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Teaching and Producing Theatre

Christopher Layton ClarkClark is the 2016–17 recipient of the Wilson S. Sorensen Lifetime Achievement Award from the Utah Valley University Alumni Association. Earlier this year he received the Kennedy Center American College Theater Gold Medallion “for excellence in teaching and producing theatre.” His résumé is long and impressive. He is not only accomplished, creative, and intelligent but also witty, intense, and caring. He is known in Utah—especially in the Utah theater and art community—as an actor, director, producer, teacher, and mentor. His experience, training, and influence extend nationally and internationally.

The theater was Clark’s passion when he entered BYU with a theater scholarship. However, following his return from a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Finland, he changed his major to English. He felt it was a more practical choice for supporting a family. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 2000, but the passion for theater remained, so he and his young family moved to England, where he earned an MFA in directing Shakespeare from the University of Exeter in 2002. In 2012 Clark earned a doctorate from the McKay School’s Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations. He now serves as department chair of Theatrical Arts for Stage and Screen at Utah Valley University.

Students and actors love working with Clark because of his knowledge and insights into acting and directing and because they know he is interested in their personal growth and success.

Clark continues to learn. He has had extensive training with university and theatre groups around the United States, including the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Second City in Chicago. His international training includes the Globe Theatre in London, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Theatre Biomechanics in Austria and Italy.

His range as an actor on the stage includes drama, comedy, musicals, and improvisation.

Clark’s clever humor is injected in the shows he directs. One can always expect some unexpected quirks or elements in his productions. His long list of directing and producing includes numerous shows at the Hale Center theaters in Orem and West Valley, SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre, Sundance Summer Theatre, BYU, UVU, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a festival that is part of the annual UVU theatre semester abroad program to London and Scotland that Clark has led for the last 10 years.

In 2013 Clark directed Vincent in Brixton, which won six awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Among those awards were Outstanding Production of 2013 and Outstanding Director of a Play.

In a BYU theater class, Clark was playing the devil when he met Lisa Valentine (Class of 2000), who was playing a chicken. They fell in love and married. Lisa is also a teacher, actress, producer, writer, and director. Their family cast consists of five children.