Cedar City, UT - In 1962, two great Utah establishments began their now-illustrious odysseys: BYU Broadcasting was granted a license to operate on television, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival presented its first annual season in Cedar City. This year, the two join forces for a one-time special live broadcast of a Festival performance.
At 8 p.m. on August 29, Festival company members and BYUtv crew members will combine their talents to bring Shakespeare’s most popular comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream to life on television screens around the nation. Executive Director R. Scott Phillips said, “ this is the first time in Festival history to have a performance broadcast live; it will be a unique once in a life-time experience. People won’t want to miss being in the audience that night.”
A story of young lovers, bumbling stage performers, and fairy royalty, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a complex commentary on Renaissance society that still has echoes in the contemporary world. The play will be performed at the Festival’s signature venue, the Adams Shakespearean Theatre, which remains today one of the most authentic replicas of Shakespeare’s original Globe Theatre.
The 2011 Festival season has special significance because not only does it mark the 50th anniversary, but Festival Founder Fred C. Adams is the director this particular production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. To celebrate this and other remarkable facets of this renowned Festival, guest producer Jessica Mockett will present a pre-show, behind-the-scenes journey on behalf of BYUtv. On this half-hour journey, viewers will learn about what it takes to plan and execute every detail of a production, including set, costumes, rehearsals, and more. BYUtv will also feature Mockett’s short intermission piece about the history and future prospects of the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
BYUtv director/producer Steve Lowe will lead the production team, complete with nine cameras, more than two dozen microphones, and a portable satellite uplink. In the case of inclement weather, the play will be rescheduled for September 1.
Tickets are still available for August 29 and can be purchased online at www.bard.org or by calling 1-800-PLAYTIX. People are encouraged to watch the live performance at home if they are unable to attend. Check local cable and satellite listings for the local BYUtv channel.
For over 10 years, BYUtv has been bringing quality programming to millions of viewers across the country and around the globe. BYUtv is a worldwide cable/satellite television channel featuring engaging, educational, and uplifting content that encourages viewers to “see the good in the world.” The station currently reaches 60 million households and is growing. BYUtv’s vast library of on-demand videos is now available for free with the new BYUtv app for iPad and iPhone. For more information, visit byutv.org.
Tickets for the Festival’s 50th anniversary season, which will run through October 22, 2011, are on sale. The eight-play season includes Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, and The Winter’s Tale. The season also includes Meredith Willson’s great American musical The Music Man, Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, Michael Frayn’s Noises Off!, and the mystery thriller Dial M for Murder by Frederick Knott. For more information and tickets visit www.bard.org or call 1-800-PLAYTIX.