Lyric Repertory Company Names Jason Spelbring New Associate Artistic Director
Jason Spelbring joins the Lyric Repertory Company (Lyric) at the Caine College of the Arts (CCA) as associate artistic director on May 13. Spelbring is welcomed by Adrianne Moore, artistic producer, and Richie Call, artistic director of the Lyric.
An actor, producer, director and educator, Spelbring is currently an associate professor in the Department of Theatre Arts at Utah State University. He is a graduate of the actor training program at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts and holds his BFA in acting from Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts and MFA in acting from the University of California, Irvine.
In 2018, Spelbring directed An Iliad at the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, along with fight direction for Big River, The Foreigner and The Greenshow (British Isles). That same season, he joined the Lyric as fight director for Macbeth.
"After time spent as a solo artistic director, it was apparent I couldn't do everything on my own," Call said. "Jason has an artistic eye that I don't have, and he complements me in many of the same ways Dennis Hassan did. Jason is tireless and his energy and drive are an important addition to our administrative team."
Being a part of the Lyric team headed by Call was one of the main reasons Spelbring was eager to accept this new role.
"I work really well with Richie and being able to help him realize his vision for the Lyric is something I'm excited to do," Spelbring said. "His grandfather, W. Vosco Call, founded the company in 1967 and I find it remarkable that a live theater company has been working consecutively for 52 years in this valley. To be a part of that legacy is really appealing to me."
Call said Spelbring's vision for growth focuses on inclusion (diversity and gender parity) in all areas of the company.
"We want to be more inclusive in how we plan a season, how we cast a season and staff, and where we fit in this movement," Spelbring said. "We are aware of it and we are not resisting."
Spelbring has plans to increase Lyric's individual donor base and nurture the business and corporate sponsor base as well. He would like to bring more of what the Lyric does to the people who live in Cache Valley.
"He has already begun to implement plans to help with development, fundraising and donor cultivation," Call said. "In short, Jason is going to take us to the next level."
As part of Lyric's 2019 season, Spelbring directs/produces the Spotlight Concert, themed "On Broadway." Patrons will hear numbers from shows currently playing on Broadway, along with special previews of the 2020 Lyric season.
Spelbring also directs this summer's highly anticipated musical, Mamma Mia!
"Jason is a truly creative director and does not simply do what has already been done," Call said. "He's wonderful at doing the things I consider to be the most important elements of directing: identifying an author's intent, exploring the world of the play and sharing the author's vision with the rest of the creative team."
Call doesn't stop there with his praise-he said Spelbring is perhaps the best director he has ever worked with when it comes to asking what a play means to us today and adding his unique "voice" to a production.
"Jason is particularly adept at taking well established works and looking at them through a fresh, unique lens," Call said. "I think one of the reasons for his success in this area is a genuine desire to collaborate with everyone on the team."
Opening June 14, the Lyric 2019 season includes A Raisin in the Sun, Mamma Mia!, Clybourne Park, Murder for Two, The Great Society (Staged Reading) and Size Matters.
For more information or to purchase tickets for the 2019 season, go online to lyricrep.org or visit the Caine Lyric Theatre Box Office at 28 W. Center Street from May 15-August 3 on Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.