Rehearsals underway for the 52nd annual Utah Shakespeare Festival

Rehearsals underway for the 52nd annual Utah Shakespeare Festival

CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - People from all over the country will be flocking to southern Utah in a couple of weeks for the kick-off to the 52nd annual Utah Shakespeare Festival.

CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - People from all over the country will be flocking to southern Utah in a couple of weeks for the kick-off to the 52nd annual Utah Shakespeare Festival.

One of the plays this year, Peter and the Starcatcher, is expected to be a fan favorite.

“It tells the story of what happened before Peter became Peter Pan,” said R. Scott Phillips, Executive Director. “It is still playing in New York City, we have received the only regional rights to produce it at this time so you can't see it anywhere else in the world.”

It's one of six shows featured in the annual festival that's been entertaining theater lovers since Fred C. Adams and his wife came up with the idea more than five decades ago.

“We were looking for something that would help the economy in Cedar City with the mines closing and interstate to worry about where the interstate was going to go, I-15,” said Adams. “The city fathers thought it was the dumbest thing they had ever heard in their lives.”

But over the years the festival has only grown. Actors come from Broadway, Chicago and Los Angeles to bring the works of Shakespeare to life. Organizers say his themes never go out of style even 465 years after they were written.

“The idea of jealousy, the idea of envy, the idea of love and not being loved all of those things they haven't changed,” said Phillips. “He had different language, miraculous characters, but he wrote about the human condition.”

It's the timelessness of the plays and passion of those behind the scenes that in 2000 nabbed the festival a Tony Award. Who knows what the next 50 years will bring.

The festival officially opens July 1st and goes through October.

For more information on plays and tickets, click here.


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