Tonight I went to a “Meet the Directors” event for donors to Santa Cruz Shakespeare. (I’m a tiny donor, but I plan to give more this year, now that I know we can afford my son’s college expenses.)
The event was at Vino Cruz, a local wine shop that specializes in Santa Cruz Mountain vintners (there was wine served donated by Sones Cellars, local vintners who have been long-time supporters of Shakespeare Santa Cruz). There was seating for about 20 people, with standing room for another 10 (I gave up my seat for some women who were less able than me to stand for the hour-long event).
Santa Cruz Shakespeare will have the Festival Glen at UCSC, and they’ll be doing two comedies: Merry Wives of Windsor and As You Like It (and the interns will be doing a no-budget production of the farce The Bard of Avon, which sounded hilarious as described by its director). I’ve already got my season tickets purchased (very nice seats), and I urge others to get theirs soon. Anyone who will be in the Bay Area 2014 July 1–Aug 10 should try to get tickets for at least one performance.
The schedule and ticket sales can be found at http://santacruzshakespeare.org/ All ticket sales and donations go to provide the budget for next year’s shows—they are using a strict forward-funding model, with no borrowing.
Santa Cruz Shakespeare has been having some trouble getting the word out that there will be Shakespeare performed in the glen this summer and really wants as much word-of-mouth advertising as they can get. So tell your friends about it!
Mike Ryan made some jokes about Santa Cruz Shakespeare having its first season, but having a 32-year history as well. Many of the people associated with the productions this year (actors, directors, production staff, donors, dramaturges, …) have had long associations with Shakespeare Santa Cruz, some renewing associations that had lapsed.
There were no startling revelations from the directors, but I heard a little about how they viewed the plays and what period they were setting them in (roughly 1830s for As You Like It, and 1920s England for Merry Wives of Windsor). The actor for Falstaff will be the same one who has appeared for the past few years in the Henry plays, and he’ll be great. Rehearsals have started (somewhere on Shaffer Road, on the far west side of Santa Cruz).
The costumes will be by B. Modern (who did a lot of the costuming for Shakespeare Santa Cruz, sometimes brilliantly and sometimes just a little too weird).
They couldn’t afford a large crew to reset the stage between plays, so they’ll be using a single set for all three plays (with minor modifications), to save money. The directors have discussed the set needs for each play and think that they have a workable compromise. It won’t be quite the very elegant bare stage that I remember from a previous production of As You Like It (was it the 2006 production, or the 1997 one?), but it won’t be overly elaborate like the 2007 Tempest.
In any case, I’m very much looking forward to the summer season of Santa Cruz Shakespeare.
In other theater news, I also have ordered season tickets for the five shows that Jewel Theatre is doing: Saint Joan, Enter the Guards, Harper Regan, Complications from a Fall, and Woman in Mind. We managed to select dates so that my son will be home from UCSB for 4 of them, so we got him a 4-play season ticket to go along with our 5-play season ticket. (See http://www.JewelTheatre.net for more information.)