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‘Shakespeare Play On’ Board of Directors makes plea to community for funding

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In a Dec. 11, 2013 message to countless supporters devastated by an abrupt termination of the Shakespeare Santa Cruz summer Festival by UCSC, the Board said, “It is time for the community to take ownership of this Festival. We have not come through crises, victories, tears and joy to let it evaporate due to inaction. We now collectively have the opportunity to create a resilient, robust, self-governing organization.”

A promise to the community

Their theater is one that will pride itself on:

- Actor-driven artistic leadership committed to giving actors what they need to do their very best work for 2014, that’s Marco Barricelli and Mike Ryan!

- An aesthetic borne of 32 years of artistic vision from Audrey, Michael, Danny, Paul, Risa and Marco

- A multi-generational audience beloved by actors for its curiosity, engagement and openness

- Collaboration with the arts organizations that make Santa Cruz so vibrant

- Fiscal responsibility exercised by a true Board of Directors

Actor Mike Ryan, whose first season at SSC was in 1997, and is now Artistic Consultant for Shakespeare Play On, will take on the role of Co-Artistic Director of the festival in 2014 along with Marco Barricelli. He has appeared in 11 summer seasons, numerous holiday productions and is known to audiences most notably as Buttons in "Cinderella."

Ryan said, "We are extremely exited that the ownership of the festival is moving from the University to the people of this town. Not only will our patrons in Santa Cruz (and beyond!) have the chance they were denied in the late summer to save Shakespeare Santa Cruz, but we are also wildly excited about moving, metaphorically, off of the hill and becoming a more immediate part of the Santa Cruz community. Marco Barricelli and I have been working to not only raise the needed funds, but to create new opportunities to interact and collaborate with the arts organizations, businesses and people of Santa Cruz."

Major Donor event

This Sunday, Dec. 15, donors and sponsors will rightfully ask the Board, “Where is your mass support?” Their answer in part; “It is up to each one of us to help Shakespeare Play On. By donating at https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/shakespeareplayon now, you can empower us to make the strongest possible case to donors, provide the leverage needed to finalize a lease for the Glen and boost appeal to foundations and season sponsors. We would love to ask these major donors to match what you, the Play On nation, have donated by this Sunday at 6:59 p.m.”

The Gift of Theater

Finally, they invite us to give ourselves the gift of theater for 2014 by wrapping up the community phase of this campaign by 6:59 p.m. Sunday evening. “We did this in 2008 when 2,050 supporters raised $417,000 in 168 hours.” (As was true then, if the funds received are insufficient to launch the 2014 season, all funds will be returned, minus a small processing fee.)

Shakespeare Play On!

By June Smith

Former Board member, Shakespeare Santa Cruz

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