Surprise Announcement of Santa Cruz Shakespeare Summer Season

Plan is to perform at the Grove in Santa Cruz with Covid-19 safety precautions

FILE PHOTO: A scene from Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s production of ‘The Winter’s Tale’. PHOTO: SHMUEL THALER

In a surprise announcement, Santa Cruz Shakespeare revealed it is planning a summer season this year made up of two plays: The Agitators by Mat Smart, and RII, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard II, by Jessica Kubzansky. The plays will open in late July and run through August.

In his announcement, Santa Cruz Shakespeare Artistic Director Mike Ryan admits that the company had been weighing their options for this year “quietly,” after cancelling its 2020 season.

He says that as of now, Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s plan is to perform the plays for an in-person audience at the Grove in Santa Cruz, under full Covid-19 protocols and with a reduced-capacity audience. The Grove’s capacity is normally 425, but will be limited to 175 per performance. Masks will be required for audience members.

The company will continue to monitor the changes in Santa Cruz County’s pandemic status, Ryan says.

“If it seems at any point that the Covid situation for July and August will not be significantly better than is currently, we will pivot to an entirely virtual season with the same line-up of play,” he says.

Ryan says the company focused on small-scale plays that would be financially viable given the reduced capacities. The Agitators is a two-person play that tells the story of the turbulent friendship between Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. RII is a three-person adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard II.

Ryan also says the company will continue its “Undiscovered Shakespeare” series will a virtual Zoom reading of Troilus and Cressida.

Watch the full announcement:

Go to santacruzshakespeare.org for more info.

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