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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival is ending operations after 37 years because of continuing financial struggles.

The High Point Enterprise and the News & Record of Greensboro reported that festival's board of trustees announced the decision this week. The board had decided in late May to discontinue operations of the nonprofit professional theater company for the coming fiscal year in late May.

Board chairwoman Ashley Hedgecock said in an email that the decision was based on the company's funding issues. The executive director of the High Point Arts Council, Debbie Lumpkins, says the end of the festival is a loss for both the city and the state.

Festival artistic and managing director Pedro Silva says he's heartbroken about the festival's demise.

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