The Utah Shakespeare Festival attracts Shakespearean actors from across the country. The actors said performing on the southern Utah stage is a step up and a push forward in performance of the popular works.
Now through much of October, Utah Shakespeare Festival actors are performing classics including Shakespeare in Love, As You Like It, and the Broadway hit musical Guys and Dolls .
Kaitlin Margaret Mills is an actor in a melodramatic farce, The Tavern. She also appears in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
“I know the Shakespeare festival's reputation across the country - it’s highly regarded," said Mills. "And a lot of actors really wanna come work here.”
Mills is from Utah, actress Kelly Rogers is not. She has performed on stages in New York and has a degree from Savannah College of Arts and Design in Georgia.
“One of the great things about Shakespeare is that there’s a wide range of people needed in those plays," said Rogers.
In her role as Puck in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rogers finds herself taking on the character of a magical sprite; impish and frolicking.
“I didn’t really do any comedy at all before I came here and comedy fascinates me and terrifies me- it’s really hard," she said. "I’ve gotten a lot of time to train in the field. Like, 'Oh, that didn’t work, they did not laugh at that. It’s not funny. Let me try something else the next night.'”
“Veterans of the theater who have been around and know the tricks of the trade and are professionals," said Rogers. "I learn a lot from them. How they work in the rehearsal room, how they deal with trouble, how they deal with mistakes that happen on stage, how people deal with chaos is always a good lesson.”