Shakespeare’s New Home

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The Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, on the campus of Southern Utah University, will kick off its 54th season of “entertaining, enriching and educating audiences” in the all-new $36 million Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 7, 2016.

The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts (to be known simply as The Beverley) will incorporate visual arts, live theatre, and dynamic arts education to dramatically enrich the cultural life of Cedar City, the region and beyond. The Beverly, located at the corner of University Street and 300 West in Cedar City, will be a year-round destination for thousands of patrons of the arts, including those attending any or all of the eight summer shows.

The Beverley will include USF’s new outdoor theatre, The Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, which will feel very similar to the now retired Adams Theatre but with updated amenities and modern accessibilities, including an elevator and increased ADA seating. 

The Festival’s other new Eileen & Allen Anes Studio Theatre is a flexible, black box space, with seating capacity to about 200 people. The Festival’s indoor Randall L. Jones Theatre is still immediately next to the new Southern Utah Museum of Art. 

A large covered plaza welcomes patrons and includes a state-of-the art museum which features 5,300 square feet of exhibition space composed of four galleries. The Beverley offers many large public gathering spaces, which will be used for receptions and special events. The Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre has a covered terrace on the lower level of the theatre and a rooftop garden on the back deck of the second level. Landscaping for the Center includes a sculpture grove, tree-lined walkway, a Greenshow stage and enhanced seminar grove.

Named for the long-time arts and education champion, the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts is made possible of the Sorenson Legacy Foundation which had given millions of dollars to this project and other programs at Southern Utah University. In addition to the Sorensons’ contributions, the over $36 million center is being made possible thanks to the generosity of hundreds of benefactors. A gift of $5 million for the New Shakespeare Theatre and Festival outreach programs was received from the Ralph and Betty Engelstad Famiy Foundation of Las Vegas, Nev. The George S. and Dolores Dore’ Eccles Foundation also committed $4 million toward the project. Additionally, the State of Utah, Iron Country and Cedar City have all energetically supported this effort to create this newest center for the arts in Southern Utah. 

In 1962 the Festival attracted 3,276 visitors. Today the audience is over 100,000 and expected to increase during the 2016 season with the impressive new facilities and the nationally acclaimed professional productions.  Enthusiastic patrons come from around the globe to attend the Festival’s professional performances, including drama, comedy, Shakespeare, contemporary theatre and more. It is interactive free green shows each evening, backstage tours, give-and-take seminars in a beautiful outdoor grove with experts, artists and actors … and its all within an easy drive to the beauty of three national parks and breath taking scenery. No wonder it is called a festival!

The Utah Shakespeare Festival is a definite “must see” on your list of “things to see and do” in southern Utah, so now’s the time to reserve a beautiful, comfortable and affordable vacation home-away-from-home.  Register online for a week or a month at St. George Resort Rentals at www.stgeorgeresortrentals.com  or  www.laspalmasresortcondos.com for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.   We look forward to seeing you.

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