Utah Shakespeare Festival celebrates its golden anniversary

Deseret News, 6 May 2011

Article Summary:

first season of the Utah Shakespeare Festival:

  • while at the Fluffy Bundle Laundromat in 1961, Fred and Barbara Adams came up with the idea of performing Shakespeare on the lawn with the audience in folding chairs
  • Fred Adams was a theater professor at Southern Utah State College
  • the Utah Shakespeare Festival presented its first season in 1962
  • a budget of under $1,000
  • attracted 3,276 visitors
  • 25 students and friends volunteered to build scenery and sew costumes

Adams Shakespearean Theatre:

  • by 1977, the festival needed a theater
  • cost: $18,000
  • two donors helped build the theater
  • in 1981, the BBC and Royal Shakespeare Company traveled to Cedar City to film in the closest replica to Shakespeare's original theater in the world at the time

1989 theater:

  • in 1989 the Utah Shakespeare Festival opened an indoor theater to be a showcase for other great playwrights of the world


  • in 2000, the Utah Shakespearean Festival received a Tony Award for America's Outstanding Regional Theatre