Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Hailed by USA Today as “one of the nation’s top ten most influential” Shakespeare companies, Shakespeare Santa Cruz is an annual can’t-miss event for those who love theatre, culture, or just a fun night out.  SSC has been bringing the work of Shakespeare as well as that of contemporary American playwrights to Santa Cruz audiences for well over thirty years.  SSC presents three to four plays in repertory during the festival season, which runs from mid-July through August.  The shows are held at the UC Santa Cruz Theatre Arts Mainstage and outdoors amongst the redwoods in the Festival Glen.

2012 Summer Season

This summer SSC brings you Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.  Marco Barricelli directs the tale of Viola, who has been shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria.  She fears her brother has been drowned and disguises herself as a man.  Viola soon falls in love with Duke Orsino, who himself pines for the Lady Olivia – who in turn loves the disguised Viola, believing him to be a young lad named Cesario! Twelfth Night is a play about mistaken identities wrapped up in a hilarious love triangle and is one of Shakespeare’s most-loved comedies.  Twelfth Night plays from July 24 – August 26 on the USCS Mainstage Theatre.

Be the first to enjoy the SSC world premiere of Scott Wentworth’s The Man in the Iron Mask.  The Musketeers are back in this delightful production directed by John Sipes.  The aging Musketeers reunite for one final pursuit of glory to oust King Louis and replace him with his twin brother.  The Man in the Iron Mask runs in the Festival Glen from July 25 – August 26.

Sir John Falstaff returns in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part II.  While Falstaff carouses with his friends, Prince Hal must prove he has what it takes to be king.  Scott Wentworth directs this story of rebellion, shifting loyalties, and what it means to grow up.  Henry IV, Part II runs from August 7 – 26 in the Festival Glen.

The Mandrake is SSC’s 2012 Fringe Show, directed by Gina Marie Hayes.  The Mandrake is Machiavelli’s 16th century comedy that has been brought to 21st century life by playwright Wallace Shawn.  See this riotous show featuring SSC’s acting interns on August 21 and 22 in the Festival Glen.

Dining and Amenities

At SSC, festival-goers can bring their own picnic lunches to enjoy before the show.  SSC also sells food and beverages that you can enjoy in the Festival Glen and at one of the tables in the lobby.  Santa Cruz favorite Rosie McCann’s is located between doors 1 and 2 of the Mainstage and offers a wide assortment of hot and cold food along with beer, wine, soft drinks and desserts.

Enjoy Local Wines

Bargetto winery is a local sponsor of the 2012 summer season, and theatre-goers can enjoy a glass of Chaucer’s Mead for $8 before or during the show.  Made in a traditional style with orange, Chaucer’s Mead features the taste of pure, fresh honey.  In fact, the word “honeymoon” is derived from the custom where newlyweds drank a cup of mead every day for a month after their wedding.

Visitor Information

More information about Shakespeare Santa Cruz can be found on their website, and tickets can be purchased here.  Directions and maps to the festival can be found here.  Contact the ticket office by phone at (831) 459-2159.

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