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Connecticut News

Stratford Debates Future Of Shakespeare Theatre Destroyed By Fire

Davis Dunavin
The remains of the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Conn., as seen the day after a devastating fire destroyed the building in January.

The town of Stratford, Conn., is asking what to do with the property where the historic American Shakespeare Theatre once stood. The theater burned down in January.

Ed Goodrich, who is part of a town committee that met for the first time this week, said he’s hopeful the town will find a way to bring back theater on the property.

“I’m an optimist by nature. You know, you just have to do the basic things of theater and not-for-profit organization and the right people, and I think that you’re going to do quite well. The town is trying to move forward and see what can be done after the burning of the theatre. I think there’s a lot of moving parts to this that have to be really ironed out of what’s going to be there.”

Goodrich said that includes environmental restrictions on the property, which is owned by the town. The deed to the property also specifies it must be used for public entertainment.

The theater opened in 1955 and hosted performances from actors like Katharine Hepburn and Christopher Plummer before it closed in 1982. The town debated what to do with the theatre for decades before the fire destroyed it.

Police are still investigating the cause of the fire.