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Shakespeare Play On creates advisory board

Actor Patrick Stewart joins Shakespeare Play On Advisory Board
Courtesty of Shakespeare Play On

On Jan. 15, 2014, Bill Richter and the Shakespeare Play On board of directors sent out a fundraising campaign update and announced the formation of an advisory board, including distinguished Shakespearian actor Sir Patrick Stewart.

When the fundraising campaign was launched, the goal was to raise $885,000 by Jan. 15 in order to fund the 2014 Glen season. Richter states that just over $303,000 has been raised thanks to 332 donors. If a new theater is achievable, the names and dedications from the first donors who took this risk will be inscribed prominently. “Shakespeare tells us the course of true love never does run smooth. But we could not have been prepared for just how glorious, reaffirming and uplifting that road has been, and still can be,” he said.

“Not only is the world watching; it is beginning to Play On. We’ve seen this in the data, in the shout-outs from our alums, and from people who recognize the importance of continuing the aesthetic and traditions of our festival. People who insist that we, as a community, do everything in our power to help Santa Cruz and Shakespeare long play on,” he continued.

Shakespeare Play On advisory board announced

The people referred to are the newly-formed Shakespeare Play On (SPO) advisory board – James Bundy, Dean of the Yale Drama School; Rowland K. Rebele, Santa Cruz philanthropist; Christa Stiner, CFO of Montalvo Arts Center; Sir Patrick Stewart, Shakespearian actor; David Haussler, UCSC Distinguished Professor of Biomolecular Engineering; Darrin Caddes, Vice President of Corporate Design at Plantronics and Emily Mann, artistic director of the McCarter Theater, winner of the 1994 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater.

Fans are encouraged to share news of the new board with friends who can help the professional theater “play on.”

SPO has received a $50,000 challenge grant from a Los Angeles-based foundation, which requires raising $775,000 ($472,000 to go). Efforts are focused along two paths. For the first, they are seeking 10 donors able to donate $25,000 each. Richter said they have already secured two such donations, one from a super-excited donor who stepped in without hesitation because she can’t imagine Santa Cruz without the Festival. The other is from the Play On board of directors. If a single person or group wishes to pledge $25,000 to meet the first part of this challenge, they may visit the donation page shown below and select the $25,000 box..

Donate now

Co-artistic directors Marco Barricelli and Mike Ryan can’t wait to announce the season they have planned. A major effort to reach the 15,000 fans who have enjoyed the festival is now underway. The deadline to meet the next goal is February 1, 2014. If SPO is unable to fund the season by this date, the board of directors believes it will be too late to mount a Glen season this summer, as the artists will have to accept other employment. At that date, the board will ask the Arts Council, as fiscal sponsor, to contact all donors to arrange for the prompt return of all funds, less a fiscal sponsorship fee not to exceed 8%

Donations of any size are welcome. Checks payable to Arts Council (with “Shakespeare Play On” on the memo line) can be sent to Arts Council, 1070 River Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.

For questions, or suggestions for matching grants, donations of securities, etc or general information about Play On, supporters may contact Bill Richter, at or Mike Ryan at

Play On one, Play On all!

By June Smith

Former board member, Shakespeare Santa Cruz

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