1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Faculty grant sets stage for work at Utah Shakespeare Festival

stage set and a person outside

Transylvania faculty receive university support to venture forth into the world and bring back what they’ve learned to benefit students.

Theater design instructor Daniel Bennett, for instance, recently headed West to serve as technical director for the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Not only will what he learned benefit Bennett as an instructor, but the connections he’s building between Transylvania and USF might lead to future opportunities for students to work at the event as well — and strengthen their resumes. 

(Photos of the set: Linda Buchanan, scenic designer)

Bennett and industry professionals collaborated this past summer to build sets and produce “King Lear,” “All’s Well That Ends Well” and “Sweeney Todd” at the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre in Cedar City. The productions drew tens of thousands of theatergoers. 

During his second time working for the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Bennett led a team including two assistant technical directors and seven carpenters on a variety of projects, from metal fabrication to woodworking to scenic automation.

“Opportunities like this one are crucial for not only my growth but for the students I teach and work with at Transy,” said Bennett, who also serves as production and technical coordinator for Transylvania Theater. “I was able to have conversations with the designers to learn about their process and gain insight to theatrical design, information I can pass on to my students.”

He received funding from the David and Betty Jones Faculty Development Fund.

“This summer was so beneficial on so many levels, and I am fortunate to work at an institution that values the continued development of its employees like Transy does,” Bennett said.

Read more about how the university supports its educators, who have recently done other things like travel to Spain and make a classical music album with grants.