LDS Church continues its sponsorship of drama outside of the university.
Amateur activity is popular in Mormon ward and stake houses, which are
built with recreational halls and stages. The Mutual Improvement Association
also for a number of years held playwriting contests, in which more
than 40,000 people participated.
was a banner year in Utah theatrical history. In 1962 the Utah Shakespearean
Festival was founded by Fred Adams at Southern Utah University in Cedar
City. The festival season currently extends through the summer. Productions
are staged at the Adams Memorial Theater, a replica of an Elizabethan
playhouse, and in the Randall Jones Theater, which opened in 1989. In
connection with the plays, seminars, backstage tours, Renaissance concerts,
and feasts are held. In 1981 the Royal Shakespeare Company staged segments
for a Masterpiece Theater series at the Adams Theater.
in 1962, the centennial year of the Salt Lake Theater's opening, the
Pioneer Memorial Theater, a replica of the Salt Lake Theater, was finally
completed on the University of Utah campus. The theater contains two
stages: the Babcock Theater, named in honor of Maud May Babcock and
located on the lower level of the theater, and the Lees Main Stage,
named in honor of C. Lowell Lees. Each year the theater presents seven
productions. Under Keith Engar's direction, the theater became known
for its presentation of musicals with local and visiting professional
casts. Some years, more season tickets were sold for the theater than
for sports events at the university. Charles Morey became artistic director
of the Theater in 1984 and helped bring to fruition Utah's first permanent
professional acting company, the Pioneer Theater Company.