Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
May 24th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Play On

ae shakesSanta Cruz Shakespeare finds a way to get their Will

Putting the finishing touches on the whirlwind of behind- the-scenes production details, the cast, crew and directors of the all-new Santa Cruz Shakespeare (SCS) are set to demonstrate that all the world's a stage—especially one surrounded by dense redwood forests.

"We are thrilled that our audiences will get to enjoy Shakespeare's language in a place that is so suited to his words: at once wild and measured, epic and personal," says Mike Ryan, who, along with Marco Barricelli, former artistic director for Shakespeare Santa Cruz (SSC), heads up the
ambitious and lively new festival. Carrying on the tradition of professional, thought-provoking and passionate theater in Santa Cruz, co-artistic director Ryan—an actor well-known to local audiences— stepped away from dress rehearsals to admit that while the company had to work fast to get everything in place, the result of "brisk Bay Area auditions is a superb blend of audience favorites and brilliant newcomers."

Many will recognize Richard Ziman, who returns to play the robust carouser Sir John Falstaff. Marcus Cato, former managing director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, takes the stage for the first time since 1997. Other familiar faces from the past include Julia Coffey, Allen Gilmore, William Elsman, Carly Cioffi and the ubiquitous Kit Wilder.

"I am extremely excited about the cast we have assembled," says Ryan. "Comprised of SSC audience favorites, Bay Area superstars, award-winning actors from Chicago and New York, and our amazing interns, they are the perfect group to take audiences on the sexy and hilarious ride that is our inaugural season."

As far as William Shakespeare was concerned, all the world loves a fool, especially a cross-dressing fool. And he proved it by packing his wittiest works with clever occasions to make feckless buffoons out of easy targets. Like Sir John Falstaff, who is back with us in this inaugural season of Santa Cruz Shakespeare, attempting to seduce two saucy women and pocket their husbands' money in the woodland caper The Merry Wives of Windsor. A few years back I described Ziman's Falstaff as "an irresistible organization of wit, joie de vivre and corpulence.” I, who wanted the chance to see “Falstaff in love,” again look forward to relishing Ziman in this juicy Shakespearean romp, written at the request of Queen Elizabeth I. Busy Bay Area director Kirsten Brandt takes the controls of this cheeky romp, whose forest setting makes the perfect match for UCSC's atmospheric Festival Glen.

More schemes, fools and cross- dressing abound in the romantic comedy As You Like It, which opens the festival on July 1. In this Renaissance sitcom, Rosalind is exiled from the court, and, along with the fool Touchstone, wanders into the idyllic Forest of Arden where she discovers her true love, Orlando. Rosalind hatches a dazzling scheme to win his heart by disguising herself as a boy and teaching him how to woo a woman. Only in Shakespeare! The production is directed by Mark Rucker, a Shakespeare Santa Cruz veteran and associate artistic director at the American Conservatory Theater.

Rounding out the SCS festival season is a "fringe show" production of Amy Freed's delicious The Beard of Avon which tracks one eager young man named "Shakespeare" and his wildly improbable struggles to escape the sticks and find fame as a playwright in the big city of London. Directed by Steve Boyle, the Fringe Show plays only on July 29 and August 5.

The backstory to this year's Santa Cruz Shakespeare festival is well known. Once the University closed down the annual summer theatricals after more than three decades, the community responded by raising the funds to support a new season of Shakespeare, with high-profile professionals at the helm.

"The difference in this new festival," Ryan said recently, "is that SSC felt like a festival at UCSC. The aim of Santa Cruz Shakespeare is to be a theater company for the community."


INFO: The Santa Cruz Shakespeare season runs July 1 - Aug.10, at the Sinsheimer- Stanley Festival Glen at the UCSC. As You Like it runs July 1 - Aug. 10, The Merry Wives of Windsor runs July 13 - Aug. 10. The Fringe Show: The Beard of Avon shows July 29 & Aug. 5 only. Tickets available online at santacruztickets.com.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival