the day that the message and the theme and moral story of the play is an uplifting one,” said R. Scott Phillips, executive director of the festival.

Here is a list of the plays that will be offered with brief synopses, locations, times, ticket prices and content advisories compiled from information on the festival’s website.

Tickets and additional information may be obtained online at bard.org or by phone at 800-752-9849. Published ticket prices may change as ticket availability decreases.

“Henry IV Part One”

The Utah Shakespeare Festival continues its initiative to perform all of Shakespeare’s history plays in order with “Henry IV Part One.”

The play follows King Henry IV as he seeks to stop the civil unrest that plagues his country, which he helped jumpstart in “Richard II.” Meanwhile, his son, Prince Hal, doesn’t appear to be taking his role as heir to the throne very seriously as he parties with his friends in the taverns. Additional rebellion arises and Prince Hal is given the choice to turn his life around and join his father on the battlefield to preserve the kingdom.

Runs: June 23-Aug. 30

Show times: Days vary Monday through Saturday, with all performances at 8 p.m.

• Location: Adams Shakespearean Theatre

Price: $31-$69 Monday through Wednesday and $36-$73 Thursday through Saturday

Content advisory: The show is suitable for most audiences but does “contain the Bard’s usual innuendo and double entendres and some violence,” according to the festival's website.

“Twelfth Night”

Viola, a shipwreck survivor, washes up on the shore of Illyria and assumes her twin brother was drowned in the wreck. She seeks work in the home of a woman named Olivia who is also mourning the loss of her brother. When Viola’s request is denied, she disguises herself as a man so she can work for Orsino, the Duke of Illyria.

Viola falls in love with Orsino who is in love with Oliva who falls in love with Viola, whom she thinks is a man. Throw in a group of fun-loving friends, a jealous servant and a twin brother who didn’t actually drown, and the result is comedy full of disguise, confusion and, ultimately, love.

“Twelfth Night” is the only play from Shakespeare’s canon that will continue to play at the festival through the fall season.

Runs: June 23-Oct. 17

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