March 13, 2000
Summer theater festival pairs Shakespeare with French existentialist
By Barbara McKenna
The 2000 season features several popular Shakespeare Santa Cruz (SSC) veterans, including SSC artistic director Paul Whitworth, who will play the title role in Kean, and directors Edwards and Scheie, both of whom are former artistic directors of SSC and have, between them, directed dozens of plays for SSC, as well as across the globe. Fish has directed for the McCarter Theater, the Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C., Court Theater in Chicago, the Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase, and the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, among others.
The festival always offers a rich diversity of activities to complement the season's theatrical performances. Two of the most popular and long-standing events are the Weekend with Shakespeare conference and the Noon at the Nick luncheon lecture series.
Weekend with Shakespeare is a three-day conference featuring lectures by leading scholars, panel presentations, tours and, of course, the plays themselves (tickets are not included in conference costs). This annual conference, sponsored by UCSC's Focused Research Activity in Shakespeare and Early Drama, provides an opportunity to explore the links between scholarship and performance. Weekend with Shakespeare will run August 11-13 at the Theater Arts Center. The cost is $40 per person for the six discussion/lectures.
Noon at the Nick is a free brown-bag discussion series at the Nickelodeon Theater at 210 Lincoln Street in downtown Santa Cruz. Lively discussions will feature festival directors, actors, and designers. Lectures begin at noon and run July 7-August 4.
SSC now offers special family prices through its Family Sundays program. On each of the five Sunday matinee performances during the season, patrons may buy up to two special $6 youth tickets with the purchase of each adult ticket. Tickets prices are valid for children aged 5 to 18.
For tickets and more information, call (831) 459-2159.
Below are synopses of the plays, which can also be found at the Shakespeare Santa Cruz Web site.
Love's Labour's Lost
Eager to win eternal fame as scholars, the young King of Navarre and his three
lords vow to study in solitude and contemplation for three years. The edict, which
encompasses all of the court including the hilarious assortment of characters who
inhabit its fringes, prohibits women from coming within a mile of the court. The
king, however, has forgotten that the Princess of France and her three ladies are
due to arrive on a diplomatic mission.
Cymbeline is the King of Britain during the reign of Augustus Caesar in Rome.
By his first marriage, he has a daughter, Imogen, as well as two sons who were stolen
away at birth and are now presumed dead. Contrary to her father's wishes, Imogen
has married Posthumous, a commoner. In anger, Cymbeline banishes Posthumous to Rome.
Jean Paul Sartre's play is based on the magnetic 19th-century actor, Edmund
Kean. As the play opens, Kean is at the top of his profession. He is adored by theater
audiences and secretly favored by many society ladies. He is also perilously in debt
and bitterly aware that he is considered a déclassé vulgarian by society.