Live theatre thrives in Santa Cruz

August Strindberg
in a new version by Conor McPherson

Directed by William Peters

March 15 - April 9, 2017

With a deliciously sardonic look at love everlasting, The Dance Of Death depicts the "dance" of marriage and life's inevitability. As their 25th anniversary approaches, Edgar, an artillery captain, and Alice, a former actress, face off in a fierce battle of wills. Their sparring, as amplified by the voice of celebrated playwright Conor McPherson (The Seafarer, Shining City), proves both harrowing and hilarious. McPherson's adaptation brings lyricism and ferocity to the story of the tyrannical captain and his desperate wife, and the "innocent" Kurt who stumbles into their midst and quickly finds himself ensnared in the couple's mischievous pastime.

"A delightful, fresh comedy." -- Talkin' Broadway

This production is funded, in part, by grants from the following organizations:

The Shubert Foundation


William Peters (Director/Scenic Designer) As producer and director on the same project, Bill has presented a number of pieces in Santa Cruz: Shakespeare's 12th Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and two of his own adaptations – Hunting for Moby Dick (Herman Melville), and Hard Times (Charles Dickens). His extensive directing credits include projects at the Manhattan Theatre Club, The Denver Center, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Jewel Theatre, and the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. Among his more recent directing projects: Engaged, Arcadia, The Karamazovs (Bill's adaptation of the novel by Dostoevsky), Julius Caesar, The Tempest, Troilus and Cressida, Romeo and Juliet, Right You Are if You Think So, A Flea in Her Ear (Bill's translation of the play by Georges Feydeau), Cherry Orchard, and Nine by Chekhov (Bill's adaptation of Chekhov short stories.) He has toured his productions to Fringe Theatre Festivals in New York, Adelaide, Australia, and Winnipeg, Canada. He is a professor at San Francisco State University where he teaches playwriting, acting, directing, and Shakespeare performance. He has directed six plays in 8 Tens @ Eight. Recently, he directed Of Mice and Men for Jewel Theatre Company. His all-woman production of Hamlet sponsored by Jewel, was performed at Center Street Theatre last April.


Julie James* (Alice) is the founder and Artistic Director of Jewel Theatre Company where she has acted in several shows including Complications from a Fall, Harper Regan, What the Butler Saw, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Arcadia, One for the Road, Mary Stuart, Hello and Goodbye, The House of Blue Leaves, Sylvia, Women on Fire, and Raised in Captivity. She has also performed with several other theatres, including Marin Theatre Company, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, American Musical Theatre of San Jose, California Conservatory Theatre, Center Repertory Theatre, The Willows Theatre, and VITA Shakespeare Festival. Julie holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University.

Stephen Muterspaugh* (Kurt) in delighted to be returning to Jewel, having appeared previously in The Book Club Play, Three Days of Rain, Saint Joan, and Harper Regan. Regional acting credits include: Cyrano and The Country House (TheatreWorks), Last Night of Ballyhoo and Servant of Two Masters (PCPA), Julius Caesar (Utah Shakespeare Festival), A Midsummer Night's Dream and Othello (Southwest Shakespeare Company), Charley's Aunt (Creede Repertory Theatre), A Christmas Carol and Meet Me Incognito (Geva Theatre Center), Lend Me a Tenor (Livermore Shakespeare), King John and The Liar (Marin Shakespeare Company), and The Winter's Tale and Macbeth (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival). He is a graduate of PCPA - Pacific Conservatory Theatre and a proud member of Actors' Equity.

Rolf Saxon* (Edgar) is very happy to be making his second appearance at the Jewel Theatre to do his first Strindberg. Originally from Oakland, he trained and worked extensively in Theatre, Film and Television in London and regionally throughout the UK including the Royal Shakespeare Company and Theatre Complicite. He has also appeared in the UK/European premieres of works by Donald Margulies (Dinner With Friends), Miguel Pinero (Short Eyes), Neil Simon (Lost in Yonkers, Laughter on the 23d Floor) and Lanford Wilson (Brontosaurus) among others. He now divides his time between the two countries with recent UK work including The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Chichester Festival Theatre), Mack and Mabel and Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune (both UK Tours) and recent Bay Area productions including Baskerville (Center Rep), Triangle (TheatreWorks), Talley's Folly (the Aurora) and, of course, his first time at the Jewel for The Price.

*Member, Actors' Equity Association.