Lincoln Center Summer Festival dropped a nice press bomb this morning...
the Royal Shakespeare Company will hold court in Manhattan in the summer of 2011 for an unprecedented six-week, five-play residency. The troupe will occupy a newly constructed theater inside the Park Avenue Armory as part of the Lincoln Center FestivalAnd given the Lincoln Center Fest's usual practices, we can be sure tickets will be hundreds of dollars and sold out well in advance to patrons. Thanks.
What's in it for the RSC, you ask?
[RSC A.D. Michael Boyd] said that support and collaboration with artists and patrons in America was increasingly important for the Royal Shakespeare Company, disclosing that 40 percent of its annual fund-raising revenue comes from the United States.Ah.
Wait--40 freakin percent??? I wonder how many rich American theatre-lovers are giving more to troupes abroad than here at home?
So we already know NYC hearts RSC. But the Festival sure is going the extra mile in setting up Stratford Upon Upper East Side:
[S]everal hundred thousand dollars would be spent to construct a replica of the company’s Royal Shakespeare Theater, which is being built in Stratford. The replica will be shipped in pieces to New York and assembled in the Armory’s monumental Drill Hall, which has 55,000 square feet of uncolumned space.Funny thing is, the Armory is only a short walk away from NYC's, um, other summer Shakespeare attraction, the Public Theatre's Delacorte. If I were Eustis & co. I would not ignore the Brits, but choose the same plays and directly challenge them to a Bard-Off! After all, we already know RSC is bringing six plays (“Antony and Cleopatra,” “As You Like It,” “Julius Caesar,” “King Lear,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Winter’s Tale") so there's not much else even left!