Arts Desk

Shakespeare Theatre Company Settles with Landlord

600px-Lansburgh_Theatre_Washington_DCShakespeare Theatre Company has finally settled a dispute with its landlord over its tenancy in the Lansburgh Theatre, the theater company announced last week.

In a release sent Friday afternoon, Managing Director Chris Jennings writes, "I am pleased to announce that this week the Shakespeare Theatre Company has reached an agreement that ensures we will continue to occupy our longtime home in the Lansburgh Theatre."

Last summer, Shakespeare Theatre Company filed a lawsuit against its landlord, the nonprofit Lansburgh Theatre Inc., when LTI attempted to increase the company's rent by nearly 700 percent and threatened eviction. Shakespeare Theatre Company won a preliminary injunction in December that permitted it to stay in the theater temporarily, and the two parties later took negotiations out of court. Now, Jennings writes in the release that it has reached an agreement with LTI. Under these new terms, "we will stay in the Lansburgh Theatre under a succession of 20-year leases which will automatically renew as long as STC is operating as a theatre company and properly maintaining the premises."

Shakespeare Theatre Company performances will continue as normal.

Read the company's statement below.

I am pleased to announce that this week the Shakespeare Theatre Company has reached an agreement that ensures we will continue to occupy our longtime home in the Lansburgh Theatre.

We initiated litigation in June 2012 as a last resort, only after the landlord insisted upon an exorbitant rent increase and ordered us to vacate the Lansburgh Theatre premises. A court order entered the following December stopped the defendants from evicting or otherwise interfering with the STC supporting charity while all parties continued negotiations.

Both sides reported to the DC Superior Court today that we have negotiated and documented a final agreement. STC representatives signed this agreement today and once signed by the developer – we expect this matter to finally be concluded. Under the terms of this agreement, we will stay in the Lansburgh Theatre under a succession of 20-year leases which will automatically renew as long as STC is operating as a theatre company and properly maintaining the premises.

On behalf of STC, thank you for your support during this time. I would also like to acknowledge Board of Trustees Chair Michael R. Klein and Vice Chair Robert E. Falb, who led our efforts throughout this ordeal, as well as Trustee Abbe David Lowell who, along with Kate McSweeny and their law firm Chadbourne & Parke LLP, stepped in to represent STC during these ultimately successful negotiations with the developer. This strong support from you, our Board of Trustees and the D.C. community allows us to produce world-class theatre and engage learners of all ages – important work that we look forward to continuing in our home at the Lansburgh Theatre.

All performances will continue as scheduled, and we hope to see you at the theatre soon for Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, directed by Jonathan Munby.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ecragg

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  • Lisa

    Wonderful resolution to this. Good job by both LTI and STC.

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