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The Randall Theatre Gets a Facelift

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By Kathryn R. Neves

CEDAR CITY, Utah — The Randall L. Jones Theatre is a beloved Cedar City and Utah Shakespeare Festival icon. It was the Festival’s first indoor theatre, opening in 1989; and for over three decades has been the showcase of numerous plays from around the world. It has welcomed a generation of theatre-lovers, and has been a gracious host to millions of patrons. Yet, even with the best of buildings, the effects of years of weather and use take a toll. So this past summer and fall, the Randall Theatre has been getting some tender loving care.

“The Randall L. Jones Theater is thirty years old, and getting some much-needed enhancements,” said Donn Jersey, director of development and communications. “It’s been a beloved part of the Utah Shakespeare Festival for such a long time; it’s about time it gets a facelift! This year, the first year in the history of the Festival without a season—is the perfect year to spruce up the space and give it the care and restoration it deserves.

As King Lear might explain it, “the winds have blown and cracked their cheeks, the hurricanoes have spouted and drenched” this theatre. In short, the elements have finally taken their toll. The wooden trim outside has expanded and contracted with the elements, leading to leaks and gaps. But not to worry! Crews from Southern Utah University have added extra material to the building’s exterior to repair the damage and to prevent any further wear and tear.

In the process, extra care has been taken to restore the aesthetic of the building. When you visit this summer, you’ll notice the shining new trim; it’s a beautiful pine that’s been hardened and sealed to let the natural wood color show through. And the rest of the building has been polished up to match. “We have brand new doors and bright brass hardware to go along with the new trim,” said Facilities Director Kevin Davis. “I am so proud to see the Randall’s facelift take place. A big thanks to SUU, and the contractors involved.”

An especially important renovation is the replacement of the theatre’s rigging system, a process which is starting this month. The rigging system, a complex set of mechanics that suspend and move scenes and sets, lighting, and sound equipment above the stage. “Imagine moving materials with a crane or hoisting sails on a tall ship,” said Richard Girtain, production manager. “These activities are directly related to the principles used in theatrical rigging.” After years of extensive use, it’s time to replace them so that they can be operated safely by our amazing stage crews. The entire system will be removed and replaced with an updated version that will allow for smoother, safer theatre operation.

You’ll also find next season that we have improved Wi-Fi throughout the Randall, as well as the rest of the Beverley Center. Our goal is to keep this space as updated and comfortable as possible, all to help make our patrons’ experience even more enjoyable—and part of that is giving everybody better access to email, social media, and the internet in general.

All restorations will be completed by spring of 2021, so playgoers be able to enjoy the sixtieth anniversary season even more. “We can’t wait to share the new look of the Randall with our patrons in 2021,” concluded Jersey.

           

 

© Utah Shakespeare Festival 2023 www.bard.org