David Ivers was born in San Rafael, California, to Dorothy and Irving Ivers. His mother is originally from England, and Irving was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. Irving spent his career in Hollywood as an executive with almost every major motion picture studio, and, prior to passing away in 1996, was president of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for Warner Bros.
David married Stephanie Ivers (formerly Stephanie Johnson) in 2003 after meeting her in Cedar City in 1996. She is a native of Salt Lake City and a proud alumnus of Southern Utah University, graduating in 1997 with a major in dance. They have a beautiful thirteen-month old boy named Jack Dean Ivers.
Stephanie also holds an M.F.A. in dance from the University of Milwaukee–Wisconsin. David earned his B.F.A. in theatre from Southern Oregon University and an M.F.A. in acting from the University of Minnesota. He has spent fifteen seasons as an actor and director with the Utah Shakespearean Festival and is currently finishing his nineth season as a resident artist at the Denver Center Theatre Company where he has appeared in twenty-seven productions and directed The Merry Wives of Windsor.
David has worked regionally with the Oregon, Alabama and Idaho Shakespeare festivals, as well as numerous seasons at Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theatre, Tacoma Actors Guild, Portland Repertory Theatre, ACT Seattle, Seattle Rep, and others. He has served on a variety of panels and committees on leadership, education, programming, and has taught and guest directed at several major universities, including the University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Southern Utah University, Southern Oregon University, Mt Hood Community College, and others.
He was a programming consultant for the education wing at Portland Center Stage and served two years as associate artistic director/head of education for Portland Repertory Theatre where he oversaw a $1.3 million budget and established a residency in twelve area high schools for emerging young playwrights. He is deeply grateful for the support of his family and is passionately committed to the future of the Utah Shakespearean Festival and Southern Utah University.
How do you feel about this appointment?
“This has been a mutual discussion for quite some time. I’ve felt for several years now that this is the next step for me. My wife kept pushing me to take the leap and finally, when my reading list was heavier with books on leadership than plays, I knew it was time to actively pursue this dream.”
What do you bring to this position?
“I spent the early part of my career in artistic administration in Portland, Oregon, as the associate artistic director of Portland Repertory Theatre. I learned a great deal in that job and have felt for a long time now ignited to return to such a post. I have gained a unique and gratifying perspective on the Festival during my fifteen years as an actor, director, and educator. In the last few years, my focus on directing has given me the opportunity to work in management at a variety of theatres.
“I’m not interested in re-inventing the organization, nor do I believe in any form of ego-driven leadership. I know the demands and rigors of the Festival’s schedule, and I’ve seen first-hand the challenges involved in securing the resources required to push the relevancy and potency of our product. I have made my living solely in this profession, working at several Tony Award-winning theatres, and I bring those experiences with me.”
What are your plans for the Festival?
“I’m interested in maintaining the high standards that our patrons have come to expect and in tackling the next stage of our growth. I believe fervently in the mission of the Festival and its potential to see a bigger, brighter, and more inclusive future for our employees and our patrons. I also believe that Brian and I can make a difference. If I didn’t I would never have interviewed!”
“I’m very much interested in finding a way to maintain the integrity of our past while pushing our productions in a more relevant way for our younger audiences. Additionally, much of my energy will be focused on building financial reserves and helping to restore budgets to pre-2008 recession levels. Our staff has sacrificed tremendously by taking furloughs and working overtime to get the job done. This must be rectified. The “art” cannot happen without the resources.”
“I am also committed to introducing new artists to our staff and audiences. This will keep us fresh and inspired and will help to nurture a new generation of practitioners.”