Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Santa Cruz Shakespeare"--good news

In the midst of not being able to figure out Covered California, and before moving on to taxes--beset on all sides, really--I thought it might be a good idea to write up a kind of update on something that's gone better than anything in my own life has in the last few days.

When I last reported in here, things were not looking too good for Shakespeare Santa Cruz, beloved summer theatre here in UCSC's fabled redwood glen. But things have changed a bit over the last few months and there will in fact be some performances in the glen this summer. It will not be by Shakespeare Santa Cruz, however. It will be by Santa Cruz Shakespeare, which seems to have been part of the bargain worked out between the university and the theatre company. Santa Cruzans are a recalcitrant lot, though, and I hope that a similar thing may happen as did with our own Dream Inn, after it was purchased and renamed by a company, becoming the West Coast Santa Cruz Hotel, and then the Coast Santa Cruz Hotel. Locals just kept on doggedly calling it the Dream Inn throughout this unimaginative era. It is now the Santa Cruz Dream Inn.

Yes, those words you can't read say "Santa Cruz"

I don't think they can do anything to us if we keep right on calling it Shakespeare Santa Cruz, but I could be wrong.

A couple of things have happened to give the near future a brighter outlook. One was a huge outpouring of community support. The second was getting some big names on board, or rather, on the board. Patrick Stewart has signed on, having had a close connection to Santa Cruz and to its founder Audrey Stanley and the former artistic director Paul Whitworth since his early Star Trek days. But there are also theatre faculty from Yale and Princeton involved as well. Here's an article that gives more detail.

As theatre professor Jim Bierman was telling us last night, theatre companies are rarely self-sustaining things. Ticket sales alone don't do it. They need patronage. And they take awhile to reach the height of their powers, to gain their reputations. That was one reason the threatened demise of Shakespeare Santa Cruz seemed particularly painful. It was just at that point of coming into its own.

"Santa Cruz Shakespeare".  I guess I'll get used to it.


  1. Good news for an arts company's survival.

  2. It is. I think Mike Ryan of the video galvanized a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't have stepped up. He's also a very good actor whom I've enjoyed in many guises over the years.

  3. If we just keep calling baseball stadiums by their old names, will they quit having those forgettable corporate advertising names?

    Good news for your theatre group.

  4. Also, Collagemama may be interested to know that artistic director Marco Barricelli was in the Illinois Shakespeare Festival the same year as Stephanie Kallos! Wooee, it's a Random Coinciday!

  5. That's cool. He hasn't been in Santa Cruz that long, and the company's problems proceeded him, but I like the way he has hung in there.