The Playgoer: Boston Shakespeare has the Shakes?

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Boston Shakespeare has the Shakes?

The Globe's Geoff Edgers has a long meaty exposé on the reversal of fortune of Boston's annual free outdoor Shakespeare fest, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. Things seemed to be looking up four years ago when the big corporate downtown touring house, The Wang Center, decided to take Commonwealth on as a good deed, increasing its budget and adding all kinds of nice artsy community outreach stuff.

Well now the Wang is the "Citi Center" ("Citi" as in Citibank/Citigroup, I assume?) and looks like they're starting some kind of phasedown.

Struggling to break even, the Citi Performing Arts Center has slashed the budget for Shakespeare on the Common in half and shortened its run to less than a week. Instead of 20 performances, the Center will present seven, starting Tuesday, plus two open dress rehearsals. Even the stage has shrunk, to less than a third the size of last year's.
And thus the Commonwealth artists, who had just gotten used to the corporate largesse, are painfully reminded that they that giveth, taketh away.

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