Utah Shakespeare Festival 2020 Preview

Pirates of Penzance
June 26-Sept. 5
By W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan
This comedic operetta follows a young pirate apprentice, Frederic, who has been mistakenly indentured. He must choose between joining the pirate trade and staying with Mabel, his true love. This lively play is full of pirates, policemen and one serious problem Frederic must conquer. 


One Man, Two Guvnors
June 25-Oct. 10
By Richard Bean
An English adaptation of “Servant of Two Masters,” this is a chaotic comedy. Named “the funniest show in the western world” by the Daily Mail, this play twists a complicated plot for Francis, who finds himself under two different employers. There’s a catch; one of his guvnors is “Rachel disguised as her brother who was killed by her boyfriend Stanley” (the other guvnor), according to bard.org. A chaotic comedy indeed. 

Into the Breeches
July 28-Oct. 9
By George Brant
In this production, an all-female cast performs Shakespeare’s Henry IV and Henry V while their husbands are off at war. What could be better? It’s practically Rosie the Riveter on stage. Anne Hathaway once starred in this very play, and it’s the perfect look into World War II and rallying wives.

June 23-Sept. 3
By William Shakespeare
This classic play follows Pericles, the Prince of Tyre, who sets sail after being pursued by an evil king. Fearing for his life, Pericles endures voyages, shipwrecks, unfamiliar lands and being torn from the princess he falls in love with. Like most stories we love, this play ends in a beloved fairy-tale way. What more could we ask for?

The Comedy of Errors
June 22-Sept. 4
By William Shakespeare
A confusing and hilarious comedy, this Shakespearean play includes two sets of twins that seem to be known everywhere they go. Known as one of Shakespeare’s most loved comedies, it follows a plot of inaccurate identities and separated families. Although logic is completely absent in this play, laughter steps in to fill that void. 

Richard III
June 24-Sept. 5
By William Shakespeare
Ah, Richard III. A true bad boy. This man has done everything to work his way up to the throne, and now he must survive and endure his evil choices. This Shakespeare tragedy is intense, but many will find themselves inexplicably drawn to the villain as he faces the mistakes he’s made. 

Desperate Measures
June 2-Oct. 10
By Peter Kellog
Bard.org explains this musical as “foot-stompin” and “knee-slapping.” This loud and rambunctious play takes place in the Wild West. Protagonist Johnny, a horse-riding cowboy, faces the noose. A saloon girl, a nun, a priest and sheriff must come to his rescue. That’s right, desperate times call for — well, desperate measures. 

June 1-Oct. 10
By William Shakespeare
“Happily Ever After” seems quite impossible throughout Shakespeare’s ingenious play. Innogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline, has suffered her father banishing her husband and is accused of being unfaithful, all while the Roman army goes to war. Can Innogen clear her name and be with her husband again? Will Rome ever make peace or will war continue? 

Shakespeare’s Worst
Aug. 5- Oct. 9
By Mike Reiss
Actors acting as actors in a play within a play. Watch as this group of actors perform “The Two Gentleman of Verona,” a play critics say is one of Shakespeare’s worst. Breaking the fourth wall, one of the actors gets tired of the show. He makes the audience laugh as he voices his opinion unabashedly. For those looking for an easy-to-watch and hysterical performance, this is the perfect play to attend, giving you a taste of theater without the cost. 


The Greenshow
June 24-Sept. 5
By Britannia Howe
This music-filled performance is the only free show in the festival.  Filled with dancing, music, and laughter, anyone and everyone is welcome. These lively 40-minute shows are held on the Ashton Family Greenshow Commons and are the perfect way to prepare for the evening showings.


Story by: Elizabeth Armstrong
Photos by: Utah Shakespeare Festival