FESTIVAL

Freedom in “The Bubble” – Utah Shakespeare Festival

Written by Daria Pillar Redus

Editor’s note: This is the fourth and final in a series of blog posts by actor Daria Pillar Radas. He appeared at the festival in 2018 Big river And The Greenshow And playing throughout this year Ragtime And Kate In The Pirates of Penzance. He is the recipient of the Festival’s 2021 Michael and John Finlayson Awards.

In March 2020, I was on my first national tour The SpongeBob Musical Experienced so much artistic perfection while traveling to countless theaters in the country. It was a dream come true. Since then, the epidemic has canceled almost every show across the country. Since that chapter closed, I’ve enjoyed my time with my family and watched countless movies, including snacks at an even more unreasonable amount. At first it felt like a little vacation, but then the itching to work slowly returned. Being in town again made that itch even itch, and I was desperate to find something that could make my heart glad. Okay, and completely out of the blue, I got a phone call with a Cedar City Area Code that will shape the next nine months of my life.

This random phone call came with an offer Julius Caesar As Cassius on the upcoming coveted-conscious “tour” of the Utah Shakespeare Festival. I couldn’t believe it. Do they remember me? How can this brilliant director who has never met me trust me with this huge role? The festival has never seen me do any Shakespeare. All of these head scratchers, combined with the fact that the mountains of Utah where I have always been my absolute bliss, make this opportunity look like a godsend. He knew that I needed to not only return to the place of my choice on earth, but to work with the material that would warm the fire inside me. And that’s exactly what happened.

Rehearse and perform Julius Caesar I was even more fulfilled than I prayed it would be. The whole month-long process was completed in a covid-safe “bubble”. It started with a zoom rehearsal, and we finally moved to the Anes Theater, but were still isolated from everyone else inside and outside the festival. We wore masks all the time. Isolation and masks can lead you to believe that we are trapped. But, even in this new and strange situation, the freedom and liberation we felt in working with an amazingly talented team was stronger than any obstacle in the way of making the process feel “normal”. I was stuck every second of that experience, but it was soon over. Three weeks of rehearsals and two filmed runs of the show, no audience – it was a tease. I wanted more, I wished more. Well then. . . Fast forward to the festival’s 2021 summer fast. We are here.

I am very grateful. This festival gave me my first professional job outside of college. This festival gave me my first job after the epidemic. This festival has given me the role of a dream that I still can’t believe I’m getting a chance to play. I just hope I gave up It is As much as I have been given.

Read blog post # 1 | Read blog post # 2 | Read blog post # 3





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