Festival Launches Believe Campaign
By Liz Armstrong
**Believe (verb): To have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof one is right in doing so.**
To inspire connectivity this 2023 season and beyond, the Utah Shakespeare Festival has excitedly launched the Believe Campaign. With this campaign, the Festival is asking beloved patrons to believe in the organization and the transformative power of live theatre.
“Believe is a campaign where the Festival is inviting you to feel emotions that are very genuine and real,” Director of Development and Communications Donn Jersey says.
The Inspiration Behind “Believe”
“Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully,” says Jersey.
What started out as a simple brainstorming session in a conference room at the Festival’s administration offices has resulted in a passionate idea to encapsulate the feeling we get from theatre and storytelling, and the power that it holds to transform lives.
Marketing Manager Brittney Corry invites patrons to join the Festival on a journey of discovery and imagination through this campaign.
“We are inviting everyone to open their minds and hearts to new experiences, and to trust that we will deliver unforgettable performances that will leave you inspired and enriched,” Corry says.
Creative Director Clare Campbell reflected on the beginning stages of the creation of this campaign.
“So many ideas were tossed around during that brainstorming meeting,” Campbell says. “When we arrived at Believe, something in the room just clicked.”
Aligning “Believe” with Festival Origins
Perhaps what made the idea of the Believe Campaign fit so immediately was that it is perfectly aligned with the Festival’s goals from the beginning.
“The campaign was inspired by our founder, Fred C. Adams, our local community, the great work the Festival is known for throughout the world, and Festival friends from all over globe.” comments Jersey.
In 1960, Fred C. Adams and his fiancée Barbara Gaddie were doing their laundry at the Fluffy Bundle Laundromat in Cedar City. It was there that the idea to start a Shakespearean Festival was born. The young entrepreneur and actor wanted to produce great theatre in a destination location.
From there, Fred needed to find someone who believed in supporting the idea. It was the local Lions Club who offered $1,000 and the encouragement Fred needed. What started as an idea scribbled on a notepad in a laundromat over sixty years ago has resulted in the Utah Shakespeare Festival, a Tony Award-winning organization operating on a $7 million budget that entertains over 130,000 people a season.
The Festival has become successful because of Fred and so many others, who believed in his idea from the start. It’s successful because of the Cedar City community, including the local Lions Club, who first believed in Fred’s plan. It’s successful because of the year-round staff, company members, donors, and volunteers who return year after year to produce world-class theatre. But most importantly, it’s successful because of you––our beloved patrons that purchase tickets in a simple act of support and belief in the Festival.
What We Believe In
Jersey says: “We Believe in artfully telling stories that broaden our perspectives, enliven our imaginations, and give us a better quality of life.”
“We Believe in creating impactful theatre that reenacts and celebrates our shared humanity.”
“We Believe in teaching minds young and old. Expanding horizons, outlooks, and understanding through camps, classes, tours, seminars, and other helpful resources.”
“We Believe in you.”
The Creative Process Behind “Believe”
“We wanted to create a feeling of the power of theatre and storytelling,” Campbell says. “To invite patrons to come see what we’re working on, and to get away from the real world for a little while and to take in our stories, our sets and costumes, our talent, and our atmosphere.”
Campbell worked on the Believe logo, creating something timeless and sturdy. She explains her creative process below.
“The middle ‘i’ is replaced with a silhouette of a male figure, female figure, or child to use throughout the campaign,” Campbell said. “Our Festival crown is placed on top of the figures to tie in the look with our current logo. These figures also give an energetic, exciting feel to the campaign, to draw patrons in to learn more.”
The starry sky that appears in various iterations with the Believe logo is based on a beloved story of Fred as a young man spending time in Finland, seeing the aurora borealis for the first time. Another of his group advised everyone to “Look up” as they were trudging through the snow. That became a life motto for him and something that beautifully partners with the goals of the Believe Campaign.
Participate in “Believe”
There is something indescribable about the Festival. It is not just about the plays, the tarts, the actors, the staff, the theatres, the grounds. All of these things––and much more––are important individually, but all together, is when our patrons truly start to believe in the power of theatre offered at the Festival. What makes the experience so unforgettable is the entirety of the experience, and the goal of the Believe Campaign is to epitomize this specific feeling.
“It can be whatever our community of Festival friends want it to be, it can be used to tell their own story as it relates to the Festival’s productions and immersive experiences,” Jersey explains.
“The Festival believes our communities and lives become better at the intersection of arts, humanity, and society. The invitation to our supporters and friends is to come to the Festival and listen, sing, dance, heal, live and connect with the art…all you need to do is Believe in the power of theatre and the Festival.”
For more information or to purchase tickets for the 2023 season, visit bard.org or call 800-PLAYTIX.