Zachary Murray joins Utah Shakespeare Festival team

CEDAR CITY – The Utah Shakespeare Festival recently announced the hiring of Zachary Murray as its new general manager.

As general manager, Murray will serve in a senior leadership role working with R. Scott Phillips, executive director, and David Ivers and Brian Vaughn, artistic directors, to support the goals, vision and mission of the festival.

Rendering of the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts | Image courtesy of Utah Shakespeare Festival
Rendering of the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts | Image courtesy of Utah Shakespeare Festival

A graduate of SUU, Murray received his bachelor’s degree in accounting and then returned to SUU to obtain two master’s degrees – one in accountancy and the other in business administration.

“The reason why I ended up with two degrees is because I like accounting, but I like to use accounting to make decisions in business – not just to do accounting in reconciliation,” Murray said.

As a fan of the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the arts in general, Murray said he is excited to make the transition.

With the growth of both the festival and Southern Utah University, the two entities have joined forces to build the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts.

The Center will include a new Shakespeare theater, a studio theater, the Southern Utah Museum of Art, and an artistic and production facility for festival use.

This $30 million project, the largest in our university’s history, will help us increase the cultural service that has become a hallmark of Southern Utah University,” SUU President Scott Wyatt said. “We couldn’t be more grateful to all of the friends of the university and the festival who have helped make this incredible project possible.”

A final bid for the new structure will be selected at the end of June, Murray said, with construction beginning sometime after the Fourth of July.

It is an exciting time, to have the new facility that’s coming online,” Murray said. “We’ve already gone through a huge donor campaign to get the funds raised for that.”

With growth and change come challenges. The new facility will bring a different feeling to the festival, Murray said. During the transition, a strategy and financial plan need to be made to bridge the gap between the current structure of the festival and what it will look like with the new theater.

“It will just be a little bit of fine-tuning things and getting things nailed down as far as the budget goes, to make sure that everything’s accounted for and that we’ve got the plan set in place to make it work,” Murray said.

The festival has a great fan base with great people who are excited about the festival, Murray said. The festival is always looking to grow and do great things.

The Utah Shakespeare Festival is currently growing and reaching out through a newly created weekly podcast titled “Play On with the Utah Shakespeare Festival.” According to the festival’s website, the podcast features exclusive conversations with festival directors, actors, designers and more. Questions for the show’s guests can be submitted to the podcast host.

The Utah Shakespeare Festival will begin its 2014 season on June 23. Visit the festival’s website for plays and ticket information.

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