CEDAR CITY — The Guild of the Utah Shakespeare Festival has presented awards totaling more than $33,000 to Utah Shakespeare Festival representatives.

The gifts, presented at a celebration luncheon on Dec. 5, will be used to further the festival's reach and creative ventures, and are more than double the amount raised the previous year.

According to a news release, specific gifts were given to different areas of the festival organization: The education department received $1,000 toward Playmakers scholarships; the Artistic Initiative Fund established by new artistic directors David Ivers and Brian Vaughn received $12,000; gifts-in-kind totaled more than $4,650; and the general fund received $16,000. The guild raises funds through a variety of venues and events, such as Curtain Call luncheons with festival staff and actors, marketing of gifts and collectibles in the festival gift store and at other Cedar City events throughout the year and occasional off-season productions such as last spring's "Love Letters" performances. Organizers are preparing for the Utah Shakespeare Festival's 51st season this summer, presenting six shows on their two stages during the summer, and three indoors during the fall months. Next season's schedule will include "Les Misérables."

For more information about the Utah Shakespeare Festival or to order tickets, call 800-PLAYTIX or visit www.bard.org. To learn more about the work of the guild, visit their website at www.bard.org/about/guild.html.