.Opinion: Thinking Seriously About Silliness

Why I love to talk to the creative minds behind Santa Cruz Shakespeare


Steve Palopoli editor good times santa cruz california

Every summer when I interview the creative minds behind Santa Cruz Shakespeare, the conversations go to places I never expect. For instance, this year I started with some vague notion that I should find out about how Kathryn Chetkovich’s The Formula became the first work by a local playwright to be produced by the company, and ended up getting into questions like, “Are Shakespeare’s fools really fools?,” “What makes clowns funny?” and even “What is the nature of comedy?”

The best part, for me, is that everyone from Artistic Director Mike Ryan to this year’s SCS directors Ellen Maguire, Miriam Laube and Paul Mullins to actors like Patty Gallagher, Lorenzo Roberts and Dion Graham—and I’d be remiss not to mention Chetkovich herself—are all willing to go there. It’s hard to explain, but for some reason interviews with members of this company are never typical. I think you’ll understand when you read how thoughtful and insightful their answers are in my cover story this week. None of them had any practical need to go beyond, “Yeah, we’re doing The Formula and The Tempest and Twelfth Night this year, July 10-Aug. 28, everybody should check it out!” But these people love thinking and talking about their work, and about the larger questions it ties into. To me, that absolutely shows not only in my story, but also in what they put on the stage every summer.



A GOOD DAY TO DRY Chester the dog shakes it off. Photograph by Robin Lynn Lord.

Submit to ph****@go*******.sc. Include information (location, etc.) and your name. Photos may be cropped. Preferably, photos should be 4 inches by 4 inches and minimum 250dpi.



secure document shredding

This week, kick off Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s 2022 summer season with a refresher course on all things Shakespeare from UCSC Professor Michael Warren. Warren is Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s Head of Dramaturgy and Professor Emeritus of English Literature at UCSC.  He’ll discuss the plays that will be presented this year, covering each in relation to Shakespeare’s career, from 5-6pm on July 7 at the Santa Cruz Public Library Downtown Branch.



Big Basin is partially reopening to the public for the first time since the CZU Lightening Complex Fire ravaged the park in August of 2020. The CZU fires burned nearly 18,000 acres of the park, but thanks to the hard work of park volunteers and specialized hazard tree removal, most of the fire-scarred old-growth redwoods have been preserved and trails have been repaired. Reservations can be made at: thatsmypark.org. Tickets are $6, and will provide access to the park for the whole day.


“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

— William Shakespeare


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

music in the park san jose
Good Times E-edition Good Times E-edition