Do or die for Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Shakespeare Santa Cruz has been one of the elite art organizations in this community for more than 25 years, and now it’s facing extinction. That’s the facts, folks. Even the staff and volunteers at SSC are feeling the cold wind.

SSC begins its new summer season next week, and ticket sales are down, understandable, perhaps, in a tough economy. But never has the company faced the prospect that it simply won’t be around next summer until now. According to artistic director Marco Barricelli, if ticket sales don’t meet the company’s budget, the university can pull support and that’s all folks. No more theater in the Glen among the redwoods.

I’ve talked to several people at SSC: staff, board members, artists, audience supporters. And no one is claiming that SSC deserves to exist. They know theater companies aren’t a given in any community. But they’re hoping that those who’ve enjoyed, or been moved by past productions will make the effort this year to get up to campus to see their plays. They say that the anxiety of the past several months has made them focus into producing the best theater they know how to do.

We’ll see. Somewhere around the first or second week of August, they’ll have a pretty good idea if they’ve attracted big enough crowds to continue. The players have done what they can do; the final act of this drama is our hands.

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3 thoughts on “Do or die for Shakespeare Santa Cruz

  1. Survival of the fittest is the name of the game. Having been to a SSC production in the past, I wasn’t at all impressed & it doesn’t matter to me whether they stick around or not. There are so many other much more pressing & dire financial issues that we as a town must address way before things like SSC.

  2. Interesting that people so willing get rid of the arts as if it is not as important as other financial issues. Sad that the groundlings will have no where to go to escape the pressing and dire issues in their life. Julius Ceaser is playing and it could not be more relevant. Lessons every community needs to learn. They do a great job and frankly the cost is very reasonable. I will be there with my kids–much better than Wizards of Waverly Place.

  3. My wife and I first attended a SSC production more than a decade ago. We were enchanted, and have made this a regular part of our summer since. Overall, the shows are an amazing experience. Sure, we’ve liked some better than others, and have sometimes questioned choices made by the director. but the acting has been consistently very good to excellent. The best shows totally carry you away. If you are at all interested, I urge you to attend a show, soon.

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