Shakespeare Theatre fights rent increase

WASHINGTON (AP) - A judge has declined to dismiss a dispute between the Shakespeare Theatre Company and the landlords for its Lansburgh Theatre in Washington's Penn Quarter.

The Washington Post reports the theater company is fighting a proposed rent increase from $70,000 a year to $480,000. The nonprofit Lansburgh Theatre Inc. serves as the landlord and was set up to support the theater company. Now, it wants to raise the rent.

The theater owner accuses the Shakespeare company of using income from the Lansburgh to support its larger Sidney Harman Hall nearby.

The arrangement dates back to the redevelopment of the area in the 1970s and 1980s. In a deal to acquire the building, owner Graham Gund donated $1 million over 14 years to support the theater. The original agreement recently expired.