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Heart of America Shakespeare Festival Faces Shortfall

Actor John Rensenhouse (cast as Macbeth), producing artistic director Sidonie Garrett, board member Crosby Kemper III, and founder Marilyn Strauss.
photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR
Actor John Rensenhouse (cast as Macbeth), producing artistic director Sidonie Garrett, board member Crosby Kemper III, and founder Marilyn Strauss.

Due to a budget shortfall, as its 19th season approaches, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival organizers are asking: "Is this a dagger which I see before me?" when it comes to this year's scheduled production of Macbeth.

By Laura Spencer

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-965545.mp3

Kansas City, Mo. – Due to a budget shortfall, as its 19th season approaches, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival organizers are asking: "Is this a dagger which I see before me?" when it comes to this year's scheduled production of Macbeth. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

Each year, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival starts from scratch, raising funds from corporations, foundations, and individuals.

Producing artistic director Sidonie Garrett says charitable giving is down. And with just over a month to go before the production of Macbeth, they're running $100,000 short. A May 4th deadline has been imposed to raise the money or cancel the production.

"We cannot put thread to fabric, nor nail to wood until we know we have this money," says Garrett. "We want to make sure that we're being responsible. And that people who we've hired to do jobs for us will actually get paid."

A challenge grant from the John C. Griswold Foundation is in place to match a portion of donations.

Laura Spencer is staff writer/editor at the Kansas City Public Library and a former arts reporter at KCUR.
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