Saturday, March 22, 2008

Directors Versus Dollars

J. Kelly Nestruck, writing for the Globe and Mail, summarizes the recent shifts at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, only to determine:

"The battle to worry about at Stratford this year is probably economic rather than artistic, thanks to the strong Canadian dollar and the threat of a U.S. recession.

"Overall ticket sales are down about 7 per cent for this time of year, according to the Festival press office - and it's due to a drop in American sales. However, Monette's biggest legacy to the festival was financial stability. Stratford never ran a deficit during his tenure and the For All Time Endowment Foundation he started has investments with a market value of $57-million.

"Things aren't so rosy elsewhere in Canadian theatre: While Stratford had a surplus of $221,483 in 2007, the nearby Shaw Festival ended last year $927,000 in the hole. But, so far, it is evading the dark headlines.

"As next year's season is already tentatively drawn up, we'll have to wait until the summer of 2010 to see what a Stratford Shakespeare Festival led by McAnuff will truly look like - and to see if he can please everybody as Cimolino's well-balanced trio was intended to do. Unfortunately for McAnuff, the honeymoon period is over before it even begins."

No comments: