Funding woes force cancellation of 'Shake at the Lake'

Staging Shakespeare's "As You Like It" "would have imperiled the rest of the season," producing director Richard Garner said, "and the board is pretty up front that we shouldn't be doing that." Georgia Shakespeare's five-play season at Oglethorpe University opens June 10 with "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Shake at the Lake would have used about 20 actors and cost $115,000. Garner said it became obvious in recent days that he wouldn't be able to find funding for the event, which is free and therefore generates no income.

"I think in times like these a program like this is pretty good for a community," he said, "but, of course, it's not a free program."

Though one longtime anonymous donor remains supportive, Garner had trouble targeting new backers. "They said this is just not the year to be taking on a new program."

Last week, the Alliance Theatre said it was pulling the plug on a new Stephen Sondheim revue that was to have been a highlight of its 40th anniversary season, after its New York producers said they couldn't find funding.

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