Newly launched Kayenta Company presents 3 productions for summer

Composite image. Background photo shows the Center for the Arts at Kayenta in Ivins, Utah, date not specified. Foreground image features promotional posters for Kayenta Company summer series | Photos courtesy of the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, St. George News

IVINS — Theater veterans, acting buffs and self-admitted snobs Richard Hill, Jan Broberg and Chris Whiteside have some exciting news to share.

The Center for the Arts at Kayenta building, Ivins Utah, date not specified | Image courtesy of the CFAK, St. George News

According to a press release from the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, the trio have partnered to form Kayenta Company and said they are excited to present three amazing shows at the center this summer.

The newly launched company’s purpose is to enhance an already vibrant Southern Utah arts scene by putting Broadway-caliber theater at the beautiful, new Center for the Arts at Kayenta.

Broberg is the center’s executive director; Hill teaches theater at Hurricane High School and co-helms Hill Trotter Productions; and Whiteside, the center’s manager, recently produced and starred in “Hank Williams: Lost Highway.”  

‘The Taming of the Shrew’

“Audiences will delight” in the first of three shows, a retelling of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” the press release said.

In this version of the hysterical comedy beginning July 11, four breathless actors play all 28 parts. 

Poster for Kayenta Company’s presentation of “The Taming of the Shrew” at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, St. George News

Hill, who directs and acts in it along with three others, said the play will appeal to “Shakespeare lovers, people who like romance, people who like comedy, young people who are a bit scared of Shakespeare but curious to know why he’s the bomb – these are the people who will definitely love this wild show.”

Hill was inspired to do the play after watching a similar feat by a troupe from the Royal Shakespeare Company perform “Hamlet” a few years ago. He was struck by how skillfully the actors took on different characters and voices and changed in and out of costumes – all at the speed of a Shakespearean comedy.

“It’s fascinating to watch four actors perform 28 roles, wearing and changing in and out of Elizabethan costume – all on stage,”  he said of “Taming of the Shrew” in the press release. “It’s delightful, funny … romantic.”

Hill said he is pleased to have three terrific actors working with him: Brandon Miller, Joseph Carlisle and Christa Gross. 

‘Shakespeare’s Roses’

Poster for Kayenta Company’s presentation of “Shakespeare’s Roses” at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, St. George News

Written by Dan Decker, this one-man play starring Hill is an exploration into the human side of Shakespeare that few knew about, like his secret love life and the dreaded disease he contracted in his 20s that ultimately killed him.

“It’s about beating formidable odds,” Hill said. “It’s about his ambition to become a poet and how hard it was for him to overcome his reputation as a country yokel.”

The play examines the roots of Shakespeare’s humor, bitterness, helplessness and hopeless romanticism, the same emotions that fed his brilliant writing.

Chris Whiteside, who’s seen Hill perform, said he is eager to see the play.

“Richard has a fascinating style and I can’t wait to watch him portray one of history’s most fascinating people,” he said.

Hill said, “Shakespeare buffs, history buffs, and anyone who loves romance and comedy will love this show … and anyone 12 and older if none of those descriptions apply to you.” 

Barefoot in the Park’

Poster for Kayenta Company’s presentation of “Barefoot in the Park” at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, St. George News

Neil Simon fans, families with teens, boomers who love reminiscing on the good old days and pretty much anyone over the age of 14 who “loves love” will love this production of “Barefoot in the Park.”

According to Broberg, “It’s a play that stands the test of time; it has universal appeal because it’s a funny, moving story that tells why love is the power we want to rule and rock the world!”

Directed by Clarence Gilyard, Emmy-nominated star of “Walker: Texas Ranger,” the play tells the story of Paul, a conservative young lawyer who marries the vivacious Corie. Their passionate relationship descends into comical discord in a five-story New York City walk-up.

Get your tickets online or by calling 435-674-2787.

 Event details

“The Taming of the Shrew”

  • When: July 11, 19, 7:30 p.m. | July 13, 20, 2 p.m. matinee.
  • Where: The Center for the Arts at Kayenta, 881 Coyote Gulch Court, Ivins.

Shakespeare’s Roses”

  • When: July 12, 18, 20, 7:30 p.m. | July 14, 6 p.m.
  • Where: The Center for the Arts at Kayenta, 881 Coyote Gulch Court, Ivins.

“Barefoot in the Park”

  • When: July 31–Aug. 2, 7:30 p.m. | Aug. 3, 2 p.m matinee | Aug. 4, 6 p.m.
  • Where: The Center for the Arts at Kayenta, 881 Coyote Gulch Court, Ivins.

Cost: $25 each, $60 for all three, $10 for students and children with valid ID.

• S P O N S O R E D  C O N T E N T•

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