Shakespeare & Company
Reduces Staff and Seeks Support
By: S&Co - Jul 02, 2020
In response to the financial impact caused by COVID-19, Shakespeare & Company is cutting expenses and launching the Springboard fundraising campaign to help cover the loss of earned income from ticket sales this summer. The Company’s administrative offices will be on limited hours and limited operations July 6 through October 4. During this time, many of the Company’s full-time staff of 26 will be furloughed. A small team will remain active to handle administrative tasks, virtual programming, fundraising, and property management. Furloughed staff will continue to receive their full health benefits. The Company plans to resume education and performance programming come November, health guidelines permitting.
“The Board deeply regrets having to impose a furlough on the extremely dedicated staff of the Company,” said Ken Werner, Board Chairman. “However, for the safety of our staff, artists, patrons, students, and volunteers, we have had to postpone our 2020 performance season, and our main summer fundraising event, as well as cancel all of our in-person education and professional training programs, all sources of critical operating revenue for the Company. We needed to take this measure to preserve the long-term financial viability of the Company and prepare us to come back strong for our 2021 summer season.”
“It is enormously disappointing to have to furlough our talented and devoted staff who pour their hearts into this company. And we regret having to suspend our normally scheduled programming due to COVID-19 this summer,” adds Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. “Nonetheless, to keep the wheels turning for the community, we’re looking forward to our collaboration with Berkshire International Film Festival to host a drive-in movie theatre on our campus. We’ll also explore ideas for simple, safe, outdoor programming on a per project basis as the conditions allow.”
“This current financial strain has forced us to examine the ways we can keep the Company moving forward,” said Managing Director Adam Davis. “This difficult pause of activity is a safeguard to our future programs.”
“Recently, the we announced the Springboard Campaign to raise $500,000 to help address this year’s earned revenue shortfall and place the Company in the strongest position to reopen its facilities,” continues Adam Davis. “Long-time friends of the Company launched the Campaign with a $50,000 matching gift to encourage others to support the Company during these unprecedented times. We are incredibly heartened by the strong response so far to this critical fundraising drive.”
Shakespeare & Company’s Education Department is staying in close communication with local schools and remains optimistic that fall programming, including The Fall Festival of Shakespeare, can still happen in some form.
The Company’s on-site Box Office will be closed through October 2, 2020. Tickets to the December performance of Emma can be purchased online at shakespeare.org.
Shakespeare & Company relies on the generous support of people like you now more than ever to sustain the Company’s tradition of artistic excellence and secure a bright future. For more information please contact our Development Office at 413-637-1199 ext. 180.
Shakespeare & Company encourages the Berkshire community to continue to use social distancing, and to observe all other standard precautions as advised by the CDC and local health officials. Additional information on prevention measures, coping with stress, and more about the coronavirus can be found on the CDC website at cdc.gov.