Get the latest information on the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Performing Arts and the Festival’s new Shakespeare Theatre
What will the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts include?
The new center will include the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s new Shakespeare theatre, the Festival’s artistic and production facility, and the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA)
Why the change from plans of past years?
For several years, the Utah Shakespeare Festival has been raising money towards a new Shakespeare theatre, and in 2009 Southern Utah University launched a campaign to build the Southern Utah Museum of Art. In 2012 leaders from both organizations determined that combining the two projects would propel both buildings to completion and enhance the guest experience. Now Southern Utah will have an arts center that will further establish SUU as a regional arts Mecca. The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts will incorporate visual arts, live theatre, and dynamic arts education on the SUU campus and will dramatically enrich the cultural life of Cedar City and its surrounding region. The Center will be a year-round destination for thousands of visitors.
Why is the facility named the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts?
The decision to name the center after the late Mrs. Sorenson was made after the Sorenson Legacy Foundation awarded a $6 million gift to the new center. Beverley Taylor Sorenson was a tireless advocate for arts education. She was a visionary who believed in the power and impact art has on children’s lives. Her legacy and passion will be echoed throughout the entire state of Utah through this new center. Naming opportunities still exist for other buildings, etc. If you are interested in memorializing a loved one, please let us know.
What is the timetable for construction?
It will take approximately twenty-four months to build the Center, with groundbreaking taking place during the University’s Founders Day celebration, March 27, 2014. The Center will be completed for the opening of the Festival’s 2016 season.
What is currently happening on the planning and construction?
Blalock and Partners Architectural Design Studio has been selected to conduct the programming and design phases of the project.
What will the new Shakespeare theatre look like?
Design work for the new Shakespeare theatre is still underway, but it will have the same intimate actor/audience relationship as the current Adams Shakespearean Theatre which it will replace. The look will be very similar to the current open air Adams Theatre, but with updated amenities and modern accessibilities, as well as a flexible roof covering for inclement weather.
What is the artistic and production facility?
The artistic and production facility will include a studio theatre, rehearsal space, costume shop, and new administration offices.
Will construction interfere with the Festival, its plays, and activities?
Construction should not impact the Festival experience. The Festival will continue its current programming of eight shows and a free nightly Greenshow, as well as seminars, orientations, and backstage tours. The new Center will require the permanent closure of 200 West from Center Street to College Avenue. Guests may park in the Auditorium Theatre parking lot and the SUU lot on the corner of 300 West and Center Street. Street parking will also be available.
How much will the Center cost, and do you have all the money you need?
The complete Center will cost approximately $35 million. Thus far, we have raised $30.5 million, which is enough to start construction. However, our fundraising efforts are still ongoing, and we still need your contributions.
What is SUMA?
The Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA) will be the first accredited museum in the nation to be staffed and operated by graduate students. Four galleries, visible storage, and classroom spaces will be features of the new museum, which will be the permanent home to the artwork of Cedar City artist Jim Jones.
How Can I Help?
For more information or to donate, call the SUU Development Office at 435-586-7775 or donate now.
Side photo: David Toney (left) and Susan Shunk in Othello, 2002