Santa Cruz Shakespeare's Inaugural Summer Season Begins July 1

Santa Cruz Shakespeare's Inaugural Summer Season Begins July 1

The newly formed Santa Cruz Shakespeare is proud to present its inaugural summer repertory season starting with previews on July 1 and playing through August 10, in the Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Tickets are available online at

Santa Cruz Shakespeare (SCS) carries on the tradition of professional, thought-provoking and passionate theater in Santa Cruz, forged by its predecessor Shakespeare Santa Cruz (SSC), with two comedies to celebrate the summer and the inaugural season's successful funding campaign last winter. The festival opens with As You Like It on July 1, followed by The Merry Wives of Windsor opening on July 13. SCS is also proud to present two special performances of The Fringe Show: The Beard of Avon, a mad-cap comedy by Amy Freed, July 29 and August 5.

The summer festivities will include pre and post-show discussions, the Noon At The Nick series throughout the month of June, with live discussions with actors and directors, as well as the Weekend With Shakespeare, a two-day event, July 25 and 26, where participants will hear leading Shakespeare scholars and theatre artists share their insights into the season's plays through lectures and discussions. Weekend participants will also see both productions in premiere seating at a discounted price.

SCS is helmed by Co-Artistic Directors Marco Barricelli, former SSC Artistic Director, and Festival Alumni, Mike Ryan. Many of your favorite actors, designers and artisans will return this summer, as SCS looks forward to bringing Shakespeare to Santa Cruz with the artistry and aesthetics it has come to expect from its predessor, and delighting audiences with new possibilities for the future.

As You Like It

July 1 - August 10

Love at first sight, a wrestling match, cross-dressing and a fool! Shakespeare's delightful, romantic comedy As You Like It boasts all four, cleverly intertwined with the trials and triumphs of love. Exiled from court, Rosalind ventures into the idyllic Forest of Arden with the fool, Touchstone, only to discover her true love Orlando awaits her. What follows is an elaborate scheme to capture his heart through her witty and playful ploy: instruct Orlando how to woo a woman while disguised as a boy. As You Like It explores the vast and varied incarnations of love culminating in a woodland wedding extravaganza!

Mark Rucker, Director.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

July 13 - August 10

The Merry Wives of Windsor marks the return of audience favorite Sir John Falstaff, once again down on both luck and cash. Hatching a ruse to fatten his wallet, he schemes to seduce Mistresses Ford and Page in an attempt to swindle their husbands' money. Falstaff, as always, overestimates his ingenuity and the two women concoct a plan of their own to make a buffoon of the knight. Richard Ziman returns to Santa Cruz to helm this cheeky, mischievous romp.

Kirsten Brandt, Director.

The Fringe Show: The Beard of Avon - Two Nights Only!

By Amy Freed

July 29 and August 5

In this mad-cap comedy a swain known as "Will Shakspere," who longs to be an artist, flees his rural life for the stages of Elizabethan London. Did this novice actor become the ghost writer for the Earl of Oxford, Sir Francis Bacon, and even Queen Elizabeth? Authors too proud to admit they scribbled plays for the unwashed masses? This intelligent and fun-filled farce deliberates the longstanding debate over who really penned Shakespeare's canon. With a gleeful wink at intervening centuries, Amy Freed's deliciously witty The Beard of Avon portrays Will's comic struggles to become an artist in his own right in this bawdy, hilarious, conspiracy-laden origin story of how a poor hayseed with wild dreams found himself in over his head and became the man we know as Shakespeare.

Steve M. Boyle, Director.

UPCOMING events:

Noon at The Nick: Bring your lunch (or grab a snack at the Nick's concessions counter) and enjoy an opportunity to meet Santa Cruz Shakespeare directors, actors and staff as they discuss each production and answer your questions.

Friday, June 20: Director Mark Rucker and cast discuss the vision for As You Like It

Friday, June 27: Director Steve Boyle and cast discuss the vision for The Fringe Show: The Beard of Avon by Amy Freed

Weekend with Shakespeare: A two-day event, July 25 - 26. Hear leading Shakespeare scholars and theatre artists share their insights into the season's plays through lectures and discussions, and see both productions in premiere seating at a discounted price and participate in post-show discussions with actors. Conference-only packages available. See website for more information.

Tickets: To purchase tickets for the lecture and take advantage of premium reserved seating for the performances you must call or stop by the UCSC Ticket Office in the Theater Arts Center. 831-459-2159.

Photo Credit: Steve diBartolomeo

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