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Crowdfunding campaign held to bring back Shakespeare in the Park

SINGAPORE — Local theatre company Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) wants to bring back the popular annual Shakespeare in the Park event next year, and hopes to raise money for it through crowdfunding.

SINGAPORE — Local theatre company Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) wants to bring back the popular annual Shakespeare in the Park event next year, and hopes to raise money for it through crowdfunding.

On Wednesday, SRT launched the Save Our Shakespeare (SOS) campaign on crowdfunding and volunteering platform Giving.sg to raise S$100,000 to help bring back the event in 2018. Shakespeare in the Park had been a fixture on the arts calendar for about a decade. The event, which drew about 30,000 people annually, was last staged last year.

It was revealed earlier this year that SRT would not be bringing back the event this year following the cuts in government funding to some arts groups. In March, the National Arts Council announced that while overall arts funding increased slightly, “in light of budget reduction across the Government and the growth in the number of deserving recipients over the years, the funding for some groups sees a less than 10 per cent dip compared to previous years.”

In a post on LinkedIn, SRT’s managing director Charlotte Nors said: “It’s an expensive business staging theatre productions in Singapore and a constant struggle in a world of decreased government funding and corporate sponsorship. Add to that rising production costs and stagnant ticket prices, and it soon becomes apparent why we are looking for additional ways to raise much-needed funds.”

Featuring staged contemporary versions of plays by the world’s greatest dramatist William Shakespeare, the productions were held at Fort Canning Park.

According to Nors, Shakespeare In The Park costs over S$1 million to produce partly due to the expensive stage infrastructure. Organisers are looking to raise S$100,000 through crowdfunding to “bridge the gap between ticket sales, sponsorship and the actual production cost”.

SRT has raised S$10,500 so far, about 11 per cent of its target.

Speaking with TODAY, Nors said: “Times are a bit more uncertain and financially challenging now, so I do understand why companies need to tighten the belt. However, in these troubling times, it is more important than ever to support the arts. We have the ability to bring our community together in shared moments, to create dialogue and to inspire conversation across divides.”

Some members of the public have voiced their support for the production, describing it as an important part of their social calendar. “Date nights with Shakespeare in the greenery have always been something I look forward to and not having it will never make date nights as romantic again,” said freelance corporate trainer Shana Shaheed, 34. Reena Devi

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