Founded in 2014 as a newly independent theatre company, SCS continues a 40-year tradition of staging bold productions of the plays of Shakespeare and other great playwrights. Throughout our history, hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, have been enthralled, engaged, and energized by what we bring to the community.

Inspired by Shakespeare, we create and strengthen our community by bringing audiences and theatre artists together to celebrate stories about our collective humanity. Matching a fearless aesthetic with transparent financial responsibility, SCS is passionate about theatre that is inclusive, inquisitive, and that engages with the contemporary moment.

Repertory: In a true repertory company, actors play parts in most (or all) of the productions offered in any given season. Once each of the shows opens, it enters a schedule of rotating performances, so productions of multiple plays can be seen in a single week.

Professional: SCS believes in equitable wages and therefore hires members of entertainment trade unions providing salaries, pension, and health benefits for their members. For admittance into these unions, these artists must be highly regarded in their respective fields, and maintain their status by garnering regular works with other professional theatre companies. Non-union employees receive industry standard living-wage compensation for their work.

Educational: SCS engages with students and community members through many education programs, including professional internships, student matinees, free youth tickets, educational newsletters, lesson plans for teachers, symposiums, and in-school visits.

Our Staff

Our Staff

Charles Pasternak

Artistic Director

Pasternak’s SCS tenure as Artistic Director began in 2023, before which he served as Artistic Director of The Porters of Hellsgate Theatre Co in Los Angeles for over fifteen years. He has had a wide-ranging career as an actor and director at theatres across this country including American Players Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre, The Denver Center, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, three seasons with The Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis and four with Shakespeare Santa Cruz.


Lorne Dechtenberg

Managing Director

Vivian Rogers

Director of Development

Vivian brings more than 20 years of fundraising experience to SC Shakespeare. Her previous position was with the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.  She has enjoyed watching many of the productions at the Shakespearean summer festival since 2001.


Rebecca Haley Clark

Education Programs Manager

Rebecca was born and raised in Santa Cruz, and had her first meeting with Shakespeare at Gault Elementary. She received her undergraduate degree in Drama and Comparative Ethnic Studies at Columbia University, and is currently finishing her Masters of Fine Arts of Classical and Contemporary Text - Directing at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She also completed a Fulbright research grant to study Shakespeare and race studies in Rio de Janeiro. She is excited to continue to work within the intersection of social justice, education, and the performing arts.


Dominic Bonner

Director of Operations & Admin

Dominic is thrilled to embark on his third season as the Director of Operations and Administration at Santa Cruz Shakespeare. As a former collegiate football student-athlete at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Dom brings a strong sense of discipline and teamwork to the world of the arts, with a profound passion for creating extraordinary and memorable experiences for our community. Coming off our most profitable season to date, Dom is dedicated to continue helping SCS soar to new heights, expanding our audience base and ensuring that the magic of Shakespearean theater continues to captivate and inspire all near and far.


Isabel Contreras

Marketing & Communications Manager

Isabel is a mixed Indigenous artist who received her BFA in Communication Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, and has since been exploring positions in graphic design, illustration, and marketing. Whether it's a new art piece or community project, Isabel's main focus is to prioritize culture, representation, and inclusivity in her work. She enjoys creating work that people can identify with and aims to create and build spaces that support and give back to the community. 

Alicia Gibson Headshot copy

Alicia Gibson

Production Manager

Alicia is very grateful to be a part of the Santa Cruz Shakespeare team. She has loved Shakespeare since high school and is looking forward to introducing more people to the work. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara theatre directing program and has worked as a director and stage manager in Los Angeles for many years.


Our Dedicated Board

Rick Wright, President

Bill Richter, Immediate Past President

Chris Frost, Vice President

Jean Shimoguchi, Secretary

Liz Sandoval, Treasurer

Margaret Brose


Mary Anne Carson

Lee Duffus

Anna Hackenbracht

Kent Imai

Kevin Lohman

Festival Founder: Audrey Stanley

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