Utah Shakespeare Festival names Frank Mack as new executive producer
The Utah Shakespeare Festival named Frank Mack as new executive producer, photo courtesy of the Utah Shakespeare Festival

The Utah Shakespeare Festival recently announced the hiring of Frank Mack, a veteran of theater companies across the United States, as its new executive producer, replacing the recently retired R. Scott Phillips. Mack will join the Utah Shakespeare Festival on Sept. 1.

Mack hails from Connecticut, where he is currently serving in a leadership role at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre and teaching arts administration at the University of Connecticut.

“I am excited by the opportunity to join this amazing organization. I have been inspired by the deep commitment to the festival held by the community of Cedar City, the staff, board, leaders at Southern Utah University, and its audience. I am enthused by the extraordinary artistic achievements of the festival and eager to become an active part of it.”

Mack has also worked as managing director at the California Shakespeare Festival in Berkeley, California; Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York; the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival in Madison, New Jersey; and Connecticut Repertory Theatre. His skill set includes an emphasis on making data-informed decisions and cultivating long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders. Mack has served as a management consultant at Center Stage in Baltimore, Maryland; the African Continuum Theatre Company in Washington, DC; the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia; and community and university arts organizations along the east coast.

The new executive producer plans to attend the opening celebrations and fundraising gala at the Utah Shakespeare Festival the first weeks of July and begin his full-time duties in September.

Jeffery R. Nelson, chair of the Utah Shakespeare Festival Board, led the search committee tasked with filling this role.

“Through the selection process, I’ve been very impressed with Frank Mack,” he said. “Not only is he a smart, capable, and decisive leader, but he’s a passionate advocate for the arts and especially theater. Frank has a unique ability to inspire and guide continual improvement and growth with a friendly yet persistent persuasion that I am confident will help us continue to build on the strong foundation already established by Fred Adams and Scott Phillips. Frank is the right leader at the right time for the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and I am very excited for our bright future. I’d also like to express my sincere gratitude for the diligent efforts of the search committee which included a broad representation of members of both the festival and SUU community.”

As part of the reorganization of festival leadership prompted by David Ivers’ departure earlier this month, Brian Vaughn has been named as sole artistic director, helming the leadership of the artistic product of the festival. Earlier this year, Ivers left the festival to become artistic director at the Arizona Theatre Company.

Tickets are now on sale for the festival’s 56th season, which will run from June 29 to Oct. 21. This year’s plays are “Romeo and Juliet,” “As You Like It,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “Guys and Dolls,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Treasure Island,” “The Tavern,” “How to Fight Loneliness,” and “William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged).” More information and tickets are available at bard.org or by calling 1-800-PLAYTIX. Information about the fundraising gala on July 14 is available by calling (435) 586-7880.

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