Actors’ Theatre logo

Actors’ Theatre


1001 Center St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

(831) 431-8666


Founded in 1985, Actors’ Theatre has a long history of being a vital part of the greater Santa Cruz area’s theater community.

The company is known for its productions of contemporary, cutting-edge plays like The Mountaintop, Red, and Looking for Normal. It produced one of the first short play festivals in the U.S., which has become the 8 Tens @ 8 Short Play Festival. Now the longest running short play festival in the country, it celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020. The festival brings together the best talent from all the local theater companies and beyond.

Mission Statement

Serving Santa Cruz County since 1985, Actors’ Theatre supports, champions, and provides an outlet and venue for the performing arts.


Actors' Theatre produces the acclaimed 8 Tens @ 8 Short Play Festival each year, which supports emerging and established playwrights from around the globe with full productions of their winning plays. Over the years it has represented thousands of talented theater artists and writers and is internationally recognized.
We also provide resources and a performance venue for theater and other performance artists to explore their creativity, develop their craft, and present their work to the community. Through our collaboration and partnerships with other performing art groups, we seek to create a stronger presence for theater in Santa Cruz County.
Cultivating and educating audiences and practitioners of the theatrical arts is also part of our mission, and we also offer workshops in acting, directing, improv and other topics, presented by the many skilled theater teachers in our community throughout the year.


Actors’ Theatre has a long and illustrious history contributing to the area’s cultural life by representing contemporary playwrights and producing new and exciting theater works for Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay audiences. Actors’ Theatre is greatly loved not only by the theater-going public, but also by the theater community as an outlet to develop their skills.

Founded as a non-profit theater company in 1985, Actors' Theatre has continually produced work representing hundreds of playwrights, designers, directors, and actors – as well as provided practical work experience for technical theater artists including lighting designers, set designers and builders, scenic artists, sound engineers, and costume designers.
Santa Cruz has a large, flourishing community of gifted writers, artists, performers and scholars whom we strive to represent and serve. We plan for a future in which we will continue to represent the finest in live theater and showcase work that will both inspire and delight our audiences for years to come.

Connecting With Community Groups in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County community groups and nonprofits play a fundamental role in making this a safe and thriving place.

Consider getting involved by volunteering your time, donating money, or both. Above you can learn about what services Actors’ Theatre provides to the community and easily volunteer, donate, register for services, or connect with them on social media. Visit the Santa Cruz County Community Groups directory to see a comprehensive list of organizations on all subjects that are relevant to creating a vibrant local community.

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