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"The only theater-friendly mayor this town has had was Maureen O'Connor," said Tom Hall of the San Diego Foundation. "She wasn't known for her arts and culture appreciation, but she understood the politics of it."

The San Diego Shakespeare Society hosted a symposium on the state of local theater earlier this month at the Lyceum in Horton Plaza. Moderated by KPBS's These Days host Tom Fudge, the symposium included Union-Tribune arts writers Anne-Marie Welsh and Jennifer de Poyen, Shirley Fishman (associate artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse), and Louis Spisto (executive director of the Old Globe). In the audience was musician Bridget Brigitte with her mother, UCSD professor Marianne McDonald, whose new translation of Antigone will open at 6th @ Penn in Hillcrest on April 7.

"The musical The Producers brought in 45,000 people, generated 33,000 paid dinners in Gaslamp restaurants, and resulted in many jobs," said Hall.

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