|SSC program 2000, design by Mott Jordan|
This Sunday, December 8, at 6 pm, will be the final performance of the final production of SSC as we now know it. Come celebrate the company and all it has meant to the Santa Cruz community by turning out for the last performance of the current holiday show, It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, the final joint production between SSC and the UCSC Theater Arts Department.
Even as we speak, plans are afoot for SSC to reinvent itself and rise phoenix-like from the challenges of these last four months as a new, independent enterprise. At the moment, this entity is called Shakespeare Play On, whose organizers have issued this open invitation to the community re: the closing night of It's A Wonderful Life:
"Let’s fill the theater on the evening of the 8th with SSC patrons and friends. Come and show your support and appreciation for SSC’s 32 years of artistic excellence at UCSC and learn what the future holds for this nationally-recognized theater company."
|Sharon Shao, Julia Finch, and Rosie Glen-Lambert|
At this, the closing of the (first) SSC era, let's stop and remember what a challenging and provocative 32 years its been. In addition to dynamic productions from the Shakespeare oeuvre every season (and I mean all of the oeuvre, from crowd-pleasers like A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth, to thornier work like Cymbeline and Titus Andronicus), local audiences were also treated to the best of world theatre, both classical and modern.
SSC presented Albee, Moliere, Chekhov, Ibsen (hands up everyone who remembers a pre-Walter White Bryan Cranston in A Doll's House, 1992), and Tom Stoppard, to name but a few. (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead played in rep with Hamlet in 1985, with the same actors in the same roles in both plays.) Non-Bard offerings might be anything from the Stephen Sondheim musical, Company, to Amadeus, from Waiting For Godot to The Three Musketeers.
And let's not forget the exquisite holiday pantomimes (not as in Marcel Marceau; these were "pantos," as Yuletide fairy tale extravaganzas are called in British theatre)—Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Wind in the Willows, A Year With Frog and Toad. Sigh.
Personally, I was hoping there would be a bit more panto in SSC's last holiday extravaganza, but that's just me.
Once upon a time, it just wouldn't be Christmas without Mike Ryan and a dancing bear!
Still, for anyone who has ever loved this company, this is a great opportunity to celebrate all Shakespeare Santa Cruz has been in its glorious past, and look forward to all it might yet be. Get your tickets now!