Shakespeare Festival hires one of SUU's Own as New GM

Published: May 23, 2014 | Read Time: 3 minutes

After an extensive search and interview process, the Utah Shakespeare Festival recently announced the hiring of Zachary Murray as its new general manager.

As General Manager, Murray will serve in a senior leadership role working with R. Scott Phillips, executive director, and David Ivers and Brian Vaughn, artistic directors, to support the goals, vision, and mission of the Festival. This is accomplished by overseeing all of the financial strategies and business operations. Murray will assist in protecting the artistic integrity of the Festival through long-term financial planning and stability.

“We spent a great deal of time and care in our general manager search as this will be a key position to the future of the Festival,” said Phillips. “I think Zachary will be a great addition to our company; he’s uniquely qualified because of his experience working in the financial arena and passion for the arts. Coming from an accounting background with Southern Utah University, in Cedar City, Zachary will be able to assist me in making financially viable choices for the growth and expansion of the Festival for years to come.”

Murray brings a wealth of knowledge and professional experience to the position. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern Utah University, he continued to work in the field obtaining quality accounting practice. He then opened his own business and returned to SUU to obtain a duel master’s degree in business administration and accounting. After a few years away, SUU offered Murray a newly created position in the Student Services Division. He developed the position and became an asset to student services and the financial services areas. He was then presented with the opportunity to work directly for the controller’s office as the plant and auxiliary accountant where he prepared financial reports, helped with budget projections and provided support to multiple departments on campus. His time with SUU has given him a solid foundation in merging business with higher education practices. And now he plans to incorporate his expertise into supporting and enhancing the performing arts.

“I am very excited at this new challenge in my career,” said Murray. “It’s important to work for an organization where you believe in the mission, and I think the Festival brings a lot of educational awareness and artistic value to the community, region and thousands of stakeholders. I’m looking forward to working with a team where together we can analyze and evaluate the information, which will then influence strategic long-range plans and organizational goals of the Festival. Accounting is the art of examining what an organization looks like financially and I can’t wait to provide timely, efficient and useful reports, policies and procedures that will help improve the financial health and longevity of the Festival.”

The Utah Shakespeare Festival is a 53 year-old Tony Award-winning company, which annually employs over 300 individuals. It has a current operating budget of $7 million and is just completing a $35 million capital campaign for the new Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts. The Center will include a new outdoor theatre, 200-seat studio theatre, production facilities, rehearsal hall, educational classrooms, and administrative offices.

Tickets are on sale for the Festival’s 53rd season, which will run from June 23 to October 18, 2014. The eight-play season includes Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, The Comedy of Errors, Henry IV Part One, and Twelfth Night. The season will also include the world premiere adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility written by Joseph Hanreddy and J. R. Sullivan, Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, Steven Dietz’s adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, and Boeing-Boeing by Marc Camoletti. For more information and tickets visit or call 1-800-PLAYTIX.

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