The Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) recently announced a five-year artistic exchange program, bringing RADA graduates and student productions to the annual Utah Shakespeare Festival, as well as training workshops for students, faculty and staff in both Utah and London. The five-year collaboration began Jan. 1, 2020 and will continue through Dec. 31, 2024, based on financial support from an anonymous donor.
The program will include a commitment from the Festival to hire at least one RADA student or graduate in its acting company each year. RADA will bring its second-year students’ touring production of a Shakespeare play to the Festival’s 200-seat Anes Theatre for one week each July.
Additionally, RADA faculty and staff, and Festival staff will conduct a variety of educational and artistic exchanges. Festival audiences will see RADA students and graduates performing in Festival shows each season, and RADA students performing their international touring production, which had previously only been seen in Europe but will now be presented in the United States for the first time.
Frank Mack, executive producer of the Festival, said, “This is an extraordinary opportunity for two organizations to combine their strengths in different aspects of classical theatre performance. RADA is among the finest actor training academies in the world, and the Festival is the perfect place for their students and graduates to practice what they learned for our wonderful audiences.”
Edward Kemp, director of RADA, said, “I’m delighted about RADA’s collaboration with the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the opportunity it presents for our students to enrich their learning. We look forward to exploring new ideas and common goals and are very grateful to be able to share our work with the audiences, artists and communities in Utah.”
Located in London, UK, RADA has offered world-leading training in the dramatic arts for more than a century. RADA was established in 1904 by renowned actor-manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree in rooms above His Majesty’s Theatre in the West End. RADA is an academy founded by the industry for the industry. It has maintained strong links with the performing arts industries ever since, and has built an outstanding reputation as a world-renowned center of excellence. RADA’s distinguished alumni include notable actors such as Charles Laughton, Vivien Leigh, Alan Rickman, Anthony Hopkins, David Harewood, Cynthia Erivo and Phoebe Waller-Bridge—to name just a few. The current president of RADA is Sir Kenneth Branagh, also a RADA alumni.
The Festival is Utah’s only Tony and Emmy award-winning professional theatre. Located in Cedar City, and part of Southern Utah University, the Festival attracts more than 100,000 guests annually to its three theatres, the 900-seat outdoor Elizabethan-styled Engelstad Theatre, the 700-seat Randall Jones Theatre, and the 200-seat Anes Studio Theatre. The Festival is a destination theatre that presents life-affirming classical and contemporary plays and musicals, in rotating repertory, and interactive experiences. All of our work is intended to entertain, educate, and enrich regional and national audiences.
Brian Vaughn, artistic director of the Festival, said, “This incredible partnership is a prime example of the Festival’s continued mission to provide world class productions of Shakespeare and the classics. RADA is the premiere actor training program in the world and to have the opportunity for their actors to collaborate with the incredible talent on display at the Festival is a gift beyond measure.”