Popular Actors Returning for 2018 Shakespeare Season

CEDAR CITY, UT — The Utah Shakespeare Festival recently announced more casting, including a number of actors who are returning to the Festival for the 2018 season. Of the nine who were announced, some were here last year, others have not worked here for a few years, but all will be fondly remembered by Festival audiences. All are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers. Please check for the latest casting news at http://www.bard.org.

“We have a remarkable array of actors in our company this year,” said Artistic Director Brian Vaughn. “Many returning faces coupled with incredible newcomers bring with them a vast collection of experience and talent that promises to make a lasting impact on our audiences. I’m so excited to share their work across the season.”

John Ahlin will be remembered for his roles as Sir John Falstaff in Henry IV Part Two and Vincentio in The Taming of the Shrew in 2015. This season he will again play the loveable knight Sir John Falstaff, but in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Sir John Fastolfe, the Mayor of London, and Reigner in Henry VI Part One, as well as Pap Finn and Sheriff Bell in Big River.

Last appearing at the Festival in 2000, Russ Benton will be familiar to Festival audiences for such roles as Reignier and Lord Hastings in The War of the Roses and Old Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice (2000), John in The Lion in Winter and Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999), Pharaoh and Gad in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1998), and Doctor Pinch in The Comedy of Errors (1996). This year he will be playing Owen Musser in The Foreigner and Lafe, Counselor Robinson, and Silas Phelps in Big River.

Jeb Burris is returning to the Festival to appear in the Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre as Cassio in Othelloand in the Randall L. Jones Theatre as Dorante in The Liar. Last season he appeared as Orlando in As You Like It,Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, and Ned Alleyn in Shakespeare in Love. Other Festival roles in the past have included Jim O’Connor in The Glass Menagerie, Catesby in Richard III, Chiron in Titus Andronicus, Dumaine in Love’s Labour’s Lost, as well as a host of others.

“I am thrilled to be back for my fifth season in Cedar City,” he said. “This will be my first performance in the Anes Theatre, and I couldn’t be more excited. To tell this powerful story of Othello in such a beautiful space is going to be a real gift for both audience and cast and crew.”

Festival audiences will remember Michael Doherty for his hilarious turns as Lord Fancourt Babberley in Charley’s Aunt, Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew, and Speed in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. This year he will be appearing as Charlie in the comedy The Foreigner and as Tom Sawyer in the classic musical Big River. Multi-talented, he has won numerous awards including the 2013 Independent TV Festival Award for Best Writing.

A. Bryan Humphrey is a long-time favorite at the Festival, having appeared here in various seasons since 1995. This summer he will be playing Sir Hugh Evans in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry Beauford in Henry VI Part One, and various roles (including the sonorous Judge Thatcher) in Big River. In past seasons he has played such roles as Juror #4 in Twelve Angry Men, Gonzalo in The Tempest, Marcus Andronicus in Titus Andronicus, Judge Taylor in To Kill a Mockingbird, Master Frank Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Harry Binion in Room Service,and Froggy LeSueur in The Foreigner.

Dan Kremer has been a popular Festival actor off and on since 2006 when he appeared here as the Ghost of Hamlet’s Father and the Clown in Hamlet, Enobarus in Antony and Cleopatra, and Doctor Caius in The Merry Wives of Windsor. More recently, he appeared in such towering roles as Titus in Titus Andronicus, Lear in King Lear, and Gaunt in Richard II, as well as playing Vandergelder in The Matchmaker, Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie,and many others. This season he will be playing the Duke of Gloucester in Henry VI Part One and Shallow in The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Chris Mixon is returning this year to play Froggy LeSueur in The Foreigner (he played Charlie Baker in the Festival’s first production of this popular play in 2005) and The King/Ensemble in Big River. Other past roles at the Festival have included Charlie Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Feste in Twelfth Night, Alaric in Peg o’ My Heart, Lancelot Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice, Trinculo in The Tempest, Yvan in ‘Art’, and many others.

Jim Poulos appeared at the Festival in 2016 as Chico in The Cocoanuts and Robertson Aye in Mary Poppins. This season at the Festival he will perform the roles of Henry VI and Gunner’s Boy in Henry VI Part One, Host of the Garter in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and The Duke and Preacher in Big River. He has also appeared on Broadway as Mark Cohen in Rent and Huck Finn in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; as Seymour in the national tour of Little Shop of Horrors; off-Broadway as Feste in Illyria and Young Man in My Life with Albertine;and in theatres across the country.

And, last but certainly not least, Brian Vaughn will be taking off his artistic director hat and appearing this summer in two powerful roles: Iago in Othello and The Poet in An Iliad. He has played over fifty roles in twenty-four seasons at the Festival, including Hamlet, Henry V, Prince Hal, Hotspur, Leontes, Benedick, Petruchio, Cyrano de Bergerac, Harold Hill in The Music Man, Javert in Les Misérables, and Charlie in Stones in His Pockets.

He has also directed such plays as Shakespeare in Love, Henry V, Henry IV Part Two, Henry IV Part One, and Peter and the Starcatcher. He has directed and acted around the country and has been artistic director at the Festival since 2011.

Vaughn also noted that casting is nearly complete and other announcements will be coming quickly, including many wonderful actors who have not appeared at the Festival in the past.

Tickets are now on sale for the Festival’s fifty-seventh season, which will run from June 28 to October 13. For more information and tickets visit www.bard.org or call 1-800-PLAYTIX.

Story by:
Utah Shakespeare Festival Media Relations