During the past year, live theater took a big hit to its main mission: Live plays to live audiences. Now that things are opening up, find out what Santa Cruz Shakespeare has in store for its new live, outdoor season. Although scaled back from a large production, the two plays being presented represent a return many fans have been waiting for. I talk with Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Shakespeare company about plans for the future and the state of theater in the U.S.
Santa Cruz Shakespeare (SCS), an inspired, professional theater company in Santa Cruz County with deep local roots that go back more than 40 years, will return to live outdoor performances at Audrey Stanley Grove (The Grove) in DeLaveaga Park for the Summer 2021 season, which runs July 20- August 29, 2021.
For the 2021 season, SCS continues its passion of being inclusive, inquisitive and meeting the moment by choosing two relevant productions this season:
“RII” by Jessica Kubzansky
The story that sets England’s Wars of the Roses in motion, Jessica Kubzansky’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard II tells the story of that king’s ill-fated reign using just three actors. What is our responsibility when a bad leader rightfully occupies the throne? This exploration of divine right, capricious leadership and bloody insurrection is packed with contemporary political relevance. A critic’s choice pick when it premiered at the Boston Court theatre in Los Angeles, Charles McNulty, critic for the LA Times, called the play a “feat of ingenious stagecraft.”
“The Agitators” by Mat Smart
This play tells the story of Fredrick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony. Over the 45 volatile years they knew one another, they were friends, allies and adversaries. Their hopes and dreams for equality brought them to common ground and political battlefields. As agitators, they were not content to let either our nation or each other rest in complacency, and their respective fights for racial justice and gender equity continue to this day.