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KUER’s Southeast Utah Bureau is based in San Juan County. The Southwest Utah Bureau is based in the St. George area. Both initiatives focus on local government, public lands and the environment, indigenous issues, faith and spirituality and other topics of relevance to Utahns.

Utah Shakespeare Festival Unveils New Partnership With London's Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art

An outdoor theater is perched on a pavilion underneath a blue, partly cloudy sky.
Courtesy of Utah Shakespeare Festival
The Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre at the Utah Shakespeare Festival was completed in 2016.

CEDAR CITY — The Utah Shakespeare Festival will be getting a bit more British over the next few years. 

The Southern Utah festival announced on Thursday a new five-year partnership with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, or RADA.

The academy is one of London’s most prestigious training grounds for actors, with a star-studded alumni roster that includes Alan Rickman, Anthony Hopkins and Phoebe Waller-Bridge of the award-winning shows “Killing Eve” and “Fleabag.” 

Under the agreement, the festival has committed to hiring at least one RADA student or graduate into its acting company each year. Every festival through 2024 will also include a week-long run of the academy’s international touring production, marking the first time the show will be performed outside of Europe.

“Southern Utah is an unlikely place for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to be engaged in a partnership. But then again, it isn't, because that’s where one of the best Shakespeare festivals in the world exists,” said Frank Mack, the festival’s executive producer. 

Mack added that the collaboration is a win-win for both organizations because it provides job opportunities for recent graduates in a setting where audiences will be appreciative of and excited by their work.

“I’m delighted about RADA’s collaboration with the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the opportunity it presents for our students to enrich their learning,” RADA Director Edward Kemp said in a statement. “We look forward to exploring new ideas and common goals and are very grateful to be able to share our work with the audiences, artists and communities in Utah.”

The partnership will run through Dec. 31, 2024, and is made possible by an anonymous donor, the two organizations said in a press release. 

The festival will also send its staff to London to participate in educational and artistic exchanges.

This year’s festival will run from late June through Labor Day.

David Fuchs is a Report for America corps member who reports from KUER's Southwest Bureau in St. George. Follow David on Twitter @davidmfuchs

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