Artistic Director’s Welcome


Mike Ryan, Artistic Director

Welcome to Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s 2015 Season! This is our second year as an independent non-profit, and the 34th year of Shakespeare performed in an evocative outdoor environment that only Santa Cruz can provide. It is also our final year performing in the Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen; next year, we will move to a beautiful, new outdoor home.

One of the wonderful things about theatre, and the reincarnation of this Shakespeare Festival specifically, has been the opportunity to examine old ways of thinking and performing and to take bold new directions. This theme winds its way strongly through the season: Macbeth throws off the mantel of complacency as his ambition awakes; Beatrice and Benedick must swallow their pride and break with old habits when love blossoms; Dorante, the liar, must leave old predilections behind if he is to achieve his dreams; and Florinda, one of the heroines in The Rover, rejects the future that has been planned for her and makes a brave decision over the course of the Fringe Production.

Self-examination and change have provided other opportunities as well. This year, for the first time, we will be producing four plays, all of which will perform outdoors in repertory. We have embraced gender equity in the acting company, finding a better way of telling stories that are inclusive and designed for a 21st century audience. Students 18 and under qualify for a free ticket. We have a successful new financial model. Next year, we will have a new home, one that will provide us with a great deal more opportunity and flexibility than we have ever enjoyed.

As an actor, I have performed in the Glen more than anyone: 21 productions over an 18- year span. It has been an artistic home for me, a place where I have crafted many of my favorite performances and learned the value of developing an artistic relationship with a brilliant and devoted community.

And yet…

My relationship with the Glen is nothing compared to the one many of you have with it. Some of you have seen over sixty productions in more than three decades. You have laughed, cried, baked in the sun, shivered in the fog, and shooed wild animals away from your picnic baskets. You were brought here by your parents. Now you bring your children, or your grandkids. You have watched the drama of human life unfold in ways that are tragically predictable and hilariously unexpected. In short, you have made it a theatre. And for that, I am profoundly grateful. There will be thrilling opportunities for each of you to transform our new home as surely as you have transformed this Glen, so stay tuned and make sure we know how to reach you. In the meanwhile, however, hold onto your chairs and blankets and enjoy the wickedly wonderful wild ride that is our 2015 season. Play On!


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


We envision a community where generations are increasingly passionate and knowledgeable about Shakespeare and Live theater, a community that engages in active discussion about language and art and reaches for passion, connection, and empowerment.


We believe in taking risks, charting new territory, and demanding a fearless aesthetic.

We commit to clear communication and responsiveness to inquiry in all that we do, from the artistic process and planning to financial management, governance, and operations.

We ensure a balance between the financial stability of the organization and artistic risk.

We are most passionate about our art, our community, and Shakespeare.

We strive to include the breadth and diversity of our community in our art and organization.

We continue to learn not only from our artists, but our community; and we encourage our artists and audiences to seek and gain knowledge through the work.

We are uncompromising in our quest to work with the finest artists, artisans, administrators, and partners for our collaborative process.

Santa Cruz Shakespeare Core Staff

Mike Ryan
Artistic Director

Aimee Zygmonski
Managing Director

Alexis Rossini
Development Associate

Cheryl Games
Communications Director

Lydia Bushfield
Production Manager

Elizabeth Levy
Business and Community Partnerships Coordinator

Sue Dormanen
Company Manager

William Wright
Volunteer Coordinator

Santa Cruz Shakespeare Board of Directors

Bill Richter, Chair
Renee Winter, Vice President
Jean Shimoguchi, Secretary
Eric Mendelson, Treasurer
Margaret Brose
Owen Brown
Chris Frost
Tamara Santos
Rick Wright

Honorary Director

Audrey Stanley