Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sad news

UC Santa Cruz announced today that this will be the final season for Shakespeare Santa Cruz (SSC), the professional repertory company in residence at the campus.

The current season, the 32nd since the festival debuted on campus in 1981, will conclude this year following the annual holiday show in December.

News release at UC Santa Cruz site
I'm particularly sad about this because the boys were getting old enough to take them to performances (see the holiday production they went to last year. Here's hoping the school will be successful in working with a troupe to continue performances there.

It turns out we have tickets for this weekend on the final day of their regular season. And you can bet we'll take the kids to the holiday performance again. Meanwhile I think I'll savor the fond memories of attending performances in the redwood glen over the years.

Update (9 Sep 2013): A final update (for now) in Theatre Bay Area

Previous updates:

Update: A little more on the closing.

Update: An update musing on the wording of the press release and its implications.

Update: Ouch.

And double ouch...the ending of a letter from the office of the Provost, Benjamin F. Porter College at UC Santa Cruz:
In the spring of 2014, the world will be celebrating the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, but in Santa Cruz, it appears that we will be mourning the loss of the cherished institution that brought Shakespeare to life for us—unless, of course, you reconsider your decision and ask the people who love Shakespeare, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the University to help you make a better future. I hope that you will have the courage to do just that. Nothing would be lost by deliberating together, and a great deal might be gained. I would gladly join you in the challenge.
Sincerely yours,
Sean Keilen, Ph.D.
Provost, Porter College Associate Professor of Literature Affiliated Faculty, Theater Arts


Brian Joseph said...

It is always disheartening when something like this closes down.

Looks to have been caused by financial troubles. It also seems that this group really tried to stage quality productions. I suppose that the costs were just too high.

Dwight said...

I've added a second update that I think gets closer to the heart of the problem. (And I just noticed there is a comment by someone in the know that says something similar)

scott g.f.bailey said...

Well, that is sad news. Shakespeare (and live theater in general) is so important, especially opportunities to expose kids to theater. We have a lot of theater in Seattle (a lot for the size of the city, I guess) and we make it a point to contribute to Seattle Shakespeare beyond the ticket prices, because we're always worried that a corporate sponsor will back out unexpectedly. Not that our contributions would make up for the loss of a corporate sponsorship.