A recent appearance in Stratford by actor Ed Asner has officials at the Stratford Center for the Arts (SCA) thinking the best is yet to come where efforts to revive the Shakespeare Theatre are concerned.
“It was a great success. A near sellout,” said SCA communications director Mark Graham, refering to A Conversation with Ed Asner. The event which took place at the Scottish Rite Theater on Jan. 8 was the first in a series of American Shakespeare Theatre Alumni Talks scheduled to benefit the Stratford Arts Commission (SAC), the SCA and the Shakespeare Theatre.
Accorrding to Graham, Asner was an eloquent advocate for the re-birth of the theatre in Stratford.
“Stratford must find the money and save this theatre,” Asner said to the near sellout crowd.
He talked for an hour and a half, answering audience questions about his career and that of his colleague and longtime Stratford resident Nancy Marchand who co-starred with Asner on Lou Grant.
“She was one of the great American actresses and was a pleasure to work with,” Asner said of Marchand.
Graham says plans are ongoing for additional Shakespeare alumni to apper in Stratford for similar fund-raising events. “We will be announcing the next event as soon as we are able to get confirmation.”
As for A Conversation with Ed Asner, Graham said, “Who’d have thought we could generate so much excitement this early in the year.”