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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: September ::
Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1750  Monday, 8 September 2003

[1]     From:   Jodie Neller <
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        Date:   Friday, 5 Sep 2003 08:25:07 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1741 Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox

[2]     From:   Jerry Ferraccio <
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        Date:   Friday, 5 Sep 2003 11:26:49 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1741 Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jodie Neller <
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Date:           Friday, 5 Sep 2003 08:25:07 EDT
Subject: 14.1741 Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1741 Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox

From the Berkshire Eagle:

Shakespeare & Co. cuts back
Troupe lays off 7, to shorten '04 season

By Jeffrey Borak
Berkshire Eagle Staff

LENOX -- Shakespeare & Company has laid off seven employees and is
planning a shortened 2004 season.

In addition to the layoffs, senior staff members -- among them, artistic
director Tina Packer, director of training Dennis Krausnick, education
director Kevin Coleman and marketing director Dan McCleary -- will be
taking brief voluntary hiatuses.

The moves are part of a plan to eliminate a $246,000 deficit before the
end of the current fiscal year on March 31, 2004, and, in the long term,
stabilize Shakespeare & Company's finances by maximizing income and
reducing expenditures, according to Michael A. Miller, chairman of the
Shakespeare & Company board of trustees.

According to McCleary, the combined savings from the layoffs and
hiatuses will be $200,000. The remaining $46,000 will be made up by
programmatic and material cuts. The company's total budget is
approximately $4.5 million.

Among the seven who were let go on Wednesday are artistic associates
Jonathan Epstein, Ariel Bock and Michael Hammond, each of whom may
continue working with Shakespeare & Company on a job-by-job basis.

The other four were on the company's administrative staff.

The company maintains a full-time staff of 150 for the summer portion of
its eight-month performance season. After this weekend, the full-time
staff will drop to 80.

The layoffs come at a time when Shakespeare & Company is in the midst of
a record season. According to McCleary, box office revenue should reach
$1.1 million by this weekend.

The deficit, Miller said in a joint interview with Packer late yesterday
afternoon in Packer's office, is the result of the cost of maintaining
the company's 63-acre property on Kemble Street.

. . .

Jodie Neller
Australia

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jerry Ferraccio <
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Date:           Friday, 5 Sep 2003 11:26:49 -0400
Subject: 14.1741 Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1741 Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox

Having worked with Shakes & Co. for two seasons during their acquisition
of the new Kemble Street property, I can say that I noticed that they
are moving rapidly away from the actor-manager model and towards the
commonplace model so prevalent in many regional theatres:
management/artistic separation.  Obviously, even the "old timers"--
Epstein, Michael Hammond (FANTASTIC ACTOR) and the others are not immune
to the inevitable creep of bureaucracy that a few well-placed management
staff members encourage for their own power.

This move "toward the mainstream" is to be lamented.  Loudly.  It is one
of the primary gifts of Shakespeare & Co., and without it  . . .well,
there are many regional Shakespeare theatres with actors just as
skilled.  It is (was?) the ensemble management and artistic direction
that created true Art.

Jerry Ferraccio

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