Brian Vaughn To Lead the Cast Of HENRY V At Utah Shakespeare

By: Mar. 16, 2009

Brian Vaughn has been an actor at the Utah Shakespearean Festival for fifteen seasons. He has played such roles as Cyrano de Bergerac and Hamlet. And this year Brian Vaughn returns to the Festival to play one of the Shakespeare’s most powerful kings: the title role in “Henry V.”
He will be joined in the cast of one of Shakespeare’s greatest history plays by such favorite Festival actors as Corliss Preston as the Chorus, David Ivers as Montjoy, Mark Light-Orr as Bishop of Ely and Charles the Sixth, Melinda Parrett as Alice, Ben Cherry as the Dauphin, Phil Hubbard as Exeter, Will Zahrn as Pistol, Emily Trask as Katherine, and Melinda Pfundstein as Hostess Quickly and Queen Isabel.
“We are thrilled to have Brian and these other talented actors returning again this year,” said R. Scott Phillips, Festival executive director. “They are all consummate professionals who bring life and emotion to our stages and who our audiences recognize and appreciate for their great artistry. In addition, they are all great human beings and strong, supportive company members.”
Vaughn has played numerous roles at the Festival over the years, including the title roles in “Hamlet” and “Cyrano de Bergerac,” as well as Victor Fleming in last season’s “Moonlight and Magnolias,” Lance in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” Benedick in “Much Ado about Nothing,” and Charlie in “Stones in His Pockets.”
He attended Southern Utah University and is currently a resident company member at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. He has also worked at Arizona Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, PCPA Theatrefest, Renaissance Theatreworks, and Skylight Opera.
A member of the profession actors union, Actors’ Equity Association, Vaughn will also be appearing this summer in the Festival’s family musical, “The Secret Garden,” as Dr. Neville Craven.
Corliss Preston will be working with Vaughn in creating the atmosphere and emotional bridge between the audience and the players. As the Chorus, she will speak the final words of the play, as well as the opening lines, including some of Shakespeare’s most famous words: “O for a Muse of fire,” followed by an inviation to the audience to use their imaginations to turn this theatre, “this wooden O,” into the court, the tavern, and the battlefields.
This will be Preston’s eighth season acting at the Festival. This season she will be playing the role of the Chorus in “Henry V,” as well as Holly Burrell in ‘Foxfire.” In past seasons she has appeared as Emilia in “Othello,” Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Hermione in “The Winter’s Tale,” Myrtle Brown in “Morning’s at Seven,” and Chelsea in “On Golden Pond,” among others. She is also a member of Actors’ Equity Association.
“I am extremely lucky and ecstatic to be returning to Utah this year to collaborate . . . on two very powerful plays dealing with subjects that have a great deal of relevance in today’s world: war and identity,” said Preston. “I feel passionate about both projects and can’t wait to get started!”
“Henry V” will be directed by J. R. Sullivan, who has also worked at the Festival for several years, both as a director and as one of the Festival’s two associate artistic directors.
Sullivan speaks of the title character of Henry V as “a king and a commoner: he knows the hearts of both roles for he has played them both and become them. He is many men in one extraordinary man: he is a crafty politician, a warrior sometimes clear of mind and sometimes hot in fury, a leader who understands what it is to be led, and a prince of players in his understanding of the human heart.”
Tickets are now on sale for the Festival’s 2009 season at and 800-PLAYTIX (800-752-9849). The summer season runs from June 29 to August 29 and includes Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” “The Comedy of Errors,” and “Henry V,” in addition to Noel Coward’s “Private Lives,” the touching drama “Foxfire,” and the popular musical “The Secret Garden.” The fall season runs from September 18 to October 17 and features “Tuesdays with Morrie,” the ghostly and mysterious “The Woman in Black,” and the hilarious farce, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).”