William Shakespeare may have said "He who dies pays all debts" but Winnipeg's Shakespeare in the Ruins hopes it doesn't have to go that far.
The Winnipeg Theatre company is falling short this year. Four weeks ago artistic co-chair Kevin Klassen sent out desperate letters to subscribers asking for help. He says the combination of spring flooding, tight economic times, and a relatively obscure play has put the company seven thousand dollars in debt.
"We've just been so pleased with how the last three years have gone towards ending in the black. I don't think it was going to spell the end of us but we were certainly looking at a serious deficit and a serious hole to climb out of," said Klassen.
He added that with one major and one minor production in a year, it's hard to make up the shortfall.
In light of the situation, Shakespeare in the Ruins has decided to mount Stripped-down Romeo & Juliet as a fundraiser. The November 11th and 12th evening performances are sold out and a new performance has been added for Saturday afternoon, November 12th. It takes place at St. Luke's Anglican Church and doors open at 2:30. The event also features food and drink.
The production was conceived and adapted by Shakespeare in the Ruins. Their audacious version of this great love story features four actors, all male. It has previously enjoyed two sold-out tours all across Manitoba, Western Ontario, and Eastern Saskatchewan.
Derek Leehouts as Romeo (Sarah Constible)