As a Santa Cruz Shakespeare member or ticket buyer, you’re probably familiar with our membership levels but within each level there are hundred of theater lovers, volunteers, and families who support our work and have a long-standing connection with Shakespeare in Santa Cruz.
One of those members is Kevin Kolp. Kevin’s initial connection to Shakespeare was through a program he created called Discover Shakespeare, a way to encourage socialization among the residents at the retirement community where his father was living in Aptos, CA. He and the residents got together on a regular basis to read Shakespeare, share their thoughts, and ultimately watched the plays together.
He recently became more involved with SCS after recognizing The Grove building campaign was an important moment for the organization and the community. He accepted an invitation to the ribbon cutting ceremony at The Grove in June 2016, and came away from the event impressed by what a community of Shakespeare lovers had accomplished, and grateful that SCS was going to continue to be a big part of our community.
He had also heard about SCS’s annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival trip to Ashland, Oregon and jumped at the opportunity to go because “traveling with a bunch of enthusiastic Bardophiles,” appealed to him immensely! After going on the 2017 trip, he reports, “By the end of the week I was feeling like an SCS insider and after that, it was a no-brainer. I had to be a part of…’the fellowship of the ring’ and I immediately stepped up my membership to the Producer’s Circle level.”
I like to think of his experience as “the Ashland effect.” All those conversations with new friends over four days together, engaging with Mike Ryan and Michael Warren during the salons, and the chance to see five plays provided an unparalleled opportunity. Kevin then discovered that SCS offers the option of being a monthly or a quarterly sustainer, which makes being a Producer’s Circle member more convenient!
When I told Kevin that I call the fellowship between Santa Cruz Shakespeare members following their annual trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival “the Ashland effect,” he happily replied, “I am feeling the effect!”
by Julie Fraser, SCS Board Member, Volunteer and Education Committee Chairperson