LOCAL NEWS

Founder Of Utah Shakespeare Festival Dies After Battling Cancer

Feb 6, 2020, 10:38 AM | Updated: 1:21 pm

CEDAR CITY, Utah – Fred Adams, the founder of the Utah Shakespeare Festival, died in Cedar City after a long fight with cancer. He was 89.

Officials with the Festival announced his passing Thursday morning.

“It is with deep sadness that the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University share the news that Fred C. Adams, founder of the Festival, passed away early today in Cedar City, Utah. The state’s most prominent arts leader, Adams, made a deep and lasting impact on everyone he met, and it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our leader and friend. Words can’t express our sorrow or grief at this time.”

Several people across the state have shared their thoughts on his passing including Gov. Gary Herbert.

“Fred was a genius. He truly was the visionary behind the Utah Shakespeare Festival, which is beloved by both our state and our nation,” said Herbert. “Fred was one of a kind, and he will be sorely missed. We join with all Utahns in expressing condolences to his family.”

Utah Sen. Evan J. Vickers, also had kind words to say about the Festival founder.

“Fred Adams is a true hero, not only to me personally, but to the state of Utah as a whole,” said Vickers. “He has done the work of ten men, and managed to accomplish it in just one lifetime. We are all indebted to him for the amazing things he has done for us. He will truly be missed, but his memory and legacy will last forever.”

Adams started the Utah Shakespeare Festival with his late wife Barbara Gaddie Adams in 1961, and helped it grow into the world-renowned event it is today.

“The Festival is considered one of the most prestigious theatres in the United States and has received the Tony Away for Outstanding Regional Theatre, an Emmy Award, and the Utah Best of State Award, among other accolades.”

Adams was a teacher, actor, director, and producer. He taught theatre at Southern Utah University from 1959 to 1997 where he became a mentor to many aspiring thespians.

SUU President, Scott L. Wyatt, spoke highly of Adams and his work.

“Fred is the most creative, passionate, and tireless person I have ever known,” said Wyatt. “In the Utah arts world, he was without equal. No one has elevated the reputation of Southern Utah University and Cedar City more than him. Without doubt, he will remain in the hearts of thousands who knew him and countless others who were blessed by the art he created.”

Adams stepped down from his leadership role of the Festival in 2005, but continued working there–directing, acting, fundraising, and showing up to his office nearly every day.

He is survived by his brother, James; four children, Dorcas (Gene) Woodward, Glynis (Alan) Neves, Addison (Dana) Adams, and Josh (Jamie) Adams; 14 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and many cousins and friends.

The family has not yet announced funeral plans, but they said a celebration of his life will take place sometime in the near future.

Adams wishes were that donations be made to the Utah Shakespeare Festival in his honor.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

...
Shelby Lofton

Steal. Sell. Repeat. Wave of construction thefts leaves Utah buyers stuck paying the price

They thought it was a steal. Turns out, they got scammed. The law caught up to a man who stole construction equipment and sold it to unwitting Utahns, but his victims say they’re the ones paying for his crimes.
1 day ago
Unified Police Department squad vehicle. (KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

Woman in custody after crashing into 3 civilian cars and 3 police cars in Midvale chase

A police pursuit resulted in damages to three Unified Police Department cars and three civilian cars Thursday night.
1 day ago
(Andrew Adams/KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

Two arrested in Glendale shooting

Two men were arrested Thursday for the fatal shooting of a 35-year-old man in the Glendale neighborhood
1 day ago
A search is underway for Austin Madsen, 32, of Mapleton, Utah. (Mapleton Police Department)...
Shara Park

Search underway in Garfield County for missing father suffering mental health crisis

A desperate search is underway right now in Garfield County for a 32-year-old father from Mapleton, who was last heard from almost a week ago.
1 day ago
...
Mike Anderson

Utah is developing a flying motorcycle

We live in a time, where inventions can be built at home and where 3D printers, and machining devices help realize dreams.
1 day ago
FILE: The Utah State Capitol (Jason Olson, Deseret News Archives)...
Shelby Lofton

Utah lawmakers introduce school safety bills

Lawmakers have unveiled a number of school safety bills after hearing concerns from their constituents.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Founder Of Utah Shakespeare Festival Dies After Battling Cancer