Santa Cruz Shakespeare


Inspired by Shakespeare, we create and strengthen community by bringing audiences and theatre artists together to celebrate stories about our collective humanity. 


The 2016 season, the first in the company’s new outdoor venue in DeLaveaga Park, will produce "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" and "Hamlet", by William Shakespeare, and Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando” adapted by Sarah Ruhl as our intern "fringe" production. 

In addition to the performances, Santa Cruz Shakespeare will offer special events throughout the summer, including a First Friday Season Kick-off Celebration on May 6, a Season Preview at Bookshop Santa Cruz on June 7, post-show discussions throughout the month of August, a Weekend With Shakespeare, August 12-14, where participants will hear leading Shakespeare scholars and theatre artists share their insights into the season’s plays through lectures and discussions. 

SCS was funded by theatre-lovers in Santa Cruz and beyond after its predecessor, a 32-year old Shakespeare Festival affiliated with the University of California at Santa Cruz, closed in December 2013. The theatre company is working to raise $1 million to fund the construction of the new outdoor theater at DeLaveaga Park. From a combination of pledges and cash donations, we have already raised $781,000 for the project, and a #BuildTheGrove campaign is underway with a public appeal to raise the additional funds. Detailed information about the campaign can found online at

“We’ll be breaking ground shortly on this exciting and ambitious project,” says Board President Rick Wright. “The Grove will provide the literal foundation for Santa Cruz Shakespeare as our permanent home for many years to come. This is an opportunity to invest in Santa Cruz Shakespeare and our community. To raise the remaining $219,000, I invite those who have not yet pledged to join our board members and the many others who have already donated to become part of the future of Santa Cruz Shakespeare.” 

Year round festival staff include: Mike Ryan (Artistic Director), Aimee Zygmonski (Managing Director) and Alexis Rossini (Development Associate).

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Shakespeare Play On’s effort to bring Shakespeare back to Santa Cruz for 2014 amount to one of the most inspiring stories of artists and patrons working together thoughtfully that I have seen in many years. A place as beautiful as Santa Cruz deserves a writer a brilliant as Shakespeare thriving in its midst.
— James Bundy Yale School of Drama Dean Artistic Director, Yale Repertory Theater Company

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