Utah Shakespeare Festival Opens 60th Season With Diverse Productions, Casting

Aug 13, 2021, 7:29 PM

CEDAR CITY, Utah — The Utah Shakespeare Festival has opened its 60th season with a statement about diversity in both choice of productions and casting.

For decades, the festival has brought the works of “Shakespeares of other ages” to its stages.

This season, Terence McNally’s award-winning production “Ragtime” brings to the forefront the challenges many face in the diversity of the American experience.

Ezekiel Andrew plays the role of Colehouse Walker, Jr. He has performed in this show six times throughout the country and loves its message.

“This show has those themes in it that will cause people to stop and be like, ‘OK, there is hope, there is a way out of this,’ and I am happy to be a part of that story,” he said.

Andrew believes this show has the power to change the conversation in America.

“Even if it’s so much as a handshake or a ‘hello’ to someone that doesn’t look like you, or a nod or a smile to someone who may not worship the same God as you,” he said. “I think it awakes the humanity in everyone, if they allow themselves to be open to that.”

The stage is set with a sewing machine and lots of fabric, and it’s after hours when two women have this exchange.

“It’s for Carina May’s wedding night.”

“Don’t tell me you’ve been in here all evening?”

“Intimate Apparel” is set in an early 1900s shop in Manhattan, where a young, African American seamstress works her way out of poverty.

Tasia Jones is the director.

“I’m hoping with this production that people find their own connections — see themselves, see their ancestors in this story and think about those who came before us,” she said.

She watches the action on stage next to the lighting designer.

“Can we go back to that last cue, Donna?”

And then joins her cast on stage for one-on-one direction.

This production, she said, shines a light on divisions of race, gender and class, but opens the door to possibilities.

“Coming out of a period of tragedy and darkness and pain and suffering, there is hope,” she said.

The company believes this season includes productions that will appeal to and touch all audiences.

Some plays are not appropriate for preteens.

The Utah Shakespeare Festival season continues through mid-October.

For details on the productions and more, visit Bard.org.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Catherine Martin, Austin Butler, Olivia DeJonge, Baz Luhrmann and Tom Hanks attends the Australian ...
JAKE COYLE, AP Film Writer

‘Elvis,’ ‘Top Gun’ tie for box-office crown with $30.5M each

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic “Elvis” shook up theaters with an estimated $30.5 million in weekend ticket sales, but — in a box-office rarity — “Elvis” tied “Top Gun: Maverick,” which also reported $30.5 million, for No. 1 in theaters.
1 day ago
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 26: Bleu speak onstage during the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theat...
JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr. AP Entertainment Writer

Stars use BET Awards stage to criticize Roe v. Wade ruling

Big stars used the BET Awards stage to strongly criticize the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strip away women’s constitutional protection for abortion.
2 days ago
In 1991, when actor Mila Kunis moved to the United States, her family left their home in what was t...
Gabriel Kinder, CNN

Mila Kunis responds to the war in Ukraine by raising millions of dollars to aid those who are suffering

In early March, Mila Kunis and her husband, Ashton Kutcher, launched Stand With Ukraine, with the goal of raising $30 million. To date, the campaign has raised more than $36 million, and more than 75,000 people have donated.
4 days ago
Khaby Lame has unseated Charli D'Amelio to become the most popular person on TikTok. He has some 14...
Faith Karimi, CNN

This wordless comedian is now the most-followed person on TikTok

Comedian Khaby Lame has become the king of TikTok — all without uttering a word.
5 days ago
Composer John Williams attends the 40 Years of Star Wars panel during the 2017 Star Wars Celebratio...
JAKE COYLE, AP Film Writer

John Williams, 90, steps away from film, but not music

After more than six decades of making bicycles soar, sending swimmers panicking and other spellbinding close encounters, John Williams is putting the final notes on what may be his last film score.
5 days ago
Michael J. Fox will be honored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for his contribu...
CNN wire

Michael J. Fox to be awarded honorary Oscar

Michael J. Fox will be honored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for his contributions to film and his efforts to help cure Parkinson's disease.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Utah Shakespeare Festival Opens 60th Season With Diverse Productions, Casting