Thursday, May 30, 2024

Letters To The Editor


Tucker Chase
Stratford, CT

To the Editor: re: Performing Arts Complex Proposals offered to the public at Baldwin Center on April 2nd for discussion.

Neither one of the proposals work. On too many levels, nothing visible in the drawings accomplishes the wishes and knowledge of people who work in theater, music, dance, art work spaces and galleries, etc.

I believe the town should sell the land and existing buildings to Tom Evans’s Globe Theater Group for a dollar (which is what the town paid the state to buy it) and step aside. Tom understands the cachet that the Stratford name still has in association with Shakespeare. To have a Globe facsimile in Stratford will draw an audience ready to spend money in our local restaurants, bed and breakfasts and the theater itself. It will also draw the best actors internationally, which in turn will prime the associative pump of more shops, more businesses that cater to those who will stay in the area to see more great theater. There is much more to say in the ‘positives’ column with virtually no negatives. Look at Stratford, Ontario to see what an economic engine it can become.

Further growth for the arts of all sorts will follow the anchor of the Globe. It will be an extraordinary draw for people of all walks of life and interests. Additional development of the property will be based on the people’s real interests, guided with the help of experienced professional’s pragmatic involvement.

The town of Stratford does not know how to ask the right questions that will result in great venues invigorating the arts in this town at that location. Let the professionals who have a lifetime of experience take the unfettered lead without town interference and obstruction.

The town needs to let go. Years of municipal failure have gone by (the theater burned down under its watch), and obviously continues to do so, as demonstrated by so many failed RFP’s and the silly current landscaping plans of some generic no place. Let go of thinking the town will do something beneficial here – by definition it cannot. To do anything shown on the plans would be a big mistake.

Be grateful that someone of theatrical knowledge and vision lives here and wants to truly invest himself in a remarkable project.

Let go.


  1. Well said. There were very, very few people at the meeting who have ANY amateur, let alone professional experience. There comes a time to step aside and admit that this is just not a project the town can afford or accomplish. Let the professionals take on the liability and cost. Let them do the heavy lifting.

  2. The still small voice in the wilderness. I worked here ( long before we moved here) in 1960 – and 1961. Professionals were fully in charge and remained so until the whole enterprise collapsed, and Joseph Verner Reed was no longer on hand to rescue the theatre as he had done for years. Professionals, by themselves, are worthless. You still require the thing we never had and shows no sign of stirring now: the people of Stratford. I should love to see an active professional theatre here, especially now. Across the country–and even abroad to some extent–the theatre is in a state of–I put this in the least frightening term I can–transformation. Television–entertainment at home–has had its unintended effect.
    The American theatre has become almost entirely a commercial enterprise

    Theatre is an art form whose secondary purpose is to provide employment, hopefully year-round. The theatre exists for people to see and experience something of lasting value. That certain includes the people of this dear town.

    Are the people of Stratford–among whom are some theatre professionals–for this, or against it, or do they just not give a damn? Shouldn’t we hear from them? Us?


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