Santa Cruz Shakespeare
(Santa Cruz Shakespeare)
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The curtain rises again as Santa Cruz Shakespeare returns to live outdoor performances this summer

Presented by Santa Cruz Shakespeare

Santa Cruz Shakespeare (SCS), an inspired, professional theater company in Santa Cruz County with deep local roots that go back more than 40 years, is thrilled to return to live outdoor performances at Audrey Stanley Grove in DeLaveaga Park for the Summer 2021 season. SCS will continue its passion of being inclusive, inquisitive, and meeting the moment by featuring two relevant productions this season: “RII” and “The Agitators.”

After 15 months of turmoil, cancelled events, and a string of postponed hopes and dreams, the curtain will rise once again for Santa Cruz Shakespeare. This summer, Santa Cruz Shakespeare will return to its live outdoor performances at The Audrey Stanley Grove in DeLaveaga Park for its Summer 2021 season, which runs July 20 - Aug 29, 2021.

Santa Cruz Shakespeare
(Santa Cruz Shakespeare)

Featuring professional actors from across the country and inspired by deep local roots that go back 40 years, Santa Cruz Shakespeare performs bold productions of the plays of Shakespeare and other great playwrights that stimulate audiences’ senses and spark their imagination.

“We’re thrilled to be back,” said Managing Director Larry Mabrey. “We’ve used the time since last summer’s canceled season to reflect and carefully plan some of the most modern and culturally relevant productions for these times.”

This summer’s shows will bring the community together in our stunning and intimate setting to reflect on the parallels of recent societal events and encourage deeper conversations for all ages.

— Larry Mabrey, Managing Director

Mabrey has been waiting a long time to launch a new season. In January 2020, he packed his bags and left the circus — literally — to relocate to Santa Cruz from Missouri. The California native previously served as the executive director of St. Louis’ world-class Circus Flora, a world-renowned theatrical circus featuring the Flying Wallendas and other international circus performers.

Attendees enjoying a pre-show picnic in The Grove
(Santa Cruz Shakespeare )

The decision to cancel the 2020 season so soon after arriving in Santa Cruz was a bittersweet moment in Mabrey’s 35+ years as a theater professional. However, the decision had a silver lining: it allowed him to peacefully plot with Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s artistic director, Mike Ryan, to plan and produce a deeply meaningful and culturally relevant lineup of live theater for the 2021 summer season. Keeping COVID-safe while offering some unique and improved guest experiences, the new season kicks off on July 20 with two compelling productions:

“RII” by Jessica Kubzansky

Santa Cruz Shakespeare
(Santa Cruz Shakespeare)

The story that sets England’s Wars of the Roses in motion, Jessica Kubzansky’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard II tells the story of that king’s ill-fated reign using just three actors. What is our responsibility when a bad leader rightfully occupies the throne? This exploration of divine right, capricious leadership, and bloody insurrection is packed with contemporary political relevance. A critic’s choice pick when it premiered at the Boston Court Theatre in Los Angeles, Charles McNulty, critic for the LA Times, called the play a “feat of ingenious stagecraft.”

“The Agitators” by Mat Smart

(Santa Cruz Shakespeare)

This play tells the story of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. Over the 45 volatile years they knew one another, they were friends, allies and adversaries. Their hopes and dreams for equality brought them to common ground and political battlefields. As agitators, they were not content to let either our nation or each other rest in complacency, and their respective fights for racial justice and gender equity continue to this day.

For the 2021 season, capacity will be limited, and a revised seating layout has been created for the comfort and safety of all patrons.

Venue, Streaming and Ticket Information

Performances take place in The Audrey Stanley Grove at Upper DeLaveaga Park in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Shakespeare
(Santa Cruz Shakespeare)

For guests who prefer to view SCS’s 2021 Season from the comfort of their home, Santa Cruz Shakespeare will offer digitally streamed performance tickets of its productions in August.

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the Box Office at (831) 460-6399.

For more information about Santa Cruz Shakespeare, visit or follow updates on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.