Welcome to Santa Cruz Shakespeare! Throughout the fall of 2020 we entered into a new branding initiative that will culminate in more effective and engaging imagery, design, and marketing for the SCS programs that you know and love. Our goal is to provide you with all the information you need to make your engagement with SCS as smooth and helpful as possible.

Please keep your eyes open for our new website and 2021 Season Announcement coming very soon.

We look forward to hosting you in The Grove this Summer and giving you a safe and fantastic theatrical experience!

SCS postpones the 2020 Season

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SCS will unfortunately have to wait and look forward to seeing YOU at our SEVENTH SEASON: the 2021 summer festival.

Hello, SCS Family.

The plays I selected for this summer all examine how we find our way past disaster – but never did I imagine the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic when I contemplated the nature of this adversity. It is therefore with heavy heart that the Board of Directors and staff of Santa Cruz Shakespeare, in the interest of public health and the well-being of the Festival, have decided to postpone our 2020 summer season to 2021.

That is such difficult news to write. I know, too, that for many of you it will be difficult to read. The decision was not reached lightly; given our utmost concern for the health of our community and employees, the dubious viability of public gatherings this summer, and our need to act quickly to minimize financial damage to the company, however, we are certain it is the right one.

Though we are grieving this situation, we are also, like many of you, reaching for the opportunities afforded by it. As mighty as our small SCS staff is, we rarely have time with the demands of our summer season to look at new ways of creating, connecting, and caring for our community. So, we make you a pledge to do just that: we will be rolling out a series of Behind-the-Scenes video interviews with artists and artisans that explore what goes into creating a season at SCS; we will be organizing virtual community play readings; we will create and upload education videos and materials to assist with remote learning; and, we will explore new programming in the winter or spring.

In the absence of summer programming, we will need you, our community, to come together in other ways. Send us your ideas for making your festival the best it can be. If you have ideas about how SCS can build community remotely, let us know. If there is programming you’d like to see online, or beyond the summer, share your ideas with us.

Last but not least, if you can give to help mitigate the significant loss of ticket income, we’d sure be grateful. Let’s make this extraordinary time count, so that when we can gather once more, we do it strengthened and impassioned by this experience we have all shared.

It occurred to me this morning that in so many of Shakespeare’s plays, his characters become isolated from society-at-large. Examples include the lovers and mechanicals lost in the wood of Athens in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the exiled Prospero on his island in The Tempest. Viola is separated from the world she knows when she is shipwrecked and disguises herself on the coast of Illyria in Twelfth Night.

These moments of isolation lead to profound changes, however: a renewed sense of self, a regeneration of purpose, and a deeper understanding about why it is good to love one another. As the exiled Duke Senior says in As You Like It:

“And this our life, exempt from public haunt,

Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,

Sermons in stones, and good in everything.”

Shakespeare whispers in our ear that we will be better for this time of isolation, that there will come an end to exile, and that, in exchange for our losses, the world to which we return will be better than the one we left behind.

Until then, stay healthy, stay safe, stay involved. I can’t wait to see you in the brave new world.

Mike Ryan, Artistic Director

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.

Learn More >


Get access to advance tickets, discounts and other exclusive benefits.

Member Benefits


Undiscovered Shakespeare: The Wars of the Roses

Undiscovered Shakespeare: The Wars of the Roses In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and in lieu of its traditional summer offerings, Santa Cruz Shakespeare is very proud to announce a new virtual reading series to keep audiences engaged with the high-quality, professional Shakespeare they have come to expect! Starting one week from today, on July […]

Good Times Interview with Artistic Director Mike Ryan “Why Santa Cruz Shakespeare Cancelled its Summer Season”

BY STEVE PALOPOLI POSTED ON APRIL 21, 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has devastated our local arts community, a reality that hit home particularly hard when Santa Cruz Shakespeare announced on April 10 that it was cancelling its summer season, which had been set to begin July 7 with productions of The Tempest and Twelfth Night, along with Melissa Rain Anderson’s A […]