Over a year ago, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival (ISF) made the difficult decision to cancel its 2020 Season due to the pandemic. Theatres across the world shuttered their doors. With the emergence of coronavirus (COVID-19), we have become accustomed to the very same concerns Elizabethan theatregoers knew so well: self-isolation, social distancing, and the looming specter of the unknown. Thankfully, and with great jubilation, ISF will be back at the Ewing Cultural Center this summer with two productions, The Winter’s Tale and Measure for Measure.
The loss of revenue from canceling the 2020 Season was economically devastating to ISF, and we face a similar loss of revenue this summer. In order to ensure the safety of our patrons and the ISF company, the State of Illinois and the CDC has required ISF to reduce our seating capacity. Furthermore, the backstage heating and cooling system has reached the end of its life. Not only is the system old, it does not meet the airflow standards necessary at this time. We have therefore embarked on a capital improvement project to replace the backstage system. With the support of the Ewing Cultural Center and several generous patrons, we are moving forward with this project. However, we have a long way to go to support the cost of this much-needed improvement.
We recognize that the past year has impacted everyone differently. If you are in a position to give generously this year, we hope you will. Your gift today will ensure that ISF continues to produce energetic new interpretations of theatrical works with the Shakespeare canon as our inspiration. “With mirth and laughter,” we will see you in July!