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Utah Shakespeare Festival is expected to sell 100,000 tickets

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CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – It’s that time of year again: The Utah Shakespeare Festival is back in Cedar City, but the Brian Head fire has caused some concern for those preparing.

“When people go: ‘Oh there’s a festival there, it must be cute.  It is, but It’s also one of the premier regional theaters in the country. It’s one of the biggest Shakespeare Festivals in the nation,” said actor Quinn Mattfeld.

Mattfeld is an actor who’s performed all over the country,  most recently living in New York City. But now he’s back in Cedar City with his wife Betsy Mugavero, as they perform for their 6th season.

Every time I come back here I grow as an artist. I work with amazing people, I get to play challenging and rewarding  roles,” said Mugavero.

“I’m playing William Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love, and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls,” said Mattfeld.

The Tony and Emmy Award winning festival is in its 56th season, and actors from all over the country have been preparing for months. But with the Brian Head fire burning nearby during rehearsals,  concerns for the festival grew.

“We’ve been watching the fire anxiously, just like our friends and neighbors. We’ve had a few smokey days down here during rehearsal, We were lucky enough that last night the performance wasn’t impacted at all,” said Kami Paul, Marketing Director for the festival.

The smoke has now settled in the southern Utah town, and officials say they have high hopes for tickets to sell across the country.

The firefighters are still working hard, and progress has been made on containment.  The fire is now moving in the other direction, so we’re ready to welcome our guests here for the season, cedar city is ready,” said Paul.

The Shakespeare Festival runs through October. For more info, you can head to BARD.org.

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