The curtain rises again as Santa Cruz Shakespeare returns for outdoor performances this summer



After 15 months of turmoil, canceled events and a series of postponed hopes and dreams, the curtain rises once again for Santa Cruz Shakespeare. This summer, Santa Cruz Shakespeare will return to his outdoor performances at Audrey Stanley Grove in DeLaveaga Park for his 2021 summer season, which runs from July 20 to August 29, 2021.

Starring professional actors from across the country and inspired by deep local roots stretching back over 40 years, Santa Cruz Shakespeare presents daring productions of plays by Shakespeare and other great playwrights that stimulate audiences’ senses and stimulate their imagination.

“We are delighted to be back,” said General Manager Larry Mabrey. “We have used the time since the canceled season last summer to plan some of the most modern and culturally relevant productions of our time.”

This summer’s shows will bring the community together in an intimate setting to reflect on the parallels of recent societal events and encourage deeper conversations for all ages.

– Larry Mabrey, General Manager

Mabrey has waited a long time to kick off a new season. In February 2020, the California native packed his bags and left the circus – literally. He moved to Santa Cruz de St. Louis, where he was executive director of the world-class Circus Flora, a community-driven production of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to providing local arts organizations with the infrastructure and resources necessary for the arts to thrive in St. Louis.

Shakespeare of Santa Cruz

The decision to cancel the 2020 season so soon after arriving in Santa Cruz was a bittersweet moment in Mabrey’s 35-year career as a theater professional. However, the decision had a silver lining: it allowed her to peacefully plot with Santa Cruz Shakespeare artistic director Mike Ryan to plan and produce the most culturally relevant and meaningful live theater programming possible for the show. summer season 2021. Protecting COVID while providing unique and enhanced guest experiences, the new season will kick off on July 20 with two compelling productions:

“RII” by Jessica Kubzansky

Shakespeare of Santa Cruz

The story that sets the War of the Roses in motion in England, Jessica Kubzansky’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard II tells the story of this king’s unhappy reign using just three actors. What is our responsibility when a bad leader rightly occupies the throne? This exploration of divine right, capricious leadership, and bloody insurgency is replete with contemporary political relevance. Choosing a critic when it premiered at the Boston Court Theater in Los Angeles, Charles McNulty, critic for the LA Times, called the play a “ingenious staging feat.”

Mat Smart’s “agitators”


This play tells the story of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. In the 45 volatile years they’ve known each other, they have been friends, allies and adversaries. Their hopes and dreams of equality have brought them to common ground and political battlefields. As agitators, they didn’t just let our nation or each other rest in complacency, and their respective struggles for racial justice and gender equality continue to this day.

For the 2021 season, capacity will be limited and a revised seating arrangement has been created for the comfort and safety of all customers.

Venue, streaming and ticket information

Performances take place at Audrey Stanley Grove in Upper DeLaveaga Park in Santa Cruz.

Participants enjoy The Grove

Participants enjoy The Grove

(Santa Cruz Shakespeare)

For guests who prefer to watch the 2021 season of SCS from the comfort of their home, Santa Cruz Shakespeare will be offering digital streaming performance tickets to his productions in August.

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the box office at (831) 460-6399.

For more information on Santa Cruz Shakespeare, visit or follow updates on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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