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February 16, 1999
Contact: Barbara McKenna (831) 459-2495

Donors contribute to Shakespeare Santa Cruz Festival Glen endowment


SANTA CRUZ, CA--Generous fans of Shakespeare Santa Cruz made a strong show of support recently by establishing an endowment to maintain and improve what is arguably one of the West Coast's most magical and memorable performance spaces.

In the initial phase of fund-raising, nearly 150 donors contributed just under $52,000 to endow a fund supporting Shakespeare Santa Cruz's (SSC) redwood-ringed Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen. Leading off the campaign were the glen's namesakes, Karen Sinsheimer and Audrey Stanley, who pledged $25,000. Sinsheimer is founding president of the SSC Board and Stanley is founding artistic director, as well a popular actor and director for the festival.

In October 1998, Stanley and Sinsheimer invited donors to join them and pledged to match dollar-for-dollar every gift made to the Festival Glen Endowment up to $25,000. In a mere two months the challenge grant was more than met with nearly $27,000. Although the challenge has been met, festival officials hope that ongoing donations will keep this important endowment growing.

"Professor Stanley and I wanted to establish an endowment for the Festival Glen that can grow over time, providing a steady source of funding to help underwrite annual production costs and fund long- range improvements," said Sinsheimer.

The beautiful Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen is an integral and trademark part of the SSC's summer festival. The outdoor setting of the glen provides a unique theater venue, with the redwoods, sun, stars, and moon providing an unpredictable and evocative element to the comedies and tragedies that unfold on the stage below. At the end of each season the stage is taken down, giving the glen back to nature and clearing the palate for a new customized design each season.

The past few seasons have brought welcome improvements to the glen--more comfortable seating, improved sound and lighting, and a mobility-impaired seating area. Sinsheimer and Stanley, who is also professor emerita of theater arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz, conceived of the endowment as a way of guaranteeing continuing artistic quality and high production standards in the glen, and to ensure that future improvements can be made to the glen. Shakespeare Santa Cruz is entering its 18th season. The critically acclaimed professional festival is located on the UCSC campus.


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