“Nestled in a new home in a eucalyptus grove, it’s one of the few remaining true repertory companies in the U.S.”  – SF Gate

“SCS is one of the 5 best summer theaters in the Bay Area” – San Jose Mercury

SCS announces the 2020 Season

SCS looks forward to seeing YOU at our SEVENTH SEASON: the 2020 summer festival!

All of our 2020 plays center around someone (or someones) who are shipwrecked, sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally, and sometimes in both ways. These stories ask questions about how we find our way past disaster, impotence, and emotional stagnancy to find fertile ground in renewed joy, love, and hope.

Kicking us off, the first show of the season will once again be our non-Shakespeare offering. On the heels of recent farcical successes like The 39 Steps, and Pride and Prejudice, we are so excited to be presenting a play written by the greatest French farceur of all time, Georges Feydeau. Widely acknowledged to be his masterpiece farce, the play is…A Flea in Her Ear a new version of Georges Feydeau’s Farce by David Ives starting July 7, 2020. A moment of sexual impotence kicks off a series of misunderstandings and machinations that lead every character in the play to the Frisky Puss Hotel where hilarity ensues. A Flea in Her Ear gets a contemporary updating by David Ives in this translation, who our audiences will know as the playwright of The Liar and Venus in Fur. A Flea in Her Ear a new version of Georges Feydeau’s Farce by David Ives will be directed by Melissa Rain Anderson who is new to SCS.

The second show of the season and first Shakespeare play introduces us to a woman who is shipwrecked physically, and to a group of people who are shipwrecked emotionally. Stuck in old ideas of love and grief that have grown so stale as to become something else entirely, the world of Illyria is shocked from winter into spring by the passions of Viola who disguises herself as a man in order to survive. The play is, of course, Twelfth Night starting July 21. Called by the late Harold Bloom “the greatest of all Shakespeare’s pure comedies”, this production will be directed by Paul Mullins, one of SCS’s associate artists, known to our audiences as the director of Pride and Prejudice, Love’s Labours Lost, The 39 Steps, and Hamlet.

The final mainstage show of the season and our second Shakespeare production begins with a shipwreck, though this is one created by design…more specifically by the magic of Prospero’s tempest. Determined to destroy those who banished the magician to the island, Prospero weaves spells of illusion and enchantment with the aid of the spirit Ariel to exact revenge. The Tempest starts August 4 toying with art and its limitations, and asks an important question to everyone in this community and beyond: what is the true cost of releasing anger? Artistic Director Mike Ryan will be making his Santa Cruz Shakespeare directing debut at the helm of this production.

All productions run in repertory after opening. Santa Cruz Shakespeare will also continue the tradition of showcasing the season’s intern acting company with its celebratory Fringe production. Tickets for all shows go on sale May 15, 2020 with a Santa Cruz Shakespeare Member pre-sale starting May 1. Tickets can be purchased online at santacruzshakespeare.org. Online calendar coming soon!

SCS’s expanded Student Matinee Week will continue in 2020, which last year welcomed over 1200 students from Santa Cruz County and beyond. SCS continues this venture with student viewing performances of Twelfth Night on August 26, 28 and September 1, 2, 3.

Santa Cruz Shakespeare will once again offer the “Free Youth Ticket” program which offers those 18 and under, accompanied by a paying adult, a free groundling ticket to Twelfth Night.

Our 2020 Season theme is “Sea-Change”. We are a sea-changed company and we are grateful to you for your generosity and for being a part of our incredible family here at SCS. See you at The Grove!


Santa Cruz Shakespeare (SCS) is a nationally recognized theatre company that matches unparalleled professional performances with unparalleled outdoor beauty in the heart of Santa Cruz. Guests to Santa Cruz Shakespeare are welcome to come early to the show, pack a picnic, bring wine, beer, and take in the scenery. Santa Cruz Shakespeare is the only outdoor theatre company with sweeping views of the Monterey Bay.


Inspired by Shakespeare, we create and strengthen community by bringing audiences and theater artists together to celebrate stories about our collective humanity.

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