Our 2023 Season – A Summer of Legacy
What lurks just below the surface of a “civilized” society? Over the past nine years, during my tenure as Artistic Director, we have been confronted with the reality of just how tenuous our democracy is, how eager some factions of our own country are to strip away the rights of their fellow citizens, and how authority can be wielded as a weapon. The two Shakespeare plays of our 2023 season plunge us deeply into the middle of the unsettling fragility of our present moment.
In The Taming of the Shrew, characters struggle against the roles they have been prescribed, be they gender, class, or age. And while the results of these struggles provide some of the most hilarious moments in the canon, they also leave us with unsettling questions about the human cost of maintaining the status quo.
King Lear charts a monarch’s disturbing descent into madness, explores how the craving for power can shatter both kingdoms and families, and paints a chilling picture of the plight of humanity in an indifferent universe. King Lear will mark Paul Whitworth’s debut at The Grove in the title role.
Rounding out the season is Lauren Gunderson’s The Book of Will. A play that tells the funny and moving story the two actors who worked to preserve Shakespeare’s legacy with the creation of the First Folio, it is a love letter to the Bard of Avon and his plays. 2023 will mark the 400th anniversary of the printing of the First Folio, and this production will be part of a broader celebration of that achievement in conjunction with UCSC’s Shakespeare Workshop.
It brings me great pleasure to announce that incoming artistic director Charles Pasternak and I will be playing the roles of Condell and Heminges, the men who collected Shakespeare’s texts, as we co-lead the company in my final season at the helm. Come join us in The Grove to see what the excitement is all about!
– Mike Ryan
Members! Thank you for your support of our 2022 Season!
Don't forget to renew your membership so you have early access to tickets next year!
The Book of Will, by Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Laura Gordon
A love letter to William Shakespeare, this moving and joyful comedy tells the story of the two actors, friends of Shakespeare’s, who worked to preserve his plays and legacy seven years after his death. This beat-the-clock race to collect all of Shakespeare’s plays into one book delights audiences with a tale full of color characters, and provides a glimpse into a little known story about how his work survives and thrives to this day. SCS’s production of The Book of Will is part of a year-long celebration honoring the 400th anniversary of the printing of the First Folio and stars out-going Artistic Director Mike Ryan, and in-coming Artistic Director Charles Pasternak.
The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare
Directed by Robynn Rodriguez
One of Shakespeare’s most raucous comedies, in The Taming of the Shrew characters struggle against the roles they have been prescribed by gender, class, or age. While the results of these struggles provide some of the most hilarious moments in the canon, they also leave us with unsettling questions about the human cost of maintaining the status quo. Thorny, funny, and deeply human, Kate and Petruchio are two of Shakespeare’s most fascinating characters. Out of place because of their honesty in a world of deception, can these two broken people find happiness where they least expect it?
King Lear, by William Shakespeare
Directed by Paul Mullins
A play that explores how the craving for power can shatter both kingdoms and families, King Lear paints a chilling picture of the plight of humanity in an indifferent universe and charts a monarch’s disturbing descent into madness. Featuring some of the most powerful and harrowing verse that Shakespeare wrote at the height of his powers, this powerful tale will star former Shakespeare Santa Cruz Artistic Director and Royal Shakespeare Company actor Paul Whitworth in a not-to-be-missed tour-de-force performance.
Exit Pursued By A Bear by Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Rebecca Haley Clark
A revenge comedy set in North Georgia about one woman doing whatever it takes to get out of an abusive relationship. And to let in the bears. Grrr...
The Fiddle Extravaganza
The Fiddle Extravaganza is returning to live concert performance for the first time at DeLaveaga Park. Acclaimed Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser leads the orchestra and a dazzling collection of dynamic guest soloists in a lively and joyous program drawn from the rich musical traditions of many cultures.
Discount tickets now available! Tickets will be full price ($27.50) after August 30 and at the door the night of the show!
On August 1, we will present Witch, by Jen Silverman. Witch is a witty and inventive adaptation of the infamous Jacobean drama, The Witch of Edmonton. Silverman’s treatment, in contemporary language, is at turns funny, subversive, and moving. The reading will be directed by Charles Pasternak and feature performances by Mike Ryan, Paige Lindsey White, ML Roberts, Jono Eiland, Jeremy Helgeson, and Allie Pratt.
On August 8, we will present “Master Harold” …and the Boys by Athol Fugard. “Master Harold” is the autobiographical masterpiece of one of the twentieth century’s greatest playwrights. Fugard’s many awards include Tony, Obie, Evening Standard, and Drama Desk (the latter two for “Master Harold”). The reading will be directed by ML Roberts and feature performances by Derrick Lee Weedon, Junior Nyong’o, and Miles Blue.