Stratford lawmakers push for state funding to rebuild Shakespeare Theatre

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Stratford lawmakers from both parties joined together to push for state funding to rebuild the Shakespeare Theatre after it burned down last weekend.

Stratford's legislative delegation sent a letter to Gov. Ned Lamont, requesting $5 million in state bonding assistance to help rebuild the theater.

"This is something that's important to our community, and it's so important that I think it transcends politics," says state Sen. Kevin Kelly.

The Shakespeare Theatre opened in 1955 and was modeled after the Globe Theatre in London. Well-known actors like Katherine Hepburn, Christopher Plummer and Christopher Walken performed at the theater in its prime.

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The theater's last production was held in 1989, though special events continued to be held there.

The town of Stratford acquired the theater in 2005. It caught fire on Jan. 13 and burned to the ground.

"We're trying to turn this tragedy into hopefully a new path for the Shakespeare Theatre," says Rep. Joe Gresko.

Lawmakers say they previously requested bonds to renovate the theater but never got enough support, and they hope this time around will be different.

The town has put together a committee that will listen to the community for opinions on what will be done to the property.

Rep. Phil Hughes and Rep. Ben McGorty are also part of the effort.

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