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Engelstad Shows Close in Just Four Weeks

Purchase Tickets to Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream Today

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Max Gallagher as Puck (left then clockwise), Corey Jones as Oberon, and Cassandra Bissell as Titania in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Karl Hugh

The Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre at the Utah Shakespeare Festival is the perfect place to become immersed in the world of Shakespeare. The open air theater, a modern-day replica of the Globe Theatre from Shakespeare’s day, allows audience members to experience theater under the stars.

Romeo and Juliet Director Betsy Mugavero noted that the theater was the ideal space to direct.

“The Engelstad is perfect for Shakespeare, because Shakespeare is big and bold and requires space,” Mugavero said. “And every story is worth telling if it has integrity and a place for us all to grow, audience members and performers alike.”

Romeo and Juliet 

A timeless tale of “star-cross’d lovers,” Romeo and Juliet shows how two young people rise above their families’ mutual hatred and find love. The price of love is tragic, and its lesson is what makes this one of Shakespeare’s best-known, most-loved, and more-enduring tragedies.

Returning Festival actor Cassandra Bissell plays Lady Capulet, with Ty Fanning––and Aamar Malik-Culbreth starting August 22––as Romeo, with Naiya Vanessa McCalla as Juliet. The beloved Betsy Mugavero, who was Juliet in the Festival’s 2017 production of Romeo and Juliet, returned to make her directorial debut at the Festival. 


Marco Antonio Vega (left) as Paris, Alex Keiper as Nurse, Max Gallagher as Peter, Naiya Vanessa McCalla as Juliet, and Evelyn Carol Case as Escalus, with others, in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s production of Romeo and Juliet.

Karl Hugh

To maximize the enjoyment of the performance, Mugavero urges audience members to come into the play with an open mind and to view the play as if they’re seeing it for the first time. 

It’s a story we’re all very familiar with, but because we have different actors and made different artistic choices, it’s fresh. It’s exciting and alive, and I want people to see it through a new lens,” Mugavero said. 

“I want them to care deeply for the characters . . . and see if they relate to them. Would they have made the same choice if they were in the shoes of the Friar or the Nurse?”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream 

Directed by Jessica Kubzansky, this luxurious tale of fairies, dreams, and moonlight is Shakespeare’s most popular comedy. 

Corey Jones has returned to the Festival as Theseus/Oberon, with Topher Embrey as Nick Bottom and Alex Keiper as Petra Quince.

Kubzansky encourages the audience to watch the journey the characters in the play go through. In Athens, everyone is walking straight lines, and it is all very black and white– until they go into the woods.

“The characters go on this magical adventure in the forest where there are different rules–if any. They [discover freedom] in the woods, and the highs and lows of the emotion, because the course of true love never did run smooth,” Kubzansky said.

When they return to Athens, everything is no longer black and white, but colorful. 

This comedy will have you entranced in its mystical world and result in you asking yourself; “Am I dreaming, too?”


Marco Antonio Vega (left) as Tom Snout, Topher Embrey as Nick Bottom, Braedon Young as Robin Starveling, and Alex Keiper as Petra Quince in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s production of A Midsummer Nights Dream.

Karl Hugh


Get Tickets Today

Time is ticking, and with just under one month left of these two performances in the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, purchase your tickets today! Romeo and Juliet closes September 8, while A Midsummer Night’s Dream closes September 9.

In addition to Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the 2023 lineup also includes: The Play That Goes Wrong, Jane Austen’s Emma The Musical, A Raisin in the Sun, Coriolanus, and Timon of Athens. 

Use code DesNews23 for $10 off regular price tickets which are subject to availability. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit bard.org or call 800-PLAYTIX.