Scott Phillips to Direct Utah Shakespearean Festival’s Future

Published: October 17, 2007 | Read Time: 3 minutes

Southern Utah University is pleased to announce the Utah Shakespearean Festival’s own Scott Phillips as the Festival’s new executive director.

Phillips has served as interim director at the Festival since December of 2005, and will now step up as the official replacement to the Festival’s founder Fred C. Adams, who retired in 2005 after leading the Utah Shakespearean Festival for 44 years.

Phillips’ new role as executive director will begin immediately.

According to SUU President Michael Benson, “Scott has committed his life to the Festival. His knowledge and history with the organization is unrivaled, and that’s one of the many reasons he’s the right choice for this position.”

SUU Vice President and Chief of Staff Gregory Stauffer, echoes that confidence in Phillips’ potential to “advance new initiatives while also maintaining an eye on the Festival’s rich Tony Award-winning traditions.”

When asked of his thoughts on his appointment, Phillips responds, “I am extremely honored to lead such an incredible organization. I look forward to working with the campus, community, state and region as we all work to ensure the Utah Shakespearean Festival is a sustaining cultural destination for years to come.”

Stauffer remarks, “I can’t imagine a better candidate for this position than someone who has been involved in the Festival’s leadership for decades, and just as importantly, is an ardent supporter of SUU and Cedar City initiatives across the board. The Festival’s future and its educational, cultural and economic impact are in good hands with Scott Phillips at the helm.”

Phillips’ previous experience with the Shakespearean Festival included working as the managing director for 15 years and serving as the Festival’s marketing director for 13 years prior to that.

Phillips is counting on this past experience to effectively work with all of the Festival’s stakeholders. When asked of his initial plans, Phillips responds, “My aim is to respect the founder’s past work while also setting forth a new direction and objectives for the Festival to reach.”

According to Dean of SUU’s College of Performing & Visual Arts (CPVA) Bill Byrnes, “The Utah Shakespearean Festival has extraordinary potential in its educational performance programs that the University hopes to enhance and grow. Scott’s appointment as the new director helps firm up the partnership between CPVA’s many arts programs and the Festival to provide artistic and technical support as well as research and development opportunities that will benefit students and help ensure the Festival meets the demands of the 21st century.”

The Festival’s executive director is responsible for the organization’s leadership, long-range planning and artistic vision. Working in cooperation with the Festival’s Board of Governors, SUU administration and the SUU Board of Trustees, Phillips will be responsible for significantly expanding the Festival’s fund raising initiatives; organizing and facilitating plans for each performance season; and serving as an ambassador for the Festival amongst its patrons, artists, the press and the general public.

The selection of Scott Phillips concludes a two-year discussion involving the University, the Utah Shakespearean Festival and their boards concerning the future direction and leadership of the Festival.

In addition to his dedicated service with the Festival, Phillips has also worked in teaching and leadership capacities with arts organizations nationwide. He has served as president for several esteemed theatre associations and has worked as a board member for many more. He has also worked as a consultant for the National Endowment for the Arts, and has directed plays in theatre companies across the country.

Scott Phillips’ passion for the arts and his work promoting the theatre arts across the nation has been recognized time and again, including the Utah Theatre Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

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