The Langley City Council approved $2,500 in additional tourism funds for the Island Shakespeare Festival at its regular monthly meeting on Monday night.
The money will be used to promote the premiere of nationally-known playwright Scott Kaiser’s play, “Shakespeare’s Other Women,” throughout the region, according to city documents. Festival organizers have rented Zech Hall at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts for the play, which will be Island Shakespeare Festival’s first indoor winter production.
Promotions will be made through social media, the festival’s website, newsletters, posters, press releases and the Whidbey Camano Tourism website. Local television and radio stations are also possible avenues of promotion.
Festival organizers feel “strongly” that the production has the potential to attract an audience from California to Canada if “properly promoted,” according to city documents. They are also optimistic that it will bring tourism dollars when business is slow.
The request is an addendum to the festival’s previous request of $10,000, of which the festival received $7,500.
Data from 2017 showed the festival had 4,031 patrons during the three-month season, including four full houses. There were 2,339 people from the island, while 1,692 (42 percent) were from off-island representing 46 states and even 27 countries.