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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.

– Charles Pasternak, Artistic Director

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As You Like It by William Shakespeare ‒ July 13 - Sept. 1

Directed by Carey Perloff

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 foible and frailty, showing us the myriad ways that love can rebuild the world.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare ‒ July 31 - Aug. 31

Directed by Susan Dalian

In 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 Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde ‒ July 14 through Sept. 7

Directed by Paul Mullins

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.

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams ‒ Sept. 11‒28

Directed by Charles Pasternak

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.

Fringe Series

Intern Show: Proof
By David Auburn
Directed by Rebecca Haley Clark

The 2001 Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama, Proof is a simple and elegant story that unfolds on the back porch of a house in a suburban university town. Centering around a brilliant female mathematician, her manipulative sister, and their sick father (once a renowned mathematician himself), it’s a tale of love,
reconciliation, and the search for the truth behind a mysterious mathematical proof.

Staged Reading #1

August 6: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang

Playwright Christopher Durang passed away earlier this year, so we'll read his great classical satire in honor of his legacy and life. The work won the 2013 Tony Award® for Best Play.

Staged Reading #2

August 13: A Room in the Castle by Lauren Gunderson

SCS continues its collaborations with Gunderson, following last year's mainstage production of The Book of WillCastle focuses on the female characters of Hamlet and where their lives lead outside of the play. Talkback with the author to follow the reading.

Parking Passes

Buy a Parking Pass Early, or Pay $10 (Cash Only) at The Grove.

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NEW! A Christmas Carol

November 23 - December 24

SCS Members receive early access to tickets for our insugural production of this holiday favorite, at the  beautiful and historic Santa Cruz Veterans' Memorial Building!

Thank you to our Media Sponsors!

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Join the Excitement at Santa Cruz Shakespeare!

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