Shakespeare Santa Cruz celebrates Bard's birthday with two free community events

In honor of William Shakespeare's birthday, Shakespeare Santa Cruz's community outreach program, Shakespeare To Go, will present a free public performance of The Tempest at the 418 Project (418 Front Street) in downtown Santa Cruz on Sunday, April 22, at 1 p.m.

Every year, Shakespeare To Go--featuring UCSC theater arts students performing 50-minute versions of Shakespeare plays--visits high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools in three counties, reaching more than 6,000 students, some of whom have had no previous exposure to live theater. This year's program is directed by Shakespeare Santa Cruz company actor and theater arts lecturer Mike Ryan and features an original score by UCSC music and voice student Steven Good. Shakespeare To Go is part of Shakespeare in American Communities: Shakespeare for a New Generation, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest.

Later that same afternoon, students of all ages will perform Shakespearean monologues at Bookshop Santa Cruz beginning at 4 p.m. The event is a celebration of youth, literature, and the elegance of Shakespearean language. The actors will range from fourth graders to college students and represent schools throughout Santa Cruz County. UCSC professor emeritus of English literature Michael Warren will moderate, setting the scene for each performer. Free birthday cake will be available after the performances.

For more information about these events, contact Dana Werdmuller at Shakespeare Santa Cruz: (831) 459-3160,, or go to