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Builders are setting the stage for Shakespeare

mike desmond/wbfo news
Organizers say stage construction will be complete for the start of Shakespeare at Delaware Park.

In five weeks Shakespeare in Delaware Park will open with Richard III, the playwright's legendary look at power corruption and violence in medieval England.

In the lead role, Tim Newell will travel the stage at the bottom of Shakespeare Hill, at least once the stage is built.

Right now, it's a fenced-off area and the pieces of the stage are being readied for assembly.

Founder and Artistic Director Saul Elkin says his company is putting to good use the $87,000 provided by Erie County when the County Legislature amended the budget to put nearly a $1 million into cultural agencies.

When the Collins Administration cut the culturals last year, Elkin says the community quickly showed its support of the free summer festival.

"Terrific outpouring of generosity from the public," Elkin said.

"In the hat that we pass at intermission, in the annual letter we send out asking for help, people went a step further. Almost everybody who previously donated went a step further."

Elkin says the entire budget for Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream and the festival operations is $300,000.