A Series by Tom Evans and Jim Warren
In the light of recent press around our troubled but beloved Shakespeare property, I walked the three blocks from my house to the grounds, as I do most days. I wanted to sit and consider what makes this property such a cultural touchstone and challenge, all at the same time.
My name is Tom Evans – I live on Main Street and used to be able to see the peak of the old American Shakespeare Festival Theatre from my bedroom. Like many of us who live in Stratford, I was heartbroken by the fire at the theatre. I turned that pain into energy and worked hard with the Town and our community to kick off the Phoenix Festival.
In planning that event, and serving on the Shakespeare Sub-Committee, I began to see a vision for what the property, and in turn, the town, could be. The anchor of that vision would be creating a true destination theatre campus, like Stratford, Ontario, or Ashland, Oregon. And the core of that campus would be something unknown anywhere in the world – a historically inspired, timber-framed re-creation of Shakespeare’s 1614 Globe. (Which was also built from the ashes of a fire.)
The Globe would be coupled with a modern performing arts and cultural center. This way folks visiting could watch Romeo and Juliet – directed with Shakespeare’s Staging Conditions – in the morning, and that evening see a Broadway smash like “& Juliet” with all the lights and the spectacle you expect. We could present the best of Shakespeare alongside modern classics – something for everyone. Stratford could become a beacon for performers and theatre lovers across the world.
So, what does the Globe really mean to us as a town? Let’s dive in, and over the next 4 articles, we will share with you the meaning of the G.L.O.B.E to Stratford.
- Growth – The AGC will increase revenue, build the tax roll, and increase economic development.
- Landmark – we’re creating a landmark geographic icon, and a landmark approach to theatre.
- Opportunity – The AGC will create jobs for Stratfordians – in and out of the theatre.
- Business – We’ll bring in 50,000 extra customers annually, ready to spend on their arts vacation.
- Education – The AGC can offset budget cuts in our schools and bring arts to the classroom.
As the Executive Director, I’ll focus on the business and growth. My producing partner, and founder of the American Shakespeare Center, Jim Warren will cover education and what truly makes us unique. Tune in for our next article and see the dollar and cents for the AGC will bring to Stratford – I think you’ll be happy you did.
In the meantime, feel free to check us out www.AmericanGlobeCenter.org for more information or reach out to us on Facebook.