Lisa Cordes, local Shakespeare leader and newly shunned civic presence
Steve Chick, festival board president and fiscal tyrant of great renown
Marilyn Strauss, festival founder and unwitting reporting source
Sidonie Garrett, artistic director and unwilling third party
Cominius and Menenius, local courtiers
[Scene 1. Offices of local Shakespeare festival. Steve Chick and Marilyn Strauss discuss finances.]
Steve Chick: Is’t a verdict, then?
Marilyn Strauss: Before we proceed with finality, my liege, pray let us consider the ill effects of such a course.
Steve Chick: Enough, peon! The gods vested power in I. Speak not maliciously, but speak the truth. Verily we cannot sustain our ducat distribution. Lisa Cordes will be no more, nor her position of executive director.
Marilyn Strauss: Your reasoning is sound, forsooth, but take we no account of ruth? The helms o’ th’ state dictate compassion.
Steve Chick: Off with you. She that will give you good words will flatter, and you know not the vast gulf o’er which I must meet fiscal goals. Lisa Cordes is gone, and that must not affright you. Be gone from me. Courtiers!
[Exeunt Marilyn Strauss, enter Cominius and Menenius.]
Steve Chick: Bring Lisa Cordes and Sid Garrett to me. I shall make worthy she whose offense subdues her. I shall break the heart of generosity, and make bold power look pale.
Cominius: Aye, my lord.
[Exeunt Cominius and Menenius, enter Lisa Cordes and Sid Garrett.]
Steve Chick: Ladies. Know ye all too well the perils and Mephistophelean constraints of the Great Recession. Even Shylock hoards his funds. Now we too must please Jupiter with such actions. Lisa Cordes, you are hereby relieved of executive director duties and exiled outside the walls of this city.
Sid Garrett: Lord, I beseech you give me leave from the proceedings.
Steve Chick: Nay! You shall remain. Your tenure as artistic director goes on.
Lisa Cordes: Lord, if I may. I have served the gods and thee with dedication. Is there nothing I can do please thy ego and regain my stature? Under my watch, the festival has seen the blessings of Jupiter grow in ways unimaginable. To cast me aside with nary a thought to my future is to create pride as big as thou art. Pray let me mak’st a final attempt to please your lordship.
Steve Chick: Spoken well, patriot, but verily spoken too late. The gods have ordained this. You come not in the shame of others, but shrouded in your own. I am lord o’ th’ field, and you my servant. You depart for Denmark tonight.
[Exeunt omnes save Lisa Cordes.]
Lisa Cordes: Who would bear the whips and scorns of Steve Chick? The recession does not make paupers of us all, and thus the native hue of dismissal is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of new opportunities. Enterprises of great pith and drama await. With this regard I turn away from Steve Chick and the festival, and lose the name of executive director.
[With deepest apologies to Shakespeare.]