June – October Season with plays and activities Monday – Saturday.
The Utah Shakespeare Festival presents life-affirming classic and contemporary plays in repertory, with Shakespeare as our cornerstone. These plays are enhanced by interactive experiences which entertain, enrich, and educate.
The Summer Festival offers free nightly Greenshows featuring music, song, and tales on two outdoor stages; the New American Playwrights Project, showcasing work of new playwrights; free literary seminars, Tuesday–Sunday, discussing the season’s plays; bi-weekly props, actor, and costume seminars; backstage tours; and play orientations before all shows.
The Fall Festival offers free literary seminars, Wednesday–Sunday, discussing the season’s shows; free actor seminars every Wednesday and Friday; free props seminars every Thursday and Saturday; intimate and detailed backstage tours Thursdays and Saturdays; and play orientations before all shows.
The Utah Shakespearean Festival was founded in 1961 and presented its first season in 1962. It was started in response to two influences: summer tourists desiring more evening activities after visiting the area’s six national parks, and a young actor’s desire to produce great theatre. Festival Founder Fred C. Adams, having just come to Cedar City after trying out the New York theatre scene for a few years, was new to the College of Southern Utah (now Southern Utah University) in 1959. However, seeing 150,000 annual summer tourists to the area, he knew he had a great potential audience for a theatre festival. Excited by the idea, he packed up his notes and ideas and visited Ashland, Oregon, the site of the granddaddy of all Shakespeare festivals, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. While there, he closely observed operations and was befriended by Angus Bowmer, the OSF founder, whom Adams interviewed extensively. On the long ride back to Cedar City, the Utah Shakespearean Festival was born.