Tickets on Sale May 1 for Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s 2024 Expanded Summer Season, “Generations”

Four Productions Running July Through September at Audrey Stanley Grove

Santa Cruz, CA (April 2, 2024) — Santa Cruz Shakespeare (SCS), a nationally recognized professional theatre company in Santa Cruz County with deep local roots that go back more than 40 years, today announced that tickets will go on sale May 1 for its expanded 2024 Summer Festival at Performances will take place from July 13 through September 28 in the Audrey Stanley Grove (The Grove) in Santa Cruz’s DeLaveaga Park.

Following a successful, nearly sold-out 2023 season, this year’s expanded 2024 Summer Festival will include four plays during its repertory season: As You Like It and Hamlet by William Shakespeare, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams.

“Each of the shows of the 2024 season deals directly with the next generation inheriting the world,” said Charles Pasternak, Artistic Director of Santa Cruz Shakespeare. “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.”

“We are thrilled to welcome our community back to The Grove for our expanded 2024 summer season,” said Lorne Dechtenberg, Managing Director of Santa Cruz Shakespeare. “We’ll celebrate not only these monumental stage works but also the GENERATIONS of audience members who have made our company a four-decade tradition here in Santa Cruz. These audiences can look forward to cheering on their favorite returning SCS artists, as well as new company members who will bring their own fresh energy to our programming.”


As You Like It by William Shakespeare

Director: Carey Perloff
Opening Night: July 18, 2024, 8 p.m.

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. Bay Area legend, Carey Perloff, makes her directing debut at Santa Cruz Shakespeare.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Director: Paul Mullins
Opening Night: July 19, 2024, 8 p.m.

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.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Director: Susan Dalian
Opening Night: Aug. 2, 2024, 8 p.m.

In perhaps 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

Director: Charles Pasternak
Opening Night: September 13, 2024, 8 p.m.

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?

The 2024 Summer Festival will also include the Fringe Series: two staged readings and two performances of its intern show.

The seasonal Box Office opens for phone orders beginning June 1. Box office hours will be Tuesday through Thursday from 12p.m. to 4p.m. Call 831-460-6399.

Performance calendar can be found here:

Learn more at

Santa Cruz Shakespeare Membership

Become a member of SCS to support the 2024 season and its variety of education programs: the Student Matinee Program (SMAT) which brings high school students from Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Monterey counties to The Grove to experience live theatre; the new Shakespeare and Social Justice Program; and study guides for a selection of Shakespeare’s plays to enhance school curricula. SCS’s education department also produces the Fringe Show, an all-intern production giving emerging artists an opportunity to showcase their talents. SCS Members enjoy pre-sales, ticket discounts, early admission, free parking, free food and drink, cushioned seats, and other benefits.

About Santa Cruz Shakespeare

Featuring professional actors from around the country and inspired by deep local roots that go back more than 40 years, Santa Cruz Shakespeare stages bold productions of the plays of Shakespeare and other great playwrights that stimulate audiences’ senses and spark their imagination. For more information about SCS, visit, Facebook and Instagram.

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