Hello fellow Shakespeare lovers!
I am writing as a Board Member of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, but also a theatre director, actor, and audience member myself. And I'm writing because this is one of those times that we most need your help!
I call this period "crunch month" - that month when all professional salaries are due, sets and costumes are being built, and costs are at their highest all year - but opening night is still a month away, ticket sales have not yet taken off, and sponsorships and grant money have not yet rolled in for the summer. And that leads to a monetary "crunch" at the worst time of the year.
When I first moved to Michigan from NYC, I came across this small outdoor theatre festival in Jackson, Michigan that performed outstanding Shakespeare productions in the park - and from the first show I saw I was hooked. The Festival has since grown tremendously in scope and nature, has for many years been located indoors in state-of-the-art, air-conditioned, bug-free splendor, and has continued to present remarkable theatre for five weeks every summer.
This year, the Festival is expanding to include three weeks in Canton, MI as well as two ongoing weeks in Jackson (for the record, we do not ever plan to leave Jackson as our home base!).
But the Festival needs your help. Even when ticket sales are at their best, they cover only a portion of the true costs of running a theatre, let alone an entire summer festival season. The rest depends on you - donors, sponsors, friends, fellow theater-lovers.
The Michigan Shakespeare Festival is a professional Actors Equity Association-LORT theatre festival, featuring all-professional actors, artistic staff, and technicians.
Because the Festival maintains high artistic professional standards that result in top quality productions utilizing artists of the highest caliber, it is no wonder that the company is the most award-winning theatre in the state, garnering not only local but national acclaim. Reviews called last season's productions "Outstanding" (MLive), "You may never again see this play done so well" (Encore Michigan), "Remarkably relevant" (Examiner), "Four out of Four stars" (Detroit Free Press), and "Exquisite...gorgeous... perfect" (Jackson Citizen Patriot). BroadwayWorld named last season's production of Hamlet the Best Shakespearean Production of 2014.
This July 9- August 16, 2015 the Festival will offer William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Henry IV, along with Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals, at both venues - in Jackson and in Canton. Tickets are now on-sale. Purchasing your tickets early also helps our cash flow.
Won't you please take a moment to remember the Michigan Shakespeare Festival with a donation or sponsorship? It's easy. Just make out a check to the Michigan Shakespeare Festival and mail it to the address below or go to our website for a secure donation link. We'll thank you, we'll applaud you, we'll salute you with another season of awesome Shakespeare. And you'll know that you made the difference.
Thanks in advance - and see you at our shows this summer!
Ronald P. Baumanis, Vice Chair
MSF Board of Directors
Send donations to:
Michigan Shakespeare Festival
215 W. Michigan Ave.
Jackson, MI 49201
"The Michigan Shakespeare Festival in Jackson seems to be going from strength to strength, at last becoming the summer destination event it was surely meant to be - DETROIT NEW MONITOR