Season 2024 – Generations

2024 will be our Season of Generations: of the inheritors of the new world; of the young finding, discovering, claiming their identities and their power; of forging a new path and changing the world. Each of the shows of the 2024 season deal directly with the next generation inheriting the world. Sometimes that demands escaping what came before, never to return; sometimes that demands returning, after escaping to find growth, and love, and unity; sometimes that demands redefining oneself in the face of the old world’s expectations; sometimes that demands a violent struggle with the older generation, and with oneself. There is humor in much of it, tragedy in some, and catharsis in all. Between the pull of the past and the drive of the future, the world changes; it is inevitable, and the 2024 season will look to some of the greatest playwrights of the western canon to explore and understand this vital moment; the readiness is all.

Artistic Director, Charles Pasternak



As You Like It by William Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s As You Like It is a tale of banishment and escape to the forest of Arden,
where a merry band find unity, love, and rebirth. The ensemble includes the melancholy
Jacques (“All the world’s a stage…), the vigorous Orlando, and the brilliant Rosalind.
Amidst a hurly of comedy, disguise, and discovery, love is sought, debated, and
eventually learned. As You Like It is a hilarious journey into the heart of human foibles
and frailty, showing us the myriad ways that love can rebuild the world.


The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest has not been done in the 42-year
history of Santa Cruz Shakespeare. It is one of the greatest comedies ever written, filled
with some of the sharpest wit in the English language. The most iconic figure of this
masterpiece is the formidable Lady Bracknell; obsessed with tradition and propriety, she
cannot countenance her daughter Gwendolyn’s love of our titular Earnest. It’s not his
money she objects to, of which he has plenty, but his bloodline: he has seemingly, and
famously, descended from a HANDBAG. At least, that’s where he was discovered as an
orphan. The young strain and contrive against their elder’s conservatism; through
fantasy, imagination, and so much wit, they will reshape the world; redefining, and
reNAMING, love’s conventions.

Paul Mullins will return to Santa Cruz Shakespeare again this season as the director.


Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The most famous play ever written, Prince Hamlet contends with the ghost of his father,
with the swift marriage of his mother to his uncle, with himself… most potently with
himself. His questions throughout, of what it means to be a man, a son, a citizen of the
world; what it means to be alive; what is owed; these questions have echoed through
the last four hundred years and will no doubt echo for as long as we stand up on a
stage and tell stories. Not to mention that it’s a thrilling tale of murder, revenge,
madness, and betrayal.

Artistic Director Charles Pasternak will play Hamlet with former Artistic Director Mike
Ryan as Claudius.


The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
Presented for the first time in the company’s history, Tennessee Williams’ The Glass
Menagerie is an American masterpiece; an autobiographical “dream” play, Tom, the
young Tennessee, struggles in his claustrophobic home life, caught between his
controlling mother and his damaged sister. He loves them. His battle is actually not that
he wants to leave, but that he wants to stay. But if he does, can he ever become the
writer and the man he aspires to be?

A thrilling expansion for Santa Cruz Shakespeare: Menagerie will open at the end of our
traditional summer season, running in the Grove through September. Artistic Director
Charles Pasternak will direct.


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
For the first time in over ten years, SCS will produce a holiday show. The fifth show of
2024 will be a small-cast version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted and
directed by Charles Pasternak, and starring Mike Ryan as Ebenezer Scrooge. SCS is
currently in discussions with fellow non-profit, The Veterans Memorial Building in
downtown Santa Cruz, to present.


The 2024 Season will also include our Fringe Series: two staged readings and two
performances of our intern show. Titles to be announced later.

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