Utah Shakespearean Festival
Cedar City's lively Utah Shakespearean Festival (435/586-7880 general info, 435/586-7878 or 800/752-9849 box office, www.bard.org) presents three Shakespearean plays each season, in the Adams Shakespeare Theatre, an open-air theater in the round, designed after the original Globe Theatre of Elizabethan London.
The indoor Randall Jones Theatre presents the "Best of the Rest," often recent Broadway hits. A total of nine plays are staged each season, from late June through mid-October.
Costumed actors stage the popular free Greenshow each evening before the performances (7 p.m. Mon.-Sat.) with a variety of Elizabethan comedy skits, Punch and Judy shows, period dances, music, juggling, and other good-natured 16th-century fun. Backstage tours of the costume shop, makeup room, and stage show you how the festival works.
At literary seminars each morning, actors and Shakespearean scholars discuss the previous night's play. Production seminars, held daily except Sunday, take a close look at acting, costumes, stage props, special effects, and other details of play production.
The Greenshow and seminars are free, but you'll have to pay for most other events. Tickets cost $21-68, and it's wise to purchase them well in advance; however, last-minute theatergoers can usually find tickets to something.
The theaters are on the Southern Utah University campus near the corner of Center Street and 300 West. Rain occasionally dampens the performances (the Elizabethan theater is open to the sky), and plays may move to a conventional theater next door, where the box office is located.
Although the Shakespearean Festival is better known, Cedar City's annual Neil Simon Festival (105 North 100 East, 435/327-8673, www.simonfest.org, $20-25) is also quite popular. It runs from mid-June to mid-August.
Utah athletes compete in the Utah Summer Games (435/865-8421, www.utahsummergames.org) throughout much of June; events, patterned after the Olympic games, begin with a torch relay and include track and field, 10K and marathon runs, cycling, boxing, wrestling, basketball, tennis, soccer, karate, and swimming.
Paiutes have lived here since before pioneer days. Sponsorship by the Mormon community allowed them to remain when the federal government forced most other tribes in the state to move onto reservations. There's a Paiute village in the northeastern part of Cedar City, and the tribe sponsors the Paiute Restoration Gathering and Pow-Wow (440 Paiute Dr., 435/586-1112, second weekend in June), with a parade, dances, traditional games, native food, and a beauty pageant.
Also in late June, visitors can celebrate American roots music at Groovefest (435/867-9800, www.groovefestutah.com).
Everyone dresses up in period clothing in July for the Utah Midsummer Renaissance Faire (www.umrf.net), with 16th-century entertainment, crafts, and food.
© W.C. McRae and Judy Jewell from Moon Utah, 9th Edition