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Stage

January 15, 1988|RICK SHERWOOD and VICTOR VALLE | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Add the director of London's Royal Shakespeare Company to the list of world figures concerned about the falling dollar. The financially troubled company is feeling the pinch of a weaker American dollar and could face a fresh crisis as U.S. theatergoers stay away, Terry Hands warned this week. If things don't stabilize, he foresees a slump similar to one last summer that brought a record $2.2 million deficit in 1986-'87. "Americans are simply not going to come over," Hands said, noting that 24% of the RSC's audiences were foreign with Americans accounting for 17.5%. Last year's financial crisis forced the RSC to consider closing one of its two major centers--at London's Barbican complex and at Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon--but it was rescued by an emergency $2 million private grant spread over three years.

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