Gig&Tell: Utah Shakespeare Festival

  • Artistic Fulfillment Through the Roof    
    09/20/2015  8:22pm

    I worked at the Utah Shakespeare Festival this past summer, and my experience was nothing short of extraordinary.

    The rehearsal process is run with meticulous organization. There is a scheduler who handles the rehearsals for all six shows and three Greenshows for the entire acting company. The rehearsal process is about six-and-a-half weeks, which seems like forever, but it goes by very quick, and that is to accommodate a specific number of rehearsal hours for all six shows. All actors (Equity and non-eq) are in either two or three shows, and all understudy, even the Broadway veterans.

    Rehearsal is run with the artistic quality being forefront. I felt so spoiled because every time an actor said, "Can I do this?" the answer was almost always "Let's try it!" That's at least for the two shows I was in.

    The shows are stunning. I felt very proud of the work that I was showing. Cast, crew, STAGE MANAGEMENT (my god), orchestra, everyone was absolutely incredible.

    The hangout vibe is pretty cool. We threw a rager every few weeks at the non-Equity housing.

    There are opportunities to make more money: backstage tours, education, and the New American Playwrights Project.

    You simply must work here.

    A couple things: you may be overwhelmed if this is your first major LORT experience. There is quite a lot going on, and quite a tight schedule. Everyone is super welcome. But the nature of Broadway-level repertory theatre can be daunting. Also, Cedar City may be one of the most boring places in the country... If you don't have a car, be prepared to beg for grocery trips. They really gotta fix that. There should be a company car, or company shuttle for grocery trips at the very least.

    Otherwise... you HAVE to work here if you get the offer. Your life and career will change.

  • Amazing place to work, adequate pay    
    10/23/2012  4:44pm

    I've worked there the past two summers, and have loved every second of it. Did Music Man, and Richard the III my first year, and Les Miserables my second year. Really well don't work, professionals!!! The pay is poor for non eq actors. $300 a week usually, plus housing, and travel based off where you are coming from. Long contracts. 4 months, and 6 months depending on the shows you are involved in. Amazing Reach program to get work outside out Utah Shakes, amazing Cabarets once a week at a coffee shop in town. Not much to do in the town itself, but Vegas is near by so you can get some excitement on the weekends.

    I did their four month educational tour and had a fabulous experience. The pay was decent, we had a great tour manager who found us wonderful housing on the road, and we had two well kept vans and one truck that we travelled in.

    We performed one to two times a day, usually in the morning and the afternoon. Each day we were divided into groups and in those groups we taught workshops and took down/set up the set. You do have to get up early most mornings, but that didn't bother me.

    I would highly recommend it.

    11/17/2014  4:09pm