Executive Producer - Utah Shakespeare Festival, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT

Henry V Henry V Photo by Karl Hugh

Applications for this position are now closed.  

Utah Shakespeare Festival (USF) was founded in 1961 and is one of the oldest and largest Shakespearean festivals in North America. Embedded on the campus of Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah, USF enjoys significant support from the University and operates under SUU’s nonprofit umbrella. USF was founded by Fred C. Adams, an assistant professor of theatre at SUU. Although the reigns of leadership have passed to others, Mr. Adams remains involved with USF and continues to be an important fund-raiser and advisor.

USF resides in the beautiful Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts – known as “The Beverley” – opened in 2016. This campus within a campus with both new and newly renovated facilities resulted from a $39M capital campaign with lead gifts of $6 million from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation and $5 million from the Engelstad Family Foundation. The Beverley is home to both USF and the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA). Included on The Beverley campus are the following:

• The new Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, an outdoor theatre modeled on Shakespeare’s Globe for approximately 921;

• The Randall L. Jones Theatre, an indoor theatre seating 770 built in 1989; 

• The new Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre, a flexible black box space seating 200; 

• Renovated artistic and production facilities contains a rehearsal space, costume shop, and administration offices. 

Much information about the Festival can be gleaned from the USF website: www.bard.org

Southern Utah University

Beginning as a small teacher training institution in 1897, Southern Utah University (SUU) now boasts 9,500 students, 270 full-time faculty members and another 102 adjunct-faculty. More than 100 associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs are offered. The Princeton Review has ranked SUU consistently as a Best Value College and Consumers’ Digest ranks it as one of "America’s 100 Best College Buys.” Since January 2014, President Scott Wyatt has led the University, including the conclusion of a large fundraising campaign, which included the “The Beverley,” USF’s home. The University’s website may be found here: www.suu.edu. Information on and from President Wyatt can be found here: www.suu.edu/general/president 

Cedar City, Utah

Home to SUU and USF, Cedar City, Utah is in the state’s southwestern corner, approximately 2.5 hours from Las Vegas and 3.5 hours from Salt Lake City. It is surrounded by national treasures, including Zion National Park, Brian Head Ski Resort, Dixie National Forest, and Bryce Canyon National Park. There are 20 National Park units within a half-day’s drive. The region enjoys a low cost of living, excellent weather and a young population. The City’s economy centers on tourism and manufacturing. www.cedarcity.org provides information and links to information on the area.


After more than forty years as leader of the Festival, Fred C. Adams stepped down from USF’s leadership role and was named Founder and Executive Producer Emeritus in 2005. The same year, Scott Phillips was named Executive Director of the Festival. Prior to his role as Executive Director, Scott served as USF’s Managing Director for 15 years and Marketing Director for 13 years. When he joined the Festival in 1977, he was its first full-time year-round employee. In September 2016, Scott Phillips announced he would retire in March 2017. In January 2011, David Ivers and Brian Vaughn were named Artistic Directors and they continue serving in co-artistic leadership roles. The Festival is supported by a 22-member Board of Governors, primarily comprised of corporate and business leaders, as well as foundation trustees and other civic leaders. The Chair of the Board of Governors is Jeffrey R. Nelson of Nelson Laboratories, based in Salt Lake City. While not a fiduciary body, the Board of Governors serves in several key oversight capacities. 


Historically, USF has produced eight professional plays, including plays, musicals and, of course, anchored by the Shakespearean canon. With the recently expanded campus, USF has expanded its season. Additionally, a smaller touring production travels to schools throughout the West during the winter months. All performances at USF are preceded by a nightly Greenshow, with pre-show entertainment featuring music, dancing, and puppet shows. In 2015, over 100,000 ticket-holders viewed nearly 300 performances in three theatres during the eighteen-week summer/fall season. The Festival is now a year-round operation with a full-time staff of 35 and a budget of over $7 million. In 1992, the Festival created the New American Playwrights Project, which features staged readings for Festival patrons who desire an opportunity to view the work of superior contemporary playwrights. In 2000, the Festival was the proud recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.


There are significant opportunities for USF, buttressed by some inherent strengths:

• USF has a well-deserved reputation for presenting a season of high artistic and production quality.

• The impact of its education programs – especially its touring program – is extensive.

• Its multiple venues present wonderful options for USF to expand and enrich its work. 

• There is enormous passion felt for USF’s work by artists, staff, volunteers and audiences.

• There is substantial local and regional support for USF as the most important performing arts organization in the region. 

• USF is a destination theater, attracting tourists and local audiences.

Arrayed against these strengths and opportunities are equally important challenges:

• Managing growth and developing a balanced production load and timeline in its expanded venues;

• Like many theatres, USF sees audience growth as critical to long-term financial sustainability. To that end, USF aims to expand its audience engagement to build the patron base, both ticket buyers and donors.  

• There is need for expanded contributed revenue and expectation that this will be a priority in the next phase of USF’s life.


The Executive Producer is the singular leader of USF reporting to the University’s President. S/he will work in a collaborative relationship with co-artistic directors and senior staff. While the individual in this post will be heavily engaged in artistic matters, as USF’s leader, s/he will be guiding overall organizational strategies through effective leadership, delegation and administration. The Executive Producer will serve as the “face” of USF in the community for purposes of fund-raising, publicity and collaboration with the University’s leadership. These are the Executive Producer’s primary roles: 

• Set overall vision and direction for USF by providing strong organizational leadership.  

• Make artistically solid programmatic choices while continuing to build audience numbers and donor breadth.  

• Nurture a creative environment that attracts the best actors and creative artists from across the country.

• Ensure constant organization-wide focus on deepening patron relationships and increasing repeat attendance through enhanced customer service, audience engagement and targeted marketing. 

• Work closely with the Board of Governors to create a culture in which the Board is both fulfilled and effective in its support of the Festival.

• Serve as the face and primary voice of USF.

• Forge new relationships and build on signature programs that enhance the organization’s visibility and reputation as a community and University asset.

• Represent the organization in the many external roles that are attached to leadership of a major regional theater, including regular participation in conferences and other gatherings sponsored by national associations whenever appropriate.


The next Executive Producer will be an accomplished theater professional – first and foremost a producer of extraordinary taste who will lead the Festival and identify, nurture and support the creative teams to execute each production. S/he may have a background as an administrator, artist or producer. The overarching expectation is that the Executive Producer will add to the breadth and depth of USF’s artistic reputation while strategically leading and aligning its resources. While candidates who are stage directors are expected to apply, directing shows at USF upon accepting the position will not be required. The Executive Producer’s focus will be on organizational leadership and s/he will be expected to focus on interfacing with donors and prospects, engaging in activities that promote USF’s standing in the local community and enhancing its national reputation. Candidate will be evaluated based upon the following characteristics, qualifications and background:

• A demonstrable success record as a nationally accomplished theatre professional, with solid experience in producing.

• Proven leadership skills to set organizational direction while developing the most appropriate and effective culture of decision-making and accountability. 

• A commitment to and understanding of the Shakespearean canon. 

• Significant experience in theatre management in environments of comparable scope and scale. 

• A strong strategic mind with recognition that artistic and organizational choices must always be made within resource constraints.

• Proven successful interactions with Boards and a diverse array of community stakeholders and donors. Although not required, experience in academic environments is a plus.

• A demonstrated track record of effectively hiring, motivating and managing a staff.

• A full understanding of the development function, and the desire and ability, as the leader of the organization, to be a key participant in attracting and cultivating major donors, as well as participating in other fundraising activities.

The following personal attributes will also be considered important to the Committee:

• A strong desire to become an actively engaged member of the Cedar City community.

• Delight in nurturing the best work in others.

• Respect for and adherence to the values and principles of the University. 


Although the final hiring decision will be made by SUU’s President, his decision will be informed by recommendations from the search committee which will oversee the search. The committee, comprised of members of the Board of Governors, faculty and staff, hopes to make recommendations by late winter/early spring of 2017 with the successful candidate onsite as soon as possible thereafter. The salary and attractive benefits package will be competitive with other companies of comparable stature and size. Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to submit a cover letter, résumé, four professional references (name, email, phone) and salary history/requirements to the consulting firm retained to conduct the search.  Recommendations of qualified candidates are also welcome.

Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.
Attn: David Mallette or Stephen Richard

Email only:     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject line:    USF Executive Producer Search

Last modified on Friday, 17 March 2017 09:23