A major public campaign will be launched during the 2011 theatre season with a range of opportunities to support, and it is hoped that the vast bulk of the funds will be in place by January 2012, to enable construction works to begin later that year. Shakespeare's Globe aims to launch its first winter season in November 2013.
In a press statement, Neil Constable, chief executive of the Globe commented, "We are thrilled at the generosity of Sara Miller McCune to this unique and groundbreaking project. The reconstruction of the indoor Jacobean theatre will take us another step closer to achieving Sam Wanamaker's vision for the Globe, and it is rather fitting that the fundraising campaign should begin with the enthusiastic support of another American theatre lover. The indoor theatre will enable the Globe to present theatre performances across 52 weeks of the year, within yet another beautiful and rarely-seen theatre space. I know it will also prove an invaluable arena for Globe Education programmes and further research into Shakespeare theatres. We look forward to our many national and international supporters joining us on the next stage of the Globe’s remarkable journey."
McCune is executive chairman of SAGE Publications, a global academic and professional publisher, based in California. She is also president of the McCune Foundation, which funds community grants to grassroots organizations that provide opportunities for the poor and underserved in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. As a philanthropist, she donates more than $7 million per year to a number of diverse causes, ranging from educational causes to the arts, homelessness and poverty.
According to press materials, she is an avid theatre lover – Shakespeare in particular – and owns one of the first folios of Shakespeare’s complete plays. In her home city of Santa Barbara, CA, where she is recognized as Santa Barbara Entrepreneur of the Year, she has provided significant support to the restoration of the arts centre, The Granada.
The indoor Jacobean theatre will seat around 320 people, with two tiers of galleried seating and an authentic pit seating area, which will provide a uniquely intimate and intense theatre experience. Some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays – The Tempest, Cymbeline and The Winter’s Tale – were written for an entirely different space to the outdoor Elizabethan playhouses. By restoring the indoor Jacobean theatre to its intended purpose, the Globe will be able to further its understanding of theatre practices at that time and explore the unique relationship between actor and audience in England’s earliest indoor theatres.