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Massachusetts Theater Cuts 7 Jobs

LENOX, Mass. – To pay or not to pay, that was the question for a Massachusetts Shakespearean theater company.

Shakespeare & Company is laying off seven employees and shifting others to part-time roles to save nearly $1 million.

Tuesday's announcement came about two weeks after the Lenox-based theater group vowed to "produce more plays with less money" in the 2009-10 season, which includes scheduled performances of "Hamlet" and "Romeo & Juliet."

Shakespeare & Company says all year-round employees will take 10 percent pay cuts and its three founders will give up their salaries for two months.

The 32-year-old company operates three theaters and says it has a core of more than 150 artists. It says it will work to maximize revenue from ticket sales and training programs and rentals of costumes and sets.

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