Santa Cruz County Students Meet Shakespeare – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Safiya Harris, top left, and other actors in Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s stage production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night entertain an audience of Santa Cruz County students, their teachers and chaperones this week. The show was part of SCS’s annual Student Matinees program, which hosted over 700 students from 20 schools for three days to view the production of Twelfth Night. Rebecca Clark, Santa Cruz Shakespeare Education Programs Manager, who coordinates the program, grew up in Santa Cruz attending Gault Elementary, Branciforte Middle, and Santa Cruz High. She says, “Shakespeare and live performances have had a direct impact on my life. I saw my first Shakespeare play when I was in kindergarten in Santa Cruz which was performed by the sixth graders at our elementary school. I was addicted to that first performance of Macbeth. Shakespeare is meant to be seen and heard and that is why bringing these works through performance to as many Santa Cruz students as possible is so essential. The festival, which continues four decades of providing live Shakespeare performances in the Santa Cruz repertoire, wraps up the 2022 season with performances of The Formula and Twelfth Night on Sunday. On Monday, the company announced its offerings for the 2023 season, which include Shakespeare’s King Lear and The Taming of the Shrew, as well as Lauren Gunderson’s The Book of Will. Santa Cruz’s most renowned Shakespearean actor, Paul Whitworth, who began performing with SCS Shakespeare precursor Santa Cruz in 1984 and became its artistic director in 1996, will play King Lear. Lear is considered one of the Bard’s most famous, demanding, and complex roles. (Shmuel Thaler – Sentinel of Santa Cruz)

This week, students are enjoying Twelfth Night in the Grove at the Audrey Stanley Santa Cruz Shakespeare Festival. (Shmuel Thaler – Sentinel of Santa Cruz)

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