A year after celebrating the opening of its new home at the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts, the Utah Shakespeare Festival has experienced several changes in its leadership.
After 10 years as executive director, R. Scott Phillips retired in March, 40 years to the day of when he was first hired. And David Ivers, who had been with the company as an actor and director since 1992 and worked as co-artistic director with Brian Vaughn since 2011, announced his departure in May from the festival to head the Arizona Theatre Company.
In the wake of these announcements, Vaughn was named USF’s sole artistic director, and theater veteran Frank Mack was selected at the festival’s new executive director.
Despite the staffing changes, some things at the festival remain the same, particularly in the organization’s goal to provide professional and engaging productions.
“We are a classical-based theater with the plays of William Shakespeare as our centerpiece,” Vaughn said in a news release from the festival. “These offerings are balanced with other contemporary plays, musicals and new work that provide a wide assortment of offerings for our audience. The artistic philosophy is producing and creating engaging, enlightening work that challenges, inspires and entertains.”
Here’s a look at the nine productions, plus the Greenshow, that are set to hit the USF stages starting June 29.
‘Shakespeare in Love’
Vaughn is directing the regional premiere of “Shakespeare in Love,” based on the 1998 film that won the Academy Award for best picture and best original screenplay — as well as Oscars for its two lead actresses, Gwyneth Paltrow and Judi Dench.
This is a speculative story about a young “Will”…