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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended May 14, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 15May00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Theater Producer's Festival Wins Tony Award
Deseret News 8May00 A2
By Ivan M. Lincoln: Deseret News theater editor

CEDAR CITY, UTAH -- LDS theater producer Fred Adams' Utah Shakespearean Festival was awarded a Tony award for the best regional theater in the U.S. for 1999. The award, which will be presented June 4th, validates the 39 years of effort put into making the Festival one of the top Shakespearean festivals worldwide and a major tourist attraction for Southern Utah.

The Festival was finally able to announce the award on Monday, May 8th after learning about it the week before. "We received word about the award on Friday afternoon in a telephone call from Edgar Dobie, managing producer of the Tony Awards production, but we couldn't say anything about it until Monday morning, when the Tony nominations were being announced at Sardi's Restaurant in New York City," said a giddy Adams.

Officials at the Festival are pleased. R. Scott Phillips, managing director of the festival said, "it's an incredible honor. It's like we've reached the pinnacle of something that's both deeply profound and very rewarding. All those years of struggling have paid off." And the Festival hopes that the award will have a significant positive impact on its bottom line. "I just got a call from the Los Angeles Times," he said. "You can't buy that kind of publicity."

The award includes a medallion and a cash award of $25,000, which Phillips says will probably be used for further expansion. Founded in 1961, the Festival has a long-running capital campaign that seeks to create a $55 million Shakespearean Center for the Performing Arts that will cover several blocks just off the campus of Southern Utah University in Cedar City.

The Festival has also become a venue for workshopping plays by Mormon playwrights, through its reading and playwright in residence programs. Works by LDS playwrights Eric Samuelsen, Tim Slover and others have been presented there, and LDS playwright Marianne Hales Harding will be the Festival's playwright in residence for 2000.


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