News (Edmonton): Freewill Shakespeare Festival seeks support regarding damaged space

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News (Edmonton): Freewill Shakespeare Festival seeks support regarding damaged space

The Heritage Amphitheatre tent in Hawrelak Park, home to Edmonton’s annual Freewill Shakespeare Festival, was damaged earlier this year. The Edmonton Journal reports that construction crews were installing a $400,000 covering in Hawrelak Park when it was ripped by winds on Jan. 25 or 26. The canopy was to replace the amphitheatre’s original covering, which was about 25 years old.

This situation has put the Freewill Shakespeare Festival in a precarious position for its 26th season, as the tent will not be repaired in time for its currently scheduled opening of June 24, 2014. The festival’s priority is finding a corporate partner or partners to help with the several additional costs as it is forced to locate to an alternate venue. 

Secondly the Freewill Shakespeare Festival requests the public, have any leads on acquiring the below bullet points. (For example, if you know a fencing company or an organization with a tent that fits the specs they would love to chat…). If you have any leads, please contact the Free Will Shakespeare Festival at 780-425-8086 or [email protected].

OPTION #1: Outdoors with a tent that covers stage and audience. The ideal solution is to rent or have a tent donated that can house both our set and audience. This is also the most cost-prohibitive solution, (comma) as Freewill will have to shoulder several additional expenses including:

  • A tent large enough to cover the stage and 500+ seats
  • Fencing to secure the perimeter around the tent
  • Seating
  • Trailers with running water to act as dressing rooms and om-site office space
  • Bathroom facilities for audience

OPTION #2: Outdoors with a tent covering the stage only. The next best solution to keep the festival outdoors is to rent or have a tent donated that can cover the set. Unfortunately this means the audience will not be covered. There is also a significant cost to pursuing this route, including:

  • A tent large enough to cover the stage
  • Fencing to secure the perimeter around the tent
  • Seating
  • Trailers with running water to act as dressing rooms and on-site office space
  • Bathroom facilities for audience

OPTION # 3: Indoors inside existing venue. If an outdoor festival turns out not to be feasible, the next best solution is to move indoors. We are currently looking for theatre facilities that are not yet book and that can accommodate the size and scope of our festival.

OPTION #4: Indoors in a unique venue. This is an interesting option as we explore the possibility of finding an indoor space that is large enough to accommodate the festival but that isn’t necessarily an existing theatre space. There are however additional costs associated with this plan as well, including:

  • An space large enough to fit the stage and 500+ seats for a minimum of 6 weeks
  • Seating
  • Scaffolding for lighting and sound equipment
  • Bathroom facilities for audience

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