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South Dakota Shakespeare Festival Announces Auditions

South Dakota Shakespeare Festival actors in front of the Vermillion Theater marquee that reads Twelfth Night. The South Dakota Shakespeare Festival seeks 10 non-equity performers for its tenth season of Shakespeare in Vermillion's Prentis Park. Auditions will be held on Friday, Jan. 29 from 5-10 p.m. in the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The South Dakota Shakespeare Festival (SDSF) seeks non-equity performers for its tenth season of free, professional Shakespeare in Vermillion’s Prentis Park and educational and outreach programming. The SDSF will present "Twelfth Night, or What You Will" June 17-20, 2021 with rehearsals beginning on May 24.

Chaya Gordon-Bland, executive artistic director, looks forward to returning to live performances. "'Twelfth Night' is a delightful and uplifting comedy, chock full of music, playful antics, delicious language and nuanced explorations of human relationships."

The play will be directed by Oliver Mayes, who is in the midst of finishing his M.F.A. in directing at the University of South Dakota.

In light of the COVID-19 environment, social distancing, de-densification and other responsible mitigation protocols will be implemented at every phase of the audition, rehearsal, production and performance processes, until it is safe to do otherwise.

The festival seeks an ensemble of 10 professional actors/singers/musicians/teaching artists, primarily drawn from Vermillion, South Dakota, and surrounding areas, for a four-week contract in Vermillion. The SDSF is committed to inclusive and gender-flexible casting.

Auditions will be held on Friday Jan. 29 from 5-10 p.m. in the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts Arena Theatre on the USD campus in Vermillion. To reserve an audition slot or read more about audition requirements and protocols, visit

The mission of the SDSF is to engage, connect and inspire communities by exploring our shared human experiences through inclusive, professional Shakespeare productions and theatre arts education. Our values encompass access, inclusion, integrity and artistic excellence.

Since 2012, the SDSF has been producing free, world-class Shakespeare in the Park in Vermillion, South Dakota, accompanied by a wide array of education and engagement programming, through partnerships with local and regional schools and organizations. The SDSF values diversity and inclusion in its work, and it seeks to create theatre and build audiences that reflect and nourish the diversity of its communities. Since its inception, and in keeping with our mission, all festival events are free and open to the public.

More information can be found at


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News