Blog # 4 – Utah Shakespeare Festival

By Rate Good

Editor’s note: This is the fourth and final installment in a series of blog posts by actor and choreographer Rate Gutter. He has appeared in numerous roles since 2005, including Tom Tucker HMS Pinafor, Inside Tommy Gilas Music Man,Peter inside Peter and Starcatcher, And this year as The Pirate King The Pirates of Penzance And inside Houdini Ragtime. He also choreographed this season The Greenshow And has choreographed the last asons Music Man, Peter and Starcatcher, And Anything goes.

You may have heard the actors say something about the effect of “this is my artistic home”. Of course the Utah Shakespeare Festival is mine, but what does that mean? For me, my artistic DNA was forged right where I came from. Here in Cedar City I learned to navigate the landscape of American theater.

I can look for work in almost every professional theater that comes back to the festival, sometimes in multiple ways and there is nothing to be surprised about. I spent my very constructive years studying theater at the University of Southern Utah and practicing it during the festival summer. When the classroom provided the setting, the real lesson was to stand on the wings.

My first big “role” at the festival was in the role of The Boy who would later be panned in. Peter and Starcatcher, The story of an orphan who discovers his family, his identity and his home through incredible adventure. I was delighted when Brian Vaughn, the artistic director, called me to give him the role. But, as excited as I was, there was no way to understand the experience I had in the store. The show has seemed a bit unfocused in recent episodes, but it has opened countless doors for me – so much so that, after seven seasons at the festival, it will be seven more until I return.

I find it ironic that I returned after my first year Peter and Starcatcher I saw myself playing pirate; And, while performing The Pirates of PenzanceWhen Samuel said, “I always smile to myself

Boy, have I ever.

As soon as The Tu was over, I reflected on how incredible this visit was at home. After this last one year, I couldn’t be more grateful to be back on the festival stage and with so many who have made me happy from the start.


“And so we can move forward. . . Life goes through all the shocks, until we get back home. “
– Peter and Starkather

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