In Loving Memory of our Founder

Celebration Invitation

All of us at Santa Cruz Shakespeare mourn the death of Audrey Stanley, visionary founder, mentor, artist, and beloved friend.  Though we are deeply saddened by her loss, we celebrate her astonishing life and the rich legacies she leaves behind.

As the first woman to direct a Shakespeare play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 1975, the first PhD in Dramatic Art from UC Berkeley, and the first professor appointed to Theatre Arts at UCSC, she shattered barriers.  She also, however, was a tireless builder and creator, instrumental in establishing theatre departments, touring companies, and, of course, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the much-loved summer festival whose artistic tradition we continue to this day. 

Audrey’s insistence on a Shakespeare company that thrived on the bridge between scholarship and art, a passion for community engagement, and a bold contemporary aesthetic launched a true repertory festival whose productions, both on and off campus, have reached over half a million audience members in more than forty years. We find comfort in the fact that, like Shakespeare, Audrey Stanley’s life and work will continue to touch and shape the lives of those she knew as well as the lives of countless theatre goers to come. 

Her immortal effect on all of us is well-expressed in Sonnet 18 by the poet to whom she dedicated so much of her life:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Our 2022 Festival Brings Excitement to Your Summer!.

Santa Cruz Shakespeare's 2022 Summer Festival is in full swing and we are excited to share three new productions: A World-Premiere of The Formula by Kathryn Chetkovich - inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Ellen Maguire, and a co-production with Blissfield. Accompanied by William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and The Tempest, the festival promises to be truly special and a season not to be missed.

Performances through August 28th at The Audrey Stanley Grove in DeLaveaga Park.

Good seats are still available so Login to get yours or call the box office at 831-460-6399!

We hope you will join us! See you in The Grove!

Our Mission

Our Mission

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

Click here to learn more about us and our values.

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Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

Read a statement from our Board President and Executive Staff about SCS’s commitment to racial justice and our plans to make the theatre more safe, equitable, and accessible for BIPOC artists, administrators, and technicians.

Learn More

Enjoy Member Perks

Enjoy Member Perks

SCS is a major community success that continues to grow, and your membership is key. It enables us to create the theatre experience you want and provides the artists the resources they need to produce quality productions to reach and inspire new audiences. As a valued member of the SCS family, you’re offered a variety of benefits.

Santa Cruz Shakespeare is a nationally recognized theatre company delivering riveting live performances under a breathtaking outdoor Eucalyptus Grove.
Santa Cruz Shakespeare is a nationally recognized theatre company delivering riveting live performances under a breathtaking outdoor Eucalyptus Grove.

An Experience Like No Other

An Experience Like No Other

Santa Cruz Shakespeare performs at The Audrey Stanley Grove at DeLaveaga Park. Come early and enjoy the full outdoor theatre experience! Bring your own picnic basket, wine & beer, and see the wonderful views from our picnic bluff dining area while you enjoy a socially distanced pre-show dinner.  You may even purchase wine & beer from our bar plus food and beverages from our concessions partners.

Join the Excitement at Santa Cruz Shakespeare!

Join the Excitement at Santa Cruz Shakespeare!

Tickets are on sale now via our online ticketing system!  Become a member today to enjoy discounted tickets plus other great perks!

Latest News

Latest News

Charles Pasternak Named New Artistic Director of Santa Cruz Shakespeare

Pasternak follows Mike Ryan, who will step down after the 2023 season Santa Cruz, CA...
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SCS Unveils Summer 2022 Productions

Tickets available in Early 2022 for Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Twelfth Night, as well as...
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Safety Guidelines at The Grove

It is hard to believe we start public performances tomorrow! We are so excited to...
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