Lindsay Tanner and Joseph Bromfield act in a 2011 MaineStage Shakespeare performance of "Romeo and Juliet" in this publicity photo submitted to the York County Coast Star. Credit: Submitted photo courtesy of the York County Coast Star

MaineStage Shakespeare, a nonprofit theater company based in Kennebunk, announced on Tuesday it will close down after seven seasons of organizing free performances and educational activities.

“While we had every intention of continuing MaineStage into this summer and beyond, unforeseen challenges and events throughout the year have made it impossible for us to go on in a financially responsible manner,” said Founding Artistic Director Chiara Klein in a statement. “I know that this news is disappointing, but as Hamlet says, ‘There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’ We are choosing to think about all of the good.”

Klein said that since 2011 the company produced 17 shows at a range of venues, including L.L. Bean’s Discovery Park in Freeport, University of New England in Biddeford, The Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, Thornton Academy in Saco and Kennebunk’s Lafayette Park.

The organization also held educational outreach programs for children.

“I will be forever grateful to the community of supporters who made it all possible,” Klein said.

MaineStage Shakespeare will hold a farewell event on Memorial Day weekend featuring performances by company alumni and workshops for children. More information about the event will be distributed through the group website, mailing list and social media in the coming weeks, the Tuesday announcement stated, in part.

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Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.