“Alright everyone, settle down and pay attention or we will cancel this assembly and send you all back to class.” Here are our picks for some of the best art in Utah.
Utah Shakespeare Festival & SONDERimmersive
Celebrating its 60th anniversary, Utah Shakespeare Festival is definitely old-school—like Elizabethan old. But this Cedar City institution proves old isn’t the same as boring with a lineup of Shakespeare, family-friendly musicals and contemporary plays. sonderIMMERSIVE’s inventive productions—like Through Yonder Window, where audiences stayed in their cars for Shakespeare in the Park(ing garage)—combine modern dance, improv and experimental theater, breathing new life into the old source material.
Utah Shakespeare Festival: 195 W. Center St., Cedar City, 800-752-9849
Best Playground for Artists (And the Rest of Us)
The comparisons to Sante Fe’s Meow Wolf are inevitable, but we admire the pluck of the local group of dreamers who created Dreamscapes as an artist’s playground of strange and wonderful landscapes that we get to explore. Using reclaimed materials, more than 100 Utah artists and volunteers are continually tinkering with the Dreamscapes experience, keeping it fresh and new, just like a dream.
111 S. Rio Grande St., SLC, 801-637-5155
Best New Update to an Old Theater
Salt Lake Acting Company’s unique location, a former LDS meetinghouse near Capitol Hill, is a large part of the theater’s cheeky charm. The 130-year-old building, however, was inaccessible to many audience members with disabilities. Using the pandemic-forced pause in live performances for good, SLAC launched The Amberlee Fund, a $1 million capital campaign named after a wheelchair-bound patron who passed away in 2019. While their stage remained empty, SLAC completely redesigned their theater and dressing rooms to be more accessible.
168 W. 500 North, SLC, 801-363-7522
Best New Old Way to Watch Indie and Classic Films
Although the Salt Lake Film Society’s Motor Cinema was, we imagine, a panicked response to find ways to keep showing movies during a pandemic, we hope it sticks around. The small “pop-up” drive-in theater on the Redman Movies & Stories Backlot has become a legit new way to see the quality movies we’d normally watch at the Tower and Broadway theaters. SLFS has rolled out a full summer lineup of first-run independent and foreign cinema screenings alongside cleverly curated blocks of slasher films and independent film classics.
1075 S. 700 West, SLC, 801-321-0310
Best Way to Experience an Eye-opening Paradigm Shift
The Sorting Out Race exhibition at The Leonardo (in partnership with the Utah Black Chamber) demonstrates how mundane, everyday objects can perpetuate ugly racial stereotypes. Another exhibit, Perception, explores how your mind manipulates your senses to shape your worldview. These and other exhibits and art installations at The Leonardo are meant to be mind-expanding and, occasionally, world-shattering (in a good way). Just like the work of its namesake, it’s part art, part science and all innovative.
209 E. 500 South, SLC, 801-531-9800
Class is in session. See all of our Best of the Beehive Academy winners.