Summer is officially in full swing when lights go up on Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s outdoor theatre performances.
This month kicked off the Santa Cruz Shakespeare 2017 Summer Festival, with performances that began July 5th and run through September 3rd. For the 2017 season, SCS is presenting two Shakespeare plays that the company last produced more than 18 years ago – Measure for Measure and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, as well as the Santa Cruz premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps.
Led by Artistic Director Mike Ryan, Santa Cruz Shakespeare (SCS) is a nationally recognized theatre company that features professional performances of works by Shakespeare and other playwrights staged in a beautiful natural environment. The Festival is now in its second season in the company’s new outdoor venue, the Audrey Stanley Grove at Upper DeLaveaga Park. It is the only outdoor theatre company presenting high quality shows with scenic background views of the Monterey Bay.
SCS summer performances opened with Hitchcock’s comedic thriller, The 39 Steps. Hitchcock was a resident of Scotts Valley for many years, and living in this area inspired a number of his films. As a nod to the legendary local, SCS is presenting Patrick Barlow’s modern adaptation of Hitchcock’s 1935 film. The SCS production of The 39 Steps features four actors playing more than 150 roles in a zany adventure of murder and mystery.
The next play to open in July was Measure for Measure, a co-production in partnership with the California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes), a longstanding Festival based in the East Bay. Collaborating with Cal Shakes welcomes a more widespread audience to experience local theatre on the new Grove stage. The dark, psychological satire of Measure for Measure explores gritty issues around politic and personal control of the body.
The third production of the 2017 repertory season is The Two Gentlemen of Verona, starting on August 1. Shakespeare’s romantic comedy tells the story of two men whose friendship will be put to the ultimate test when both gents fall for the same gal. For this production, audiences can also look forward to a partnership with the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter – joining the dynamic cast will be Crab the dog.
All three shows run in rotation after opening. Additionally, Santa Cruz Shakespeare continues the annual tradition of showcasing the season’s intern acting Fringe company. This year, the intern company will present three performances only of its adaptation of Voltaire’s Candide, a story with themes of humor, violence, and sexuality.
The SCS productions offer extraordinary artistry and engage audiences in a unique experience of human nature. In their 2017 summer Festival, the company brings a mix of comedy and tragedy that redefines classical theater for contemporary times. Pack a picnic, pick out your local wine, and get thee to the Grove for the best of live theatre in a beautiful setting.
Get your tickets HERE!
Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s 2017 Summer Festival
The Grove at DeLaveaga Park
July 5 – September 3, 2017