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Take the Shakespeare Theatre Survey

Answer the 30 questions and let your Stratford neighbors know what you thought of the survey by commenting below.

The consulting group recently launched an online survey as part of its study into revamping the longtime shuttered theatre.

Arts Consulting Group in April presented three options for breathing new life into the theatre; the concepts ranged in price from $3.2 million for a "temporary," summer venue that would host 30 to 40 events a year, to $29.6 million for a venue that would be open year-round, put on 192 events a year and potentially rake in $2 million in annual revenue. 

Click here to start the survey. 

Those who complete the survey before August 13, 2012, will have a chance to win a pair of tickets to "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway or "The Taste of Stratford"restaurant package. Those who respond before July 31 will also have the chance to win a free VIP dinner at a Festival! Stratford performance of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" (Aug. 1-5). No purchase is necessary.

Jason Bagley (Editor) July 16, 2012 at 02:54 PM
"Easy to do.... good questions. #23 is confusing... Needs input on both lines. Otherwise worth time/effort" - Nancy Musante comments on Stratford Patch's Facebook page. Like us: http://www.facebook.com/StratfordPatch
Bob E. Peel July 16, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Let's let the past of the Shakespeare Theater dictate it's future. The past was a money losing proposition and any new venture to revive the theater would fool hardy to say the least.
Jim Ravis July 16, 2012 at 03:23 PM
@Bob - And with that sort of thinking, we would still not have planes, helicopters or gone to the moon. Thanks for not being a part of any of those accomplishments.
Mike Reynolds July 16, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Could they make the survey a little longer?
Jim Miron July 16, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Took the survey and I must say, it was comprehensive! Hopefully enough people will particiapte so the input and results are meaningful.
Bob E. Peel July 16, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Hey Jim, those things you mentioned eventually became a reality and turned a profit. The Stratford Shakespeare Theater never earned a dime.
Beth Daponte July 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM
I was disappointed in how the survey is being conducted. The consultants are using a "convenience" sample approach. This sampling scheme is cheap to implement, but does not provide results that are generalizable to the community at large. This approach does not allow one to define the universe of respondents, calculate a response rate, or calculate standard errors around the statistics that result. The consultants should be more rigorous in their data collection techniques. Some of the questions were poorly worded/designed/conceptualized. For example, given that Stratford sits between New Haven and Stamford, I am not sure why the first set of questions are about Fairfield County. Surely, many Stratford residents go to New Haven for arts events. Some questions refer to Fairfield County, while another refers to the "Fairfield County area." Ultimately, I am not sure that the quality of the survey and the sampling scheme is high enough for any faith to be placed in many of the results.
Kimberly Meuse. July 17, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Both the CT Commission on Culture and Tourism and ACG recommended a cultural assessment in the town of Stratford, to be administered through the Stratford Arts Commission over a period of several months. A more comprehensive study can be done only if there is a willing volunteer to take the time and effort to do it right, and any suggestions on who would take the time and effort to do this might still be helpful. The CCCT would mentor whomever is chosen to head the assessment, provide an outline for focus questions, and thus move the Stratford theater and arts initiative in a positive direction. I applaud the ACG for this survey, but if a higher quality survey with more comprehensive questions are being suggested, then there is definitely a solution for anyone willing to put in the time and effort.....any recommendations who could do that, Beth? Please let the Arts Commission know!
OpportunistWatch July 17, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Stratford has a big problem with a lack of funds. For example: Certain police officers with the most seniority retire with pumped up overtime pensions that surpass their active duty yearly pay. How can we pay for a theater if we have yearly threats from Cornish to close down another school because of budget constraints? I have lived in Lordship for over 30 years and my aunt & uncle lived one block from theater on Elm Street for many years. My family has a small business very close to the theater so it is assumed by many that we would be naturally for a theater that would bring traffic to our town. Those that assume every business in town wants taxpayers to dump millions for zero ROI just to get some extra traffic are kidding themselves. The real emphasis that ALL these diehard Shakespeare readers/writers living near the theater should be on the abandoned Army engine plant that would drive huge amounts of business to Stratford if developed properly which would in exchange raise the tax base for money to be thrown on a dead rotten wood birdcage theater.
Jim Miron July 18, 2012 at 11:28 AM
I think Beth Daponte has made some good points. Most of us know that surveys and studies can be worded and administered in a manner that makes them biased and skewed. I understand Kim Meuse's point that, as I read it, at least it is something and that something is well intended. However, I think Kim Meuse, a former member of the Town Council, misses the mark. If the future off the Shakespeare Theatre, the property and arts as an economic engine matter to Stratford we should not be looking for a VOLUNTEER to create a study or survey but a professional. The call for this requires LEADERSHIP from the elected officials in town - such as the mayor - to get the town on board to figure out - in an objective and honestly measurable manner - what the pros and cons are. The silence from John Harkins on this issue minimizes the effforts of those that are trying to save the theatre and, I suspect, this is a calculated move by the mayor who favors the transfer of the property to private developers.
George E. Mulligan July 18, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Good Posts. Long survey's Targets aren't just locals. Jason correct: Question # 23 & couple others could be better refined. Agree with Mr. Ravis v Mr. Peel. I believe past was sabotaged. Opportunist correct on situations & priorities. Surprises rumored. Ms. Daponte, Mr. Miron, & Mrs. Meuse: good points & counters. Esq. Miron's Town Attorney R. Burturla negotiated contract with Mr. Hanney's lawyer, Knott. Mr. Miron's entire argument on the Theater was against the excessively pro-Hanney contract. (I have to agree with Mr. Miron.) However, to this day, I have NEVER SEEN nor HEARD MR. MIRON'S PLAN for the SHAKESPEARE THEATER, which Esq. Burturla bill TENS of Thousands of DOLLARS. Jim, why not POST YOUR own SHAKESPEARE PLAN for SUCCESS as BLOG or LETTER to the EDITOR & POINT specifically where we can VERIFY was ACTUALLY PROPOSED to the STRATFORD VOTERS? Jim, I read your blog. You claim to have cut Taxes??????? I DON'T remember any TAX BILL which was lower than a PRIOR YEAR!! I remember you proposed 12% 1st year BUDGET INCREASE & called it 8 %? (How can the numbers go higher than 10% & increase be under 10%?) The supposedly bitter rival Republican said NOTHING even after I pointed out the facts. CT POST ignored FACTS. Star & Bard published FACTS. Jim OVER TAXING by smaller increases each of 4 years & OVER BONDING to prop up BOND RATINGS are CUTTING TAXES, are they? Except in minds of LAWYERS & POLITICAL PARTIES HACKS?
Jim Ravis July 18, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Does anyone realize that the town is dumping almost 2 MILLION dollars into Penders Field? AWARD OF PENDERS FIELD CONTRACT ó Bid No 2012-048: Penders Field Synthetic Turf. Dalling Construction Co. of Stratford, CT in the estimated amount of $1,924,538.00
max July 19, 2012 at 11:26 AM
I agree, so far received the survey twice (to same email address) and found the questions to be leading (meaning biased to get certain answers).
George E. Mulligan July 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Did Bunnell have 2 synthetic turfs installed in less than 10 years. * What are the projected savings (if any) on synthetic vs. natural? Penders & Long Brook were long overdue for work for Stratford HS playing there and I believe this goes along with the $ 53 million Bond to renovate mostly Stratford HS & some for Bunnell. When I was at the Building Needs Committee Meeting the year before, I asked the Consultant the projected price range: Minimum was in $ 32 - 34 Million Maximum $ 37-38 Million for that scope of work. I do not know if the scope of work changed. There are matching state Funds of about 48 - 50% where the Town has to Bond first. How can a BONDING go from about $ 35 million to $ 53 million? My theory is that there is OVER BONDING (SEC possible violation) to prop up the BOND RATINGS for the Town image, while smoke & mirrors we pay extra interests? No one pays attention to BUDGET details and the few of us who do, can't figure out where BOND MONEY, ATTORNEY FEES, and other monies are. TOM MALLOY Town Council BONDED / REBONDED $ 103 Million in May 2010 alone. Next nearest Municipality was in $ 30 million range? Then there were both Capital Improvement BONDINGS between $ 10 - $ 15 million. There was also REBONDING the prior year. Annual payment on PENSION BOND went from just over $ 9.1 million to about $ 7,6 million. It was mostly paid off. However PENSION SHORTFALL was over $ 10 million. It goes up over $ 1 yearly
Jim Miron July 21, 2012 at 08:50 PM
George, I have shared ideas for what Shakespeare could be many times. These ideas came from best practices in other communities and from people in our community. Having said that some of ideas that made the most sense for further exploration included: 1. Creating a Not for Profit entity to oversee the theatre. The composition of this entity would NOT be contolled or appointed by any town governmental entity (mayor or Town Council) as the Politics of the theatre (as with most things in Stratford) have hurt this town for too long. 2. Build a permanent mutil use outdoor venue on the grounds to support the rebuilding/rebranding of the theatre outside while funds were being raised to fix the theatre (this was the idea that led to my starting the summer arts festival). 3. Create a Charter or Magnet School for Performing Arts on the grounds. This would help fund theatre restoration using state/federal funds and create a feeder for the theatre. There are more details that go with each item above and also other worthy ideas but suffice to say there is a lot that can be done to promote the already existing vibrant arts culture in town and to bring more people into town. If you were paying attention George, you have heard me promote these ideas while I was mayor but admittedly it was hard sometimes to pay attention with the other party always attacking me and tearing me down.

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