By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Oct 28, 2008 at 12:26 PM

Artistic Director Paula Suozzi and Managing Director Carrie Van Hallgren announced today they are closing their Milwaukee Shakespeare theater company due to lack of available funding.

Milwaukee Shakespeare, which has operated locally for nine seasons, recently stopped receiving funding from the Argosy Foundation, a private family foundation founded in 1997 by John Abele. The Argosy Foundation was its primary source of operating funds.

Although the theater company received support from granting organizations such as UPAF and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as private foundations, Suozzi and Van Hallgren say it's not enough.

A press release about the closing states, "Milwaukee Shakespeare has been actively seeking and achieving outside support, but the growth has not been sufficient to withstand this loss in its primary source of funding."

Milwaukee Shakespeare closed a production of "Love's Labour's Lost" Oct. 5. Runs of "Henry V" and "Othello" were scheduled for early 2009, but the season will not continue as planned.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”