Not To Be

25Jan10

Not Much Left for Developers to Pick At

New mayor, council examine Shakespeare Theater options
By Richard Weizel, STAFF WRITER
Published: 11:32 p.m., Sunday, January 24, 2010

STRATFORD — It appears to be curtains for yet another developer in a long line who have tried and failed to renovate the Shakespeare Festival Theater, which has been shuttered for more than 20 years.

That means, despite a long overdue $500,000 roof repair in November by Capeway Roof Systems of Westport, Mass., the curtain may never rise again at the once legendary Elm Street showcase.

Mayor John A. Harkins and Town Council leaders say they will have to consider “all options,” including using the theater for another purpose or even tearing it down.

“We’re going to have to completely re-evaluate the situation and look at what is in the best interests of the town,” Harkins said. “I would love to see such an historic venue saved and reopened as a theater, but we can’t get caught up in emotion. We have to look at the facts and determine if its use as a theater is realistic, and if so, how to go about it.”

Rhode Island theater producer Bill Hanney, however, is apparently out of the picture just several months after the previous Town Council approved a 40-year, $3.1 million contract for him to renovate and operate the theater….

…”If he were going to move ahead I think he probably would have done so by now,” Malloy said of Hanney. “Speaking to other council members, it’s clear that the overwhelming sentiment is to go in a different direction and find another solution. What form that should take and whether it would include reviving the theater or not, those are issues we’re going to have to take a good, hard look at. We might have to hire a consultant to present us with the options. I think what’s pretty clear is that the taxpayers in Stratford don’t want to throw a lot of money into this.”

Hire a consultant? Again? Doesn’t anyone in Town Hall keep these reports? We’ve had everyone and his brother “consulting” on this. From Ernst & Young to BL Consulting. We could have built ten new theaters for what we’ve spent on consultants. Here’s a thought, we already have a person that serves on the Arts Commission who could do this consulting project and formulate a plan that actually works.

Christopher Caltagirone

Christopher Caltagirone Research Director AMS Planning & Research Corp.Christopher Caltagirone joined the AMS Connecticut office in 2003 and is a Director focusing on audience and market research. Christopher has been working in the arts industry for over a decade and, as a student in the Arts Policy and Administration program at The Ohio State University, studied various aspects of public arts policy, political science, arts education and organizational theory.Christopher has worked on a variety of audience research projects for visual and performing arts organizations throughout the U.S. He recently completed major projects for the Greater Columbus Arts Council (OH), Dallas Center for the Performing Arts (TX), Opera San Jose (CA) and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice (FL). He has also conducted audience and market research for TheatreWorks (CA), Trinity Repertory Company (RI), Huntington Theatre Company (MA), Hartford Stage(CT), Shakespeare Santa Cruz (CA), Oregon Bach Festival (OR),Orange County Performing Arts Center (CA) and The Joyce Theater(NY). Christopher was responsible for the Americans for the Arts Nationwide online survey conducted by AMS in 2007 and has assisted on cultural impact studies in Minneapolis, MN,Louisville, KY and Houston, TX. Christopher also oversees the Association of Performing Arts Presenters National Salary Survey for AMS. These projects have included an array of quantitative and qualitative research (including customer data file analyses,audience intercept surveys, web, mail and phone surveys,focus groups and individual depth interviews). In 2007 he participated in a workshop at the California Association of Museums Conference titled, “Mining Your Customer Data for Fundraising and Audience Development.”

Christopher may have difficulties confronting opposing opinions, but he certainly understands the Theater Business as a business. I for one, have faith in Christopher’s capability to devise a realistic business and marketing plan for the Theater that will benefit the residents of Stratford. Failing that…tear the sucker down before it hurts someone.

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38 Responses to “Not To Be”

  1. 1 jezebel282

    The best news is that Harkins is not going to waste $3 Million of money we borrowed in return for a two page “business plan”.

  2. 2 cstratct

    Thanks (I think)?

    Jezebel, first off I have no problem confronting opposing opinions. As the saying goes, “Opinions are like…” and we all know the rest. I’m fully aware of what some others may think of me and quite frankly it doesn’t concern me. I have my opinions on a myriad of topics like everyone else, and while they may not comport with others beliefs, I stand behind my comments and beliefs as my own.

    As for the issue at hand, I tried to engage in a constructive way with the previous Town Council and was insulted and dismissed nearly every step of the way. The situtation never had to end antagonistically had some on the Town Council been willing to at least take into consideration the issues being raised about both Mr. Hanney’s contradictory statements and the concerns about the funds necessary to make the project successful.

    The BL report was not a feasibility study, it was a report on the structural integrity of the building and provided some potential restoration/renovation scenarios based on different cost estimates. And it was dismissed from the beginning by those on the council who believed they knew better. The comment “This report isn’t worth the paper it’s written on” by Mr. Julian comes to mind. The previous council never seriously considered what the BL report had to say, likely because they didn’t like the numbers.

    As for Mr. Weizel’s commentary (“That means, despite a long overdue $500,000 roof repair in November by Capeway Roof Systems of Westport, Mass., the curtain may never rise again at the once legendary Elm Street showcase”), I think he should stick to the facts. I agree with Mayor Harkins in that a realistic, objective analysis needs to be undertaken. That has NEVER been done. There has never been a formal feasibility study. There has never been proper planning. I do however think it is extremely premature to suggest “the curtain may never rise again.”

  3. 3 jezebel282

    “Thanks (I think)?”

    You’re welcome. It was indeed a compliment. I am not stingy with them.

    “I agree with Mayor Harkins in that a realistic, objective analysis needs to be undertaken. That has NEVER been done.”

    Actually, it has. Years before you arrived. It was done by Ernst & Young.

    I simply think you are the most qualified. However, many think that there is no point to wasting further time and effort on this project. They may be correct. Rich Weizel accurately stated that “the curtain may never rise again”. There is a substantial probability that it won’t. I can be swayed either way.

  4. 4 cstratct

    The Ernst & Young study was done when there were different owners (the state) and different priorities. I’m vaguely familiar with the E&Y study, the problem with that particular study now is that many of the variables have changed, none the least of which is the condition of the building.

    As I believe I pointed out in another forum, the potential is there to not only create something that can be beneficial to the town but also leverage a minimal town investment while providing significantly greater rewards then what would have accrued under the Hanney deal.

    For example, check out the recent happenings at the Stratford Ontario festival:

    http://www.nationalpost.com/related/topics/story.html?id=2457392

    Obviously a festival is just one possible scenario, but the potential exists if the support can be put in place.

  5. 5 1george1

    Interesting time = another diversion?

    Is there another and new “conflict of interest?”

    Not to be?
    or
    Never intended to be? (as proposed)

    Miron – Burturla never proposes what their negotiated paln was, did they?

  6. 6 1george1

    Jeze
    Is there a website where you find your graphics and pictures?

    You have a talent there and for ferreting out certain information.

  7. 7 jezebel282

    Give away my secrets?

  8. 8 phineast

    Chris- on this topic I am in agreement with you. I have been saying it for years…some people just don’t understand the importance of linking up with a Shakespeare Festival. It still gives you 3/4 of the year to run other venues through the facility, but it becomes regional economic driver as a festival. Maybe you would be a good person to tackle the type of study you are discussing and have it sponsored by your commission, seems to me that this is the type of thing the membership of your commission should take on.

  9. 9 1george1

    Jeze
    You are welcomed for the compliment.

    Phin,
    I have made clear my desire for fall and spring Shakespeare plays
    of 2 week runs, and at least 2 sets, may 3 sets of Shakespeare,
    where morning and afternoon matinees of school bussed children
    can experience Shakespeare.

    School starts September and ends in June, with mid terms.
    A 4 or 6 week series of 2 or 3 plays, a month after school opens
    and over a month before final exams, who give plenty of time for
    School children and others to experience Shakespeare.

    Matinees of filled weekday children matinees are pure profit.
    Plays break even on weekend eves and Saturday.

    =

    Chris and other favor Summer Festival, which I could agree with
    in a link with Barnum Festival linking to New Haven Arts + Ideas
    and Norwalk to Milford Oyster Fests and others.

    There is noting to preclude other venues, besides Shakespeare
    both as fillers and as popular draws.

    =

    The Shakespeare Theater is a mess.

    It is also larger than the Klein and virtually every other Theater.

    Mostly it is a BRAND and Replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater

    I have absolutely no doubt certain lawyers, politicians, and business
    people are licking their chops, with a behind the scenes plan which
    I believe is probably the Allen Christopher group,

    Rebuilding the Stratford Shakespeare Theater is a capital expense
    as part of a movie, waiting to be made:

    “effrego telum concutio telum aro partis”

  10. 10 jezebel282

    In the 25+ years since this Theater shut it’s doors the only viable plan I have ever heard was put forth by Sudds; give it to Yale University.

    Failing that, the only solution would be to generate the capital necessary by raising either charitable or private donations/support. It is unreasonable to look to the residents of Stratford for such support.

    Thanks to Mayor Moron, we are currently facing a budget deficit. Property values have declined substantially, the unemployment rate while officially at 8.9% is more like 15+%, enrollment in our public schools is rising while our schools are crumbling and the lawsuits keep on coming. The cupboard is bare.

    My advice to those attorneys and developers who drool while thinking of unlimited billing hours and public funding is to look somewhere else. It’s just not going to happen.

  11. 11 cstratct

    George, to be clear, while a summer festival is PART of the scenario I have suggested, it is by no means the whole scenario. It can’t be. Just look at the Stratford Ontario Festival website.

    I believe some of the problem is with the title. Calling it a festival leads people to believe that it is a summer-only programming schedule. But Ontario has much of what you describe: Education programs, year-round programming, a conservatory (Sudds Yale Rep proposition-take a look at Trinity Rep/Brown University model).

    I would also say that I’m not in favor of any one idea at this time. I do believe more work needs to be done to not only figure out what a feasible structure would look like, but also what the town itself wants to be. I don’t know that the town has an identity at the present time. Perhaps the place to start, before we even get into any talk of the theatre itself, is to define the identity of the town, what we want our town to be and the image we wish to put forward.

    The plan for the theatre and the surrounding campus needs to complement the identity of the town, not the other way around. I believe I have reason to hope that the new Town Council and Mayor understand this and are ready and willing to take the steps to see this through. Time will tell.

  12. 12 sudds

    Just to make certain that I did NOT have a stroke… did Jez REALLY just write:

    “In the 25+ years since this Theater shut it’s doors the only viable plan I have ever heard was put forth by Sudds; give it to Yale University.”

    ❓ ❓ ❓

  13. 13 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “did Jez REALLY just write:”

    Yup. I always agreed with it. I just thought you should DO something about it.

  14. 14 genericscreename

    Et Al:

    I will be short and to the point. Since George appears to have the most free time, I ask that he look up my posts from way way back, and you will see that at least two years ago I made it clear that the deal was NEVER 10 million, and that it was based on the net dollars available after the cost for all the demolition and related expenses. I find it amusing that it took a new mayor to figure out the black and white basics which were clear from the beginning.

  15. 15 jezebel282

    Generic,

    It might take less time if you post in the right category.

    But the big shoe hasn’t dropped yet. I don’t think the Nateras (Remember them? Hollywood East?) have come up with $8 million in cold cash to pay the GSA for the SAEP.

    Anyone have warm feelings about that one?

  16. 16 1george1

    Sudds – good to know you are healthy.
    Glad stroke had not happened to you or anyone else ….
    I do not wish ill on anyone. Conversely …

    Generic – everybody knows the veracity of the cast.
    The Cottage owners offered over $ 40,000,000 for a part of LBW,
    less than 1/2.

    Chris, glad for clarification. Not intended to write/ speak for you.

    Jeze, wrong as usual, in my opinion

  17. 17 jezebel282

    “Jeze, wrong as usual, in my opinion”

    Whew! Thanks!

  18. 18 jezebel282

    Update:

    (Yawn)

    Council may kill Shakespeare Theatre contract Monday

    Written by John Kovach
    Wednesday, 03 February 2010 20:04

    The Town Council is scheduled to vote Monday to terminate the contract between the Town of Stratford and developer William Hanney to renovate and reopen the Shakespeare Theatre….

    …“It’s for no other reason than it’s a horrible deal,” said Councilman Matt Catalano (R-3rd), who sponsored the resolution up for vote Monday night.”

    We are pretty sure this is the only reason Mr. Catalano ran for office. The question is, what will he do for a hobby after the deal is dead?

  19. 19 sudds

    I’m afraid to find out!!!

  20. 20 1george1

    Sudds, aren’t you in Matt Catalano’s District and a neighbor?

  21. 21 sudds

    Yes… but I moved for that Mulligan guy!!!

  22. 22 mayor2013

    I know Matt Catalano. I hope that is not the only reason he ran for office. His Mom and Dad (stellar pillars of the community whom I admired and respected) would be very disappointed.

  23. 23 cstratct

    So let me get this straight Jezebel: You “endorsed” Matt Catalano on this very blog back in November (https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/whats-a-democrat-to-do/), and now you take a swipe at him? Why?

    He was one of the only, if not the only, Republican to come out against this deal prior to the election. Every person running for any elected office has issues that are important to them. Just because he was outspoken about this issue doesn’t mean it is the only issue facing the town that is important to him.

    And who is the “we” in your statement? Is your goal just to take as many shots at people as you can without regard for truth or accuracy?

  24. 24 mayor2013

    Cstratct,

    I would be very surprised if Matt did not do an outstanding job for the town.

  25. 25 jezebel282

    cstrat,

    I am not “unendorsing” Mr. Catalano. I want him to continue serving the people of the third district even after the deal with Hanney is done. Mr. Catalano is well aware of the source of my statement.

    He has some big shoes to fill in the third district with the departure of Gavin Forrester. In addition, as we all know, there are severe and critical problems the council must deal with.

    Besides….even Sudds deserves a good Councilman.

  26. 26 mayor2013

    I’m having some very serious reservations as to whether the mayor is “to be” or “not to be.”

    (1) When are you going to inform the electorate that you have a serious budget shortfall?
    (2) When are you going to inform the electorate (specifics please) of how the former mayor and finance director robbed our bank?
    (3) When are you going to inform the electorate about anything…of substance relating to the management of this town . . . period?

    I know you fans, are going to attack me, but I have the courage and gutts to ask these questions because they deserved to be answered. Who knows, they probably are wondering as well.

    Perhaps your Chief of Staff???? will respond.

  27. 27 sudds

    “Besides….even Sudds deserves a good Councilman.”

    I’m going to cut down a tree and stock up on firewood… because hell MUST be freezing over!!!

  28. 28 1george1

    Sudds: Yes… but I moved for that Mulligan guy!!!

    Ge Orge: Hope it wasn’t bowel movement?

    Ogress: He has some big shoes to fill in the third district with the
    departure of Gavin Forrester.

    Ge Orge: Please remind me of Gavin’s actual accomplishments,
    as a Town Councilor?
    1 – Long Brook Park + Penders Bonding … finally
    2 – Ran Budget Work Shops – rarely raised crucial issues
    3 – Pension Board monopoly money – rarely raised crucial issues
    4 – C.R.C. # 1 + # 2 both debacles
    5 – FAC – Cover up for imbro + burturla > Delieto, Vedock …
    6 – Water polution started before
    7 – Shakespeare bidders # 2 + # 3, tail end of # 1 … still closed
    8 – AVCO # 2 Montiposillyco – Lost control to army … still closed
    9 – Lost Dianon – 350 jobs
    10 – Lost Mobil Chemical – 350 jobs
    11 – Raymark – EPA dumped chemicals into pond, expanded 250
    acres contaminated still, including under our houses
    12 – LONG BEACH WEST – turned down $ 40 million from cottage
    owners for less than 1/2 property, could have given rest away
    or kept it
    13 – Airport NOT BOUGHT, now Bridgeport grabbed Stratford acre
    14 – Taxes up 13 % in 3 years, according to Mil Rate, but actually over
    25 % over his 6 years.
    15 – PENSION obligations went from $ 10 million to $ 17.4 million in
    Gavin’s 6 years
    16 – PENSION PORTFOLIO dropped from $ 126 Million and 98 % fully
    funded in 2001 to bottoming $ 63 Million + 34 % fully funded
    17 – In Gavin’s 6 years Health Insurnace went from under $ 10,000 per
    to $ 19,000 per
    18 – New Firehouse, suppose to cost $ 1.8 million. It is well past $ 6 million
    and maybe past $ 7 million in phantom repairs
    19 – Helped arrange for paying $ 800,000 for 2 Fire Trucks + $ 100,000 for
    Equipment which when one was SPEC, the cost was $ 230,000
    20 – Great at arranging meetings, which accomplished nothing.
    21 – Was not afraid to debate me, but Gavin was never my target.

    And GAVIN is one of the SHARPEST PEOPLE, not just on the Council /
    BoE, but all around.
    I praise his EMS Service, along with Calzone + the Bests.
    The Town Council volunteers have been too expensive to .. NOT .. FOR
    Stratford.

    I like Mat Cat for a bunch of reasons, as a person, and he improved his
    knowledge of the issues.
    However, I admit that GAVIN is smarter than I am, far more capable than
    I am and has a far better grasp of the issues than I do….

    It is, however, result that count.

    And just as the police cars only have “TO PROTECT AND SERVE ….”
    they and some of or many of the politicos have not shown they
    serve the general population

    Too many people are Republicans or Democrats, similar to the way
    the Communist Party in RUSSIA gets BETTER PAY, HOMES, PENSIONS,
    BENEFITS, etc than the average russian … so too it is in the USA.

    Gavin + Fredette, like Debbie Rose, have been BOTH DEMOCRAT
    AND REPUBLICAN.

    Even better GAVIN has been
    REPUBLICAN, then
    DEMOCRAT, then
    REPUBLICAN.

    Gavin is to Stratford party consistency,
    what Mickey Rooney was to marriage.

  29. 29 1george1

    Animal Shelter meeting postponed to week from THURS.
    Same night as RTC.

    I wonder how many architectural drawings there have been
    And changes.
    And money spent on studies and delays
    And follow the money.

    Another Stratford money pit, where delays may cost tax payers?

    If these were never delayed….. would taxes be lower?
    Town Attorney negotiations
    AVCO
    Shakespeare
    Airport
    Long Beach West
    Ray Mark
    Flood Pool
    Fire Trucks
    Fire House done right at $ 2 million not $ 6 million and counting
    Defined Contribution pension
    Honest Health Insurance

  30. 30 1george1

    Next Thurs Feb 25, Mayor Harkins will meet the Old Stratford Neighborhood
    at Christ Church.
    It is the same night as the new meeting for the Animal Shelter.
    It is the same night as the RTC for the country club.

    typo on a prior post related to Linda McMahon where
    EVERYONE (NOT every) might be on steroids.

    brrrr cold outside. It actually seems colder than lower temp nights…

    Roads and sidewalks are freezing over.
    Beeeee careful if you go out tonight or early Wed.

  31. 31 1george1

    Stratford’s Shakespeare theater: the saga continues
    Brittany Lyte, Staff Writer
    Published: 05:26 p.m., Saturday, October 2, 2010

    STRATFORD — The grounds of the long-shuttered Shakespeare theater could play host next summer to a festival performed by a company of professional actors.

    That’s a line often heard and never delivered in Stratford. But for Frank Tobin, founder of his eponymous artistic consulting group, it’s a vision he believes he can materialize if given the green light from the town council.

    “We think we can turn Stratford into the destination it once was,” he said.

    The town council is considering spending a half-million dollars to hire Frank Tobin Associates and Arts Consulting Group, a business management firm, to reopen the Shakespeare theater and pack its stage with top-notch talent.

    Arts Consulting Group is proposing a study, led by Vice President Willem Helm, to assess and recommend a nonprofit business plan and fundraising program for the theater while working with Tobin’s artistic vision.

    “(The town) can’t just go into this with preconceived notions — they tried that twice and failed,” Helm said, adding, “I gather that this has never really been done in the way that we propose to do it. People have come in with a plan and said, `Give me X, Y and Z amount of money and I’ll do it.’ But we think there are preparatory, careful studies that first need to be done and that’s what we propose to do.”

    In the last decade, the town has funneled more than a half-million taxpayer dollars into sprucing the shabby gray structure. Yet repairs to its roof and parking lot need sprucing again, and several attempts to reopen the theater have failed since it closed for good in the mid-1980s.

    “You can’t raise money on a building,” said Matt Catalano, councilman and architect behind the town’s latest effort to recapture the grandeur of an era when industry greats like Katharine Hepburn, James Earl Jones and Paul Newman put on summer Shakespeare in the heart of town.

    Every attempt to salvage some of that magic has been crippled by a for-profit business model, Catalano said. The latest effort to reopen the theater will succeed because of its non-profit business structure, he said.

    Kenneth Tigar, a film, television and stage actor, said the previous council’s schemes to rebuild the theater were doomed to failure. But with the current plan, the town “finally got it right,” he said.

    “The creation of a not-for-profit theater is the way that every successful local or regional theater works today,” he said. “And a lot of the Broadway theaters are going this way as well.

    “This is the way that our town, with the smallest investment of seed money, can reap the profits of having a national treasure right here at our doorstep. People will come (and) spend money. The town makes its money not from the box office, but from the people coming in.”

    The hope is that theater attendees will rejuvenate the local economy through increased spending on food, shopping and lodging. And it’s the hope of proponents of the project that first-class hotels and boutiques will then be jumping to locate in Stratford.

    “It’s not about money, it’s about art,” Catalano said. “The people will come for the art and the money will follow the people. If we make that initial investment, we will get it back ten times over.”

    But some residents are not buying the bait that a renaissance of the theater could transform the town’s McDonald’s into a fancy French restaurant.

    “There’s a group of people that think of costumes and a nice play and Helen Hayes when they think of the theater, and there’s nothing wrong with that — they were here when it was great,” said James Orlowe, president of Quest Stratford Inc. “But somewhere along the line they forgot that it doesn’t make money. Or maybe they don’t care. But I care; I pay taxes. We shouldn’t be putting money into something that’s a dream.”

    Orlowe said he is not opposed to supporting the project with some taxpayer money, but with estimates of the town’s financial commitment to launch the project topping $2 million, he asks, “where will it go from there?”

    In addition to the half-million dollar cost on artistic and business management consulting services, the town in 2007 bonded about $1.5 million for structural repairs to the theater. Combined, that roughly $2 million sum would likely be the extent of the seed money the town would need to invest in the project, according to Town Council Chairman Tom Malloy.

    “Where is this money coming from?” asked former councilman Alvin O’Neal at a recent public hearing. “Did (the council) already know in advance that you were going to give $500,000 to Mr. Tobin when you were doing the budget? If you didn’t, what does that do to the budget?”

    Malloy said the council has yet to determine which fund half-million dollar consulting fees would come from.

    Money issues aside, many residents question whether the town will be able to deliver on a dream it has painted over and over again for nearly a quarter century.

    “Why not?” Catalano asked. “Stratford has a long history of mediocrity and never getting anything off the ground and a lot of people who try to find reasons not to do something. But you know what? I’ve spent my entire adult life looking at an empty building on the river, and you know what I say? Enough. We can do this. We can obtain world-class festival theater in Stratford.”

    That’s a refrain many residents have tired of, Councilwoman Stephanie Philips said.

    “People have heard, `It’s coming, it’s coming!’ for so long now that it doesn’t resonate much,” she said, adding, “Generally, people like the concept. They say it sounds like it would be a nice idea, but there’s always that caveat of: `As long as it doesn’t cost me; as long as it doesn’t take away from what I have.’ It goes along with chocolate chip cookies: everybody likes that. But we’ve sort of gone to the Shakespeare well too many times. Now they are saying, `Show it to me.’ “

  32. 32 1george1

    October 3, 2010 Letter to editor, 500 words, excluding title: Shakespeare Theater Public Hearing edited remarks:

    George Mulligan, 429 Housatonic Avenue, Stratford, CT. 06615 (203) 378-1888 Based on SEPT 29, 2010 Stratford Town Council Public Hearing Shakespeare Theater:
    (Please note some town councilors, echo my remarks likely to be seen and heard on channel 79)

    Shakespeare Theater Public Hearing edited remarks:

    Shakespeare, AVCO, Raymark are Stratford’s version of “ground hog day” or “waiting for Godot.” Hopefully “alls well that ends well.”

    Conditionally, I favor reopening Stratford Shakespeare Theater, without kelptocrats; sweetheart deals; skimming seed money; and setting legitimate remunification from stratgetic partnerships.

    This is why I believe Stratford Shakespeare Theater is a money maker “if the project not sabotaged or diverted.” (This IS Stratford)

    I have been Marketing for 2 decades and responsible for an estimated $40 million in residual, route, and one time sales, including over $300 million in sales opportunities. I understand value; perceived value; projecting advantages, features, benefits; and turning objections into selling points!


    Value exists!

    2009 Disney paid $ 4 Billion for 5,000 Marvel Comic characters. Shakespeare created over 1,000 characters in 37 plays and over 100 other works.

    Restore among the largest stages on the East Coast (over 1500 seats)!

    I believe Stratford Shakespeare Theater hosted or could host: Chorus Line, Dracula, Grease, Westside Story, Cats, Showboat, Dracula, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Fiddler on the roof, Comedy, Opera, Dance, Rock, Jazz, Blues, Country, Lectures, local productions and more! (Market: Staged productions!)

    There are successful Shakespeare venues around the world. English is spoken, read, and writen by over 20% of the world’s population. Shakespearean modernized remakes and derivatives of verse created many profitable American plays, TV plots, and Movie plots.


    “Stratford Shakespeare Theater’s Advantage, features and benefits?”

    “Monetizeable World Brand” like Coke, McDonald’s, Disney, etc.

    Tri-state and New England patronage!

    Economic Engine: Tourist attractions for Restaurants and Shopping; local workers Jobs; spending by tour companies and workers to Hotels, etc.

    24/7/365 potential sub-leasing of Stratford’s Shakespeare Globe Theater to varieties of clients.

    Empirical Educational improvement towards inspiring students: Arts, Literature, and Theater. Seasonal “weekday Matinees” for “Students bussed from New England and Tristate,” profitable supplements.

    “Licensing and selling” “Stratford Shakespeare Theater” characters, properties, and novelties!

    Venue for local “non-profits and schools” fundraising!

    Improve property values and tax base, with revenue from “for profit” subcontractors to “nonprofit management.”

    Government and private Grants and donations.

    My favorite idea? Create an entertaining movie: “Renovating the Stratford Shakespeare Theater.”

    Venture capital business loan for docu-drama-comedy movie about renovating the Shakespeare Theater, is a business expense (like building Stages). Loan repayment can be amortized over years.

    Revenue: Movie theaters sales, DVD (other) Rentals, Cable syndication, can repay the business loans, and repay past expenses like: $700,000 roof, $500,000 parking lot repaving, and profits for producers and Stratford’s Treasury!

    Pay Operational Expenses: Interior, Exterior, Grounds, Remediation, Operations, Marketing.

    Recoup: $500,000 parking lot paved, $500,000 roof, Landscaping, Interior, Exterior

    I support intelligent Business plans, with profit sharing from strategic partners from: Licensing, Leasing, Property Taxes, Movie and Media remunification, and donational grants.

    I support a “Show me the money” Business Plan that reasonable people can expect good “Returns on Investments,” transparently paying: all future, present, and past Shakespeare Theater expenses; pay non profit operations cost, and yield profits to legitimate strategic partners!

    No more sabotage. No more scheming subplots. Act “transparently” in Stratford’s Public’s Interest!

  33. 33 1george1

    roof goof?

    I heard the roof cost $ 500 k and heard it cost $ 700 k?
    who knows?

    Hence my post has 2 different $ ###s.

    Perhaps the whole hanney controversey was just to steer the roof
    job to someone who would kick back attorney fees and political
    donations to certain bean counters and bean collectors?

  34. 34 jezebel282

    George,

    “The creation of a not-for-profit theater is the way that every successful local or regional theater works today,” he said. “And a lot of the Broadway theaters are going this way as well.”

    Umm…since it was built it was non-profit. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard the word “profit” used in any connection to this theater.

  35. 35 cstratct

    I have to take issue with Mr. Tigar’s statement. In fact I have trouble with “all or nothing” statements. I like Mr. Tigar and have spoken to him on numerous occasions, but there are as many cautionary tales with respect to not-for-profit regional theaters as there are success stories, and those stories go back to the beginning of the regional theater movement.

    The Broadway statement is misleading. While there are some not-for-profit theatre companies operating on Broadway (Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, among others), Broadway is still primarily commercial (for-profit) and doesn’t really show any signs of going towards a not-for-profit model. Some productions originated by not-for-profit companies end up on Broadway as a result of commercial producers (happens more frequently with plays, sometimes musicals). Some have the resources to bring their own productions to Broadway (Steppenwolf Theatre Company). Other productions are out-of-town tryouts that get trial runs at not-for-profit companies but are backed by commercial financing from the beginning (happens more frequently with musicals).

    To say that “a lot of Broadway theaters are going this way as well” may be more individual interpretation, but I wouldn’t make or agree with that statement.

    The idea of “profit” among not-for-profit institutions is also misleading. Many not-for-profits are financially successful, meaning they do not run operating deficits. Defining organizations as for-profit and not-for-profit just complicates matters. Not-for-profit simply means there are no shareholders/individuals earning profits (i.e. capital gains) from the organization’s operations.

    That said, there are municipally-owned performing arts centers where the municipality owns the property but not-for-profit organizations operate and program the facilities, and there is little, if any, public funding supporting the ongoing operations, as the organizations operating the facilities are financially stable, successful entities.

  36. 36 1george1

    Jeze,
    I defer to Chris on the non profit issue, on which he educated me
    1 – 2 years ago about several aspects, including non profits doing
    managing and using for profit venues to help cover costs.

    What I like about Chris’s idea / Catalano’s idea, is that if a profit
    exists at year end … it has to go somewhere … like the town
    general fund.

    The town council could then take s o m e of the money and use
    for seed money for operating costs.

    Hypothetically, the non profit could generate a $ 10 million surplus
    and cut taxes by 2 Mils …H Y P O T H E T I C A L L Y

    We all know Stratford’s history with Public Money: champery; barratry;
    country club cronyism; political patronage; and skimming.

    Shakespeare has been Shakes scams; Shake down; Shake smeared;
    Shaked and (1/2) baked; and Milked Shaked .. 😦

  37. 37 1george1

    Tobin is out.

    Tobin wanted 2 1/2 million to be hired as a professional fund raiser.

    I do NOT have A N Y details, but I seem to recall Miron’s GRANT WRITER
    created her own job as a Bridgeport GRANT WRITER.

    What does one have to do with the other?

    For under $ 100,000 a year for a couple years, that Grant writer and her
    successor Christine K, have bought in excess of $ 10 Million in stimulus
    money and Grants for 2 years

    If Tobin and company were any good, with salaries for 1/2 year, expenses,
    and access to Town Reources, shouldn’t professional Rund Raisers be
    capable of raising enough FUNDS to cover ALL of their future costs?

    At the most I could see $ 500,000 for multiyear programs in place for a
    whole company of people, who should be able to host at least one FUND
    RAISER a MONTH, by month 2 or month 3.

  38. Are we still talking about this theater?


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