The Fringe Show: The Beard of Avon
By Amy Freed
Directed by Steve Boyle
In the Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen
July 29th and August 5th ONLY
(All Fringe Show Tickets are $16.00)
In this mad-cap comedy a swain known as “Will Shakspere” who longs to be an artist flees his rural life for the stages of Elizabethan London. Did this novice actor become the ghost writer for the Earl of Oxford, Sir Francis Bacon, and even Queen Elizabeth? Authors too proud to admit they scribbled plays for the unwashed masses? This intelligent and fun-filled farce deliberates the longstanding debate over who really penned Shakespeare’s canon. With a gleeful wink at intervening centuries, Amy Freed’s deliciously witty The Beard of Avon portrays Will’s comic struggles to become an artist in his own right in this bawdy, hilarious, conspiracy-laden origin story of how a poor hayseed with wild dreams found himself in over his head and became the man we know as Shakespeare.
Santa Cruz Shakespeare (SCS) is a new, independent non-profit theatre company rooted in Santa Cruz, California and dedicated to the plays of William Shakespeare and other dynamic playwrights whose work celebrates language. SCS will carry on the tradition of professional, thought-provoking and passionate theater in Santa Cruz.
SCS was funded by theatre-lovers in Santa Cruz and beyond after its predecessor, a 32-year old Shakespeare Festival affiliated with the University of California at Santa Cruz, closed in December 2013. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, and the fiscal sponsorship of Arts Council Santa Cruz County, SCS’s 2014 Summer Season is fully forward-funded. This means that all the money required for production this year is already in-hand. Simply put: ticket revenue, along with all donations and grants received after March 1, 2014, will help to ensure a 2015 season. As we are fond of saying, “we have thrown away the credit card and broken out the debit card.” It also means that in many ways our future success as a company rests in the hands of this community. If our audiences buy tickets to the season, donate, volunteer, and urge friends to do the same, Santa Cruz Shakespeare will not only survive, but thrive.
In addition to the summer repertory season, SCS is proud to interface with the community through a number of vital education and outreach initiatives including an Intern Program, the Don Rothman pre-show and post-show discussion talkbacks as well as Weekend with Shakespeare in conjunction with UCSC’s Associate Professor of Literature Sean Keilen and Professor Emeritus, Michael Warren.