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Students headed for Shakespeare Festival

Public is invited to free talent showcase July 23 through 27

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Young people from as far away as Texas will spout the poetry of the Bard as part of the Utah Shakespearean Festival's annual Shakespeare Showcase July 23-27 in Cedar City. The public is invited to attend the free performances that will take place at noon each day in the Adams Shakespearean Theatre.

Performing groups include:

— Salt Lake Academy for the Performing Arts, appearing for the third year. They will perform scenes from "Romeo and Juliet" on Monday.

— Bloomington Elementary, St. George, presenting scenes from "The Tempest" on July 24.

— Cedar City's Cross Hollows Intermediate School and the Kanosh Children's Theatre will perform on Wednesday, July 25. The Cedar City youths will perform scenes from "Macbeth," while those from Kanosh — returning for a third season — will deliver scenes from "The Tempest" and "The Two Gentlemen of Verona."

— The "Texas Tony Tour All Stars," a group of students from throughout Texas, learned of the showcase last summer and worked during the year to raise money to make the trip to southern Utah's Tony Award-winning festival. They will also perform in Texas and New York City as part of their tour. On Friday, July 27, the group will perform a musical representation of various Shakespearean characters called "Brush Up Your Shakespeare."

"For many students, this will be their first experience with Shakespeare," said Michael Don Bahr, festival education director. "It's a joy to watch these students perform."

While at the festival, the participants will take a backstage tour and will meet some of the actors from this year's productions.

Other educational programs offered by the festival include the annual Utah Shakespearean Festival/Southern Utah University Shakespeare Competition for high school students and the festival's touring production that brings Shakespeare into schools across the West.

For further information regarding the showcase or to have your class or group participate in the future, contact Bahr at 435-586-7880.

For tickets or information about the 2001 festival, continuing through Oct. 20, call 800-PLAYTIX or visitwww.bard.org.