Stratford Lawmakers Seek Governor’s Support to Rebuild Shakespeare Theater

January 18, 2019

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers who represent the town of Stratford are asking for Governor Ned Lamont’s support to rebuild the Shakespeare Theater, an iconic landmark that was destroyed in a fire last weekend. The lawmakers are asking the administration for a state investment of $5 million.

“Last weekend, the Stratford community experienced an enormous loss,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to the governor. “The Shakespeare Theater, an artistic and cultural icon, burned to the ground. As advocates for the theater, and for many of us with deep ties to the theater, this loss is truly devastating… It has a special place in the history of not only Stratford, but also of our entire state. Rebuilding would be an opportunity to revitalize the arts, boost our economy and commemorate an integral piece of our history.”

The lawmakers seeking support include Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21), whose first job was in the Shakespeare Theater alongside his mother and aunt, as well as theater advocates Representatives Joe Gresko (D-121), Phil Young (D-120), and Ben McGorty (R-122).

For multiple years, Stratford lawmakers have requested state bonding from the previous governor’s administration to revitalize and reopen the shuttered theater. They are hopeful that following recent tragic events the new governor’s administration will see the economic and historic value in restoring the theater.

The lawmakers are requesting a state investment of $5 million in bonds that fall within the state’s new bond cap to mitigate the fire damage and construct a new theater.

The legislators also look forward to hearing from Stratford residents about their ideas for the theater property.

Click to view full letter: Stratford Lawmaker Letter on Shakespeare Theater Funding

PDF of Letter re Shakespeare Theater