Utah Shakespeare Festival honors R. Scott PhillipsThe Utah Shakespeare Festival will celebrate the legacy of executive director R. Scott Phillips Feb. 27 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Livingood Artist Lounge at the Beverly Center for the Arts. Phillips, who has worked at the festival for 40 years, retires March 1. The event is free and open to the public. A brief program will highlight his career at 5 p.m.

While at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Phillips contributed to many major milestones, such as expanding the festival’s audience from 19,000 people per season to 113,000; the awarding of the festival with the 2000 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre; and the crowning achievement of building the $39 million Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts.

Phillips also served in many other organizations across the nation. He was co-founder and past president of the Shakespeare Theatre Association; past president of the Rocky Mountain Theatre Association, and current theater panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Phillips was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Shakespeare Theatre Association in January and the Mark R. Sumner Award from the Institute of Outdoor Drama in October.

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Jason Gottfried is a freelance editor, writer, and multi-instrumental musician and composer transplanted to Utah from Nashville by way of Gainesville, Florida. He was formerly opinion editor of The Independent and wrote album reviews, opinion pieces, and satire news. Before that, he was editor of SOKY Happenings magazine and wrote a column, The Vociferous Vegan. He was also general manager of Nashville’s fabled The Wild Cow Vegetarian Restaurant and briefly co-owner of Gainesville's longtime staple vegetarian restaurant, Book Lover's Cafe. When he is away from the computer, he plays between Colorado and California as a live and session musician. Locally, he can be seen performing with David Jorgensen as a drummer and guitarist. He has an amazing fiancee, Jamie Ritter; a wonderful daughter, Sky; and a bad cat, Squeakyboots. His albums with Sean McDonald as ambient electroacoustic duo Vesica Piscis are streaming online for free: indolerecords.bandcamp.com/album/twin-yang mmmsound.bandcamp.com/album/optical-mystic