This summer marks the 15th anniversary and what should be a proud milestone for Connecticut Free Shakespeare. But just as things were going great and shaping up for an anachronistic staging of As You Like It set in 1968 to the iconic music of the 60s, the carpet got pulled out from under the housing arrangements. And that\u2019s not all. In addition to that, a large portion of the anticipated funding came undone. To stage the timeless romance this season in Stratford and Bridgeport, the producers need community support anon to make it happen. \u201cIt\u2019s free admission, so that makes us fund raise all year long,\u201d co-producer Ellen Lieberman said during an interview at her Brooklawn Avenue home in Bridgeport, which she shares with her husband, Dr. Bertram Garskof, the show\u2019s co-producer. \u201cNow with our 15th summer comes our housing and funding problem,\u201d she said. Dr. Garskof added, \u201cThis year the City of Bridgeport for reasons they didn\u2019t tell us cut our usual budget by a lot. We\u2019re strapped for funds.\u201d For 14 seasons, Sacred Heart University housed the Equity actors who performed the free summer Shakespeare productions But this year, Sacred Heart changed its policy and no longer rents summer housing to outside groups. They paid $6,500 for the housing at Sacred Heart but have not been able to find affordable housing at any of the neighboring universities they have checked, including Fairfield University, the University of Bridgeport and the University of New Haven, they said. Not only that, but the City of Bridgeport pulled a large portion of the funding it has provided to bring the show downtown to McLevy Green. The funding to bring the show to the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre of Stratford is intact, they said. Last summer the production drew an estimated audience of 1,500 \u2014 perhaps as many as 1,800 people \u2014 per performance \u2014 to the green at the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre in Stratford, they said. Ms. Lieberman and Dr. Garskof have learned that the Stratford community used to house the actors who played at the Shakespeare Festival Theatre before it closed in the 1980s. \u201cThat is such an incredible idea,\u201d Ms. Lieberman said. Connecticut Free Shakespeare\u2019s production last summer of A Midsummer Night\u2019s Dream, sponsored by the Stratford Arts Council, was part of the theater\u2019s revival, which has been underway for a number of years. Ms. Lieberman and Dr. Garskof are hoping that private homeowners might be willing to open their hearts and homes to an actor for five weeks this summer. The show has 10 Equity actors, most of whom have worked with Connecticut Free Shakespeare before, they said. \u201cWe\u2019re hoping that people who would like to take in an actor will volunteer their homes,\u201d Dr. Garskof said. Dolly Curtis of Easton was with them at their home during the recent interview, and looks forward to each summer\u2019s free Shakespeare production. Ms. Lieberman and Dr. Garskof were surprised and pleased to learn that she was even there the first season, when the show was at Connecticut\u2019s Beardsley Zoo, and it rained every night. Many of the actors keep coming back, year after year, and not only has she gotten to know them, but they know her, she said. \u201cThey remember the audience, too,\u201d she said. \u201cIt\u2019s amazing the way they interact. They come over to the audience and say, \u2018It\u2019s nice to see you.\u2019 Ellen has them mingle among the children and they get all the children up on stage during intermission and they dance.\u201d Ms. Lieberman said, \u201cI never could understand why you\u2019d see a play, and there would be intermission and there would be nothing. We keep it going during intermissions in a very relaxed way.\u201d Dr. Garskof that the actors take songs from the show, and the kids dance to them during the intermission, leading into the second act. \u201cThere is a flow and it works beautifully,\u201d he said. The kids, many of whom have been coming for many summers, know it\u2019s coming, and automatically come up on the stage, Ms. Lieberman said. \u201cI say to myself, \u2018You can\u2019t buy this kind of thing,\u2019 Dr. Garskof said. \u201cAnd it\u2019s Shakespeare,\u201d Ms. Lieberman said. Housing requirements Actors need to move in July 7, and they will be done and will move out Aug. 11. Many of them live in New York and go home on their days off. Even those from Boston and California often go to New York for the weekend, Ms. Lieberman said. Each actor must have his or her own room and can not share a room. The room must be air conditioned, and the actors must have access to a kitchen and bathroom, according to the Equity contract. The host family does not have to feed, entertain or transport the actors, who will be picked up by van and taken to their rehearsals six days a week; they have Mondays off. Shows are July 30, 31, and Aug. 1 in Stratford and Aug. 6 to 10 in Bridgeport. \u201cBased on the tradition of the Shakespeare theater, the community housed the actors and talked about the fondness they had for them,\u201d Ms. Curtis said. \u201cThe actors liked living in the community and biking around.\u201d She is hopeful along with the producers that people in the community will volunteer to house actors this summer. \u201cThe goal is to make Shakespeare delightful for everyone. The Shakespeare scholars and groupies and also for people who have never seen a play by Shakespeare or anybody. We make it fun and easy to understand. Every summer has been a miracle, Ms. Lieberman said. This summer, they need a pocketful of miracles to bring back the bard so the show can go on. For information about housing an actor or helping with funding, send an email to Ms. Lieberman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 203-232-8805.