Plays & Venues

The Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen:

  • Experience live theatre amongst the majestic redwoods. Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful venues in the nation, The Glen is located on the grounds of the UCSC Theater Arts Center.
  • Choose from reserved seats or general admission (Groundling).
  • Dine before the show – Purchase food in our lobby or bring your own picnic
  • Seats approximately 600 people.

The UCSC Mainstage Theater:

  • A traditional, indoor “thrust” stage with seats on three sides of the stage for a more intimate viewing experience.
  • Comfortable, stadium-style seating.
  • All seats are reserved.
  • Seats 526 people

The Taming of the Shrew

Henry V

Tom Jones (The Fringe Show)

It's a Wonderful Life

Both venues are handicapped accessible and equipped with Assisted Listening Devices. To learn more about about Patrons with Special Needs, visit our see our Amenities page.

While SSC's summer plays are not specifically geared towards children, we do strive to be a theatre welcoming and accessible to people of all ages.  Our summer plays generally run between two and three hours in length, and you are the best judge of your children's ability to enjoy each play. 



The Sinsheimer-Stanley Glen is located on the Grounds of the USCS Theater Arts Cnter. view map here


Festival Glen Seating Chart
Premium (Reserved)
Classic (Reserved)
Groundling (General)

What is a Groundling?

Coined during Shakespeare’s time at the Globe Theatre in England, “Groundling” refers to people who paid one penny in order to be able to stand in “the Yard” in front of the stage and watch the play. Groundlings were known to be raucous and even throw food at characters they didn’t like. While we don’t encourage that sort of behavior, we do think being a Groundling is a fun and authentic way to watch Shakespeare! Groundlings are encouraged to bring a blanket or low-backed chair folding chairs and seat cushions are also available for rent, if you prefer).

In the Glen, patrons can choose between reserved and Groundling seating.

Reserved Seating - We provide modified Adirondack chairs that are assigned a specific row and seat number. However, you may wish to bring a cushion to sit on (we also have a limited number of cushions available for rent - $2 each).

Groundling Seating (General Admission) – Patrons have the choice of bringing their own blanket or low-backed beach chair to sit on (no more than 26” off the ground). The very front sections are reserved for patrons choosing to sit on a blanket. We also have “Groundling approved” chairs available for rent for $3/each at the entrance to the Glen.

PLEASE NOTE: In order to bring you the most exciting productions possible, the design of the stage and scenery in the Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen changes from season to season. This seating map is an approximation; due to seasonal changes, we cannot guarantee specific Groundling seating locations.

Glen Entry

General entry line – Most patrons line up here to gain entry to the Glen. As Glen entry is first-come, first-served, the earlier you get in line, the better spot you’ll get. Some patrons line up as much as two hours in advance to get their preferred spot! The Glen opens 45 minutes prior to the scheduled performance time.

Early entry line – This line is only available to season ticket holders who have purchased a two or three-show package, as well as larger groups that have made arrangements through our group sales office. Patrons in the early entry line are admitted to the Glen 60 minutes prior to the scheduled performance time.


Since this is coastal California, seasoned Festival-goers will tell you to be prepared for anything! Bring sunscreen and hats for the afternoon performances and a blanket or warm jacket for the evening show. Seat cushions are recommended for those who want a little extra comfort.

Rain Policy: Shakespeare Santa Cruz has historically never had to cancel a performance in the outdoor Sinsheimer/Stanley Festival Glen due to rain. We do, however, have a policy if such a situation were to occur.

Tickets & More Information

To learn more about tickets and pricing visit our Ticket Information page or Ticket Policies page.





The Mainstage at the UCSC Theater Arts Center is a traditional indoor theatre with stadium seating and a capacity of 526.

The Mainstage Theater is Wheelchair Accessible.  Please contact the UCSC Ticket Office (831-459-2159, to confirm that accessible seating is available for the performance of your choice and to purchase tickets in advance.  If patrons in wheelchairs are joined by friends or family in the disability section, the Mainstage Theater can accommodate between 1-3 wheelchairs.  Please note that for safety reasons, our staff cannot provide lifting assistance to patrons.

Most seats in the Mainstage Theater are accessible ONLY by stairs. A ramp at Door 5 provides access to the accessible seating area which can accomodate between 6-7 people. A few fixed seats on the entry level at Row J in Sections 4 and 5 can also be accessed without using stairs. The Mainstage is equipped with handrails at the end of each row.

Theater Entry

The theater opens approximately 30 minutes prior to curtain. All seating is reserved / assigned by your ticket.

Tickets & More Information

To learn more about tickets and pricing visit our Ticket Information page or Ticket Policies page.