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Shakespeare Santa Cruz summer season opens July 20

By Scott Rappaport

Tickets are still available for the 24th summer season of Shakespeare Santa Cruz (SSC), running July 20 to August 28 at the UCSC Mainstage Theater and Festival Glen.

Feste from Twelfth Night

Michael Milligan as Feste in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night
Photo: Steve DiBartolomeo

Featured in the June 13 issue of Newsweek as one of five respected theater companies in the nation with promising seasons this summer, SSC will present another sterling combination of festive comedy, transformative drama, and wicked satire.

This year's plays include Shakespeare's quintessential comedy Twelfth Night and poetic drama The Winter's Tale, plus W. S. Gilbert's brilliant satire Engaged. The fringe production is The Antipodes, written by Richard Brome in 1636.

Twelfth Night contains some of Shakespeare's best-loved characters, including valiant Viola, lovesick Duke Orsino, Feste the wise fool, the priggish Malvolio, and Sir Toby Belch. It will be directed by P. J. Paparelli--artistic director at Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska, and former associate director of the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C. Lauded by the Washington Post as “one of the most exciting talents working in Washington today,” Paparelli will be making his SSC directorial debut.

The Winter's Tale includes some of Shakespeare's most beautiful imagery in a story involving a jealous king, a mistaken daughter, comic misadventure, loss, love, and reconciliation. Favorite SSC director Tim Ocel (Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Two Gentleman of Verona, As You Like It) directs this production.

Engaged by W. S. Gilbert features an extraordinary gallery of compelling characters caught between the competing attractions of sex and money in a hilarious satire of rampant British materialism and hypocrisy in the 1870s. It will be directed by SSC Artistic Director Paul Whitworth (Princess and the Pea, Gretel & Hansel, Cinderella, and Arms and the Man).

This summer, for the first time, reserved seating is now available in the outdoor Festival Glen. Managing director Marcus Cato also noted other improvements SSC hopes to implement in the next few years--including the construction of a “sunshade” to make matinee performances in the glen more comfortable for the entire audience.

SSC also will offer a variety of extra events and activities to enhance audience appreciation of the 2005 season. These include a free lecture series at the Nickelodeon Theater beginning on July 15; free Saturday backstage tours beginning on August 6; and pre- and post-play discussions with the directors, designers, and actors.

For more festival and ticket information, visit the SSC web site or call the UCSC Ticket Office at (831) 459-2159.

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