Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stratford Festival in Red

As Wall Street collapses and the U.S. government is using all its taxpayers’ money to fund an unjustified war and bailout greedy corporations who mismanaged (or flat-out stole) ‘Average Joe’ citizens’ cash, the first theatrical casualty has been noted, and it always starts small. The 'Toronto Star' reports,

“Eleven employees of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival have been let go in reaction to an operating deficit for the season that is expected to run well into seven figures. It's not expected news from an organization that has run its last 14 seasons in the black, a tribute to former artistic director Richard Monette, who died last week at the age of 64. What general director Antoni Cimolino called "a perfect storm" of rising fuel prices, a weakening U.S. dollar and an uncertain economy have combined to find the festival facing red ink for the first time in its recent history.

This past season, the first for artistic director Des McAnuff, got off to a rocky start when his two associates, Don Shipley and Marti Maraden, resigned in March over personal differences. Still, the season that opened in May received generally enthusiastic reviews, even from the New York critics who had been largely absent in the last decade. But the economic situation, price of gas and other external factors slashed the American audience by close to 14 per cent, a devastating blow to the festival.”

No comments: