Saving Shakespeare

The Theater at Monmouth

Maine’s official Shakespearean theater, the Theater at Monmouth, appointed Colby College communications director Edward Hershey to its board to utilize him as a publicity advisor. But that role was expanded dramatically, so to speak, after Hershey and another trustee, Robert Schauer, stumbled on a hidden deficit that jeopardized the beloved theater’s existence. Elected president of the board in 1990, Hershey reorganized the theater and embarked on an audience relations and development program that cleared a substantial debt and created a $32,000 operating surplus in three seasons. One stratagem: a partnership with some of the state’s most prominent antiques dealers leading to a successful fundraising auction. “Ed Hershey's work is singularly responsible for saving the Theater at Monmouth,” Schauer remarked. “We are all very grateful.”

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The Theater at Monmouth is still going strong today in historic Cumston Hall.