OGDEN, Utah – The fourth annual Celebrate Shakespeare! festival will bring star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet to Ogden for two performances on March 28. The performances, as well as a series of films and lectures, are free to the public.
The Utah Shakespearean Festival Touring Group presents a 75-minute performance of Romeo and Juliet, 7:30 p.m. in the Ogden High School auditorium. The performance will be followed by a discussion with seven actors who play 17 roles in the abridged production. The Cedar City-based group of professional actors will also give a performance for high school students that morning, followed by student workshops. Musica Antiqua will present period music before the evening performance.
This year’s festival will include feature films and lectures. On March 26, Robert Mikkelsen, professor emeritus in the Weber State University Department of English, will speak on “The Dynamics of Humor in Twelfth Night,” considered William Shakespeare’s most proficient comedy. On March 31, Donna Cheney, WSU professor of English, will discuss the political and social background of Romeo and Juliet. Both lectures will be at 1 p.m. in WSU’s Stewart Library Special Collections.
Four feature film adaptations of the Bard’s plays will be presented during the festival. The films include: Twelfth Night (1996), March 24; Much Ado About Nothing (1993), March 25; Hamlet (1990), March 27; and Romeo and Juliet (1968), April 1. The movies will be screened twice each day, at 1 p.m. in Stewart Library Special Collections and at 7 p.m. at the Weber County Main Library auditorium.
The touring group draws actors from across the United States, including several from Utah: Gabe Combs from St. George, as Friar John and Capulet; Shanna Jones from Salt Lake City, as Prince and Nurse; Katie Pace from Brigham City, as Lady Capulet, Peter, Watchman and Balthasar; and Jay Webb from Cedar City, as Tybalt. Webb also manages the tour, which performs throughout the West.
The performances and other events are sponsored by the Friends of the Stewart Library and the Stewart Education Foundation in partnership with the Ogden School Foundation, the Samuel C. and Myra Powell Foundation, Ogden High School and the WSU English department.
For WSU parking information, call (801) 626-6975. For information about the
high school performances, call Janis Vause, executive director of the Ogden School Foundation, at (801) 625-8721. For information about the WSU events, call Linda Sillitoe, public outreach coordinator for the Stewart Library, at (801) 626-7351.
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