Shakespeare Theatre Company Victorious in Fight to Stay in Lansburgh Theatre


The D.C. Superior Court ruled today in favor of the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC), recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award. In an order signed by the court today, the court enjoined all defendants-Boston based developer Graham Gund and a group of entities and people affiliated with him-from taking any action to interfere with Shakespeare Theatre Company's occupancy of the Lansburgh Theatre, the home of STC for 20 years.

The lawsuit brought by STC alleges that famed Boston-based real estate developer Graham Gund, who donated the theatre to a non-profit entity in 1992, was attempting to control and interfere with the charity in violation of its D.C. charter and IFRS rules prohibiting his control, in order to enhance the profitability of the Lansburgh Building, which is owned by Gund and Gund's company Gunwyn / Lansburgh Limited Partnership. The court order entered today specifically stops Defendant Gund from evicting or otherwise interfering with the STC supporting charity.

Randy Miller of the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP and counsel for the Shakespeare Theatre Company stated that "the order entered today provides protection and security for the Shakespeare Theatre Company and safeguards a cultural treasure, the Lansburgh Theatre."

There is a hearing scheduled for January 10, 2013 to determine whether the Order should be expanded.

"We are pleased that the Court ruled in our favor today," said STC's Managing Director Chris Jennings. "This is a victory for not only the Shakespeare Theatre Company, but for our patrons, supporters, and the people of Washington, D.C. who have shown their unwavering support during this time. We look forward to continuing to provide Washington, D.C. with world-class theatre in our home at the Lansburgh for many years to come, starting with Richard Schiff in Hughie at the end of January."

Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has become one of the nation's leading theatre companies. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Managing Director Chris Jennings, STC's innovative approach to Shakespeare and other classic playwrights has earned it the reputation as the nation's premier classical theatre company. By focusing on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced, the Company's artistic mission is unique among theatre companies: to present theatre of scope and size in an imaginative, skillful and accessible American style that honors the playwrights' language and intentions while viewing their work through a 21st-century lens.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and acting classes to discussion series as well as accessible programs like the annual Free For All, one of STC's most beloved annual traditions, allowing audiences to experience Shakespeare at no charge.

Located in our nation's capital, STC performs in two theatres, the Lansburgh Theatre and Sidney Harman Hall in downtown Washington, D.C., creating a dynamic, cultural hub of activity that showcases STC as well as outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. STC moved into the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre in March 1992, after six years in residency in the Folger Library's Elizabethan theatre. At that time the Penn Quarter neighborhood was not considered desirable by many; since then, STC has helped drive its revitalization. The 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall opened in October 2007.

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