Shakespeare Santa Cruz needs $300,000 to survive

Shakespeare Santa Cruz is the latest victim of the apocalyptic economy.

SSC board co-presidents Bill Richter and Scott Hawkins posted an “urgent message” on the SSC Web site that stated due to “precipitous” budget cuts by the University of California, Santa Cruz, the company is facing a “permanent shutdown.” The university’s Arts Division has cut $1.1 million after previous cuts.

Here’s the crux of the message:

“Following arduous and passionate negotiations with the campus over our existence, SSC learned that it could launch its 2009 season if and only if it could demonstrate the support of its friends by raising $300,000 in cash (not pledges) by noon on December 22.  If it cannot, SSC must be and will be extinguished. ”

The challenge, the co-presidents, conclude is to raise $300,000 “in a week’s time or cease to exist…Talk about `to be or not to be’?  The question is, can you help? Yes you can.”

Donations are being accepted here: http://www.shakespearesantacruz.org/support/index.php.

Richter and Hawkins wrote: “We ask you to give as generously as you can.  Giving to a theater, or the arts, to education, or to a myriad of other vital non-profits, may seem to be an unaffordable luxury in this economic climate.  It is not, and your generosity to SSC will be appreciated all the more, knowing that you are likely to be considering many compelling and deserving charitable requests at this time of year.  To preserve SSC, and feel the power of philanthropic action, please immediately go to www.shakespearesantacruz.org and forward this to all you know.”