Swords, wigs, and corsets: Shakespeare Santa Cruz by the numbers

At least some of the magic behind Shakespeare Santa Cruz can be broken down into hard numbers. (Poster image courtesy of Shakespeare Santa Cruz)
Shakespeare Santa Cruz's unique prop room is a treasure trove of colorful objects that add life and depth to productions. (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

Perhaps you've attended a Shakespeare Santa Cruz performance sometime in the past few years and asked yourself, "How on Earth do they do it?"

How do these directors, actors, set designers, and lighting crew members pull off these performances, year after year after year? Is there a particular trade secret they're not telling us? Is it a matter of pure talent? Or can the magic of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, now in the midst of its 31st season, be expressed in cold, hard statistics?

As it turns out, at least some of that "magic" is quantifiable. To get through a SSC season, performers need a specific number of throat lozenges and props, not to mention fluffy wigs and theatrical costumes.

Those hard numbers and statistics were carefully held trade secrets—until now. So here, without further Ado, is the very first comprehensive set of Shakespeare Santa Cruz statistics.

• Number of plays written by Shakespeare: 38 (There is disagreement about this number, but this is the one that Shakespeare Santa Cruz's dramaturg supports.)

• Number of Shakespeare's plays performed by Shakespeare Santa Cruz over the past 31 seasons: 29 (Henry IV, Part Two, is Shakespeare Santa Cruz's 29th Shakespearean production.)

• Number of throat lozenges used by performers each season: 1,200

• Approximate number of lines of dialogue that will be recited during performances this season: 60,000

• Number of props weapons at SSC this season: 72

• Number of total props this season (including weapons): 463

• Number of wigs to be worn on stage this season: 45

• Number of fight sequences this season: 17

• Number of songs performed in this year's plays: 12

• Number of actors in the 2012 acting company including interns: 38

• Number of times Henry IV Part Two, has been performed at SSC: 1 (This year is the very first time!)

• Number of people (estimate) who will watch SSC performances this summer: 25,000

• Seating capacity in the Glen: 600

• Seating capacity in the Mainstage Theater: 520

• Average number of rehearsal hours per season: 280

• Number of UCSC students or alumni working at SSC this summer: 58

• Number of costumes in this summer's productions: 315

• Average number of cookies sold to hungry audience members each summer: 2,000