Logan Youth Shakespeare is an acting program for students that provides opportunities for young actors to perform unabridged works of Shakespeare. The program recently had a change in leadership saying good bye to Mary Jackson-Smith who was the director for nearly ten years.
Newly named Co-director and director for individual productions Lisa Jacobson Ward is an analytical chemist by training, but has been involved in the program for many years. Though Jackson-Smith will no longer be leading the program, she still plans on being involved as a co-director.
“Her husband got an appointment in Ohio, her kids had all finished school here in Cache Valley, and it was time for her to move on,” Ward said.
Ward plans to keep the direction of the program similar to Jackson-Smith’s vision, leaving much of the creation of each production to the students.
Ian Ferguson has been part of the program for two and a half years.
“Given that a lot of it is left to the actors, they’ve kept the program very similar to the way it was before, and they’ve definitely kept it’s quality the same. It hasn’t dipped down or anything since Mary left,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson has been in nine out of the 24 shows produced by the program. Fellow aspiring actor Ashlyn Wood has been in the program since 2016.
“It’s really easy to feel like you can be yourself there, you don’t have to pretend to be anyone different, because Mary and Lisa are both really accepting people,” Wood said.
Ward says that the success of the program is due to the large amount of control the students have when preparing for a production. Ferguson is excited for the future.
"I expect good things, I think it will continue to be just as good as it has been,” he said.