Neil Simon Festival
The world’s first and only professional theater company dedicated to honoring the works of America’s comic playwright Neil Simon. The Neil Simon Festival production season is held annually mid-July through mid-August and is housed in the beautiful Heritage Center in Cedar City’s historic downtown.
In 2002, the Neil Simon Festival made Cedar City its new home. Founder and Executive Director, Richard Bugg, explains how his brainchild came to pass: “I noticed one day that Mr. Simon had written more successful plays than Shakespeare, and was still writing. While some have dismissed his plays as fluff, I strongly disagree. His carefully crafted structure and rhythms are as indelible and distinctive as the Bard’s. While perhaps less poetic than Shakespeare, Simon’s own comic cadence speaks with loving and unerring humor to the American character. I thought it was time that there be a festival of his works. While ours is the first, I’m certain it won’t be the last. Two hundred years from now, Simon festivals will dot the land.”
Housed in the beautiful Heritage Center Theatre in Cedar City’s Historic Downtown, the growing theatre company relies on the support of theatre lovers both local and regional. With its slogan “Come Laugh With Us!” the festival certainly creates high expectations, however, the new Cedar City attraction can already boast many loyal patrons that annually make the Neil Simon Festival a destination event. Neil Simon was contacted about the festival before its first season and was both flattered and honored by the Festival’s plans. The Festival has high hopes that Mr. Simon will be able to pay a visit soon and be honored in the way that he deserves.