You are here

Main Stage

Image of The Illusion
The Mainstage opened in 1972 with a production of “Much Ado About Nothing” directed by now Faculty Emeritus Audrey Stanley who, 10 years later, would be the founding artistic director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz.

The theater seats 521 in five sections oriented around the three quarter thrust stage half of a combination thrust-proscenium style theater.

All our Theater Arts venues are WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE.  Please note that for safety reasons, our staff cannot provide lifting assistance to patrons.

Please contact the UCSC Ticket Office (831-459-2159, email: to confirm that accessible seating is available for the performance of your choice and to purchase tickets in advance. Seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. We highly recommend the advance purchase of accessible seating for performances with reserved seating. (For unticketed presentations, we recommend early arrival. Doors open 30 minutes before the advertised start time.)

MOBILITY IMPAIRED patrons may be dropped off directly in front of our theaters; adjacent parking is available for vehicles displaying a parking placard.

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 accommodate 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.

If patrons in wheelchairs are joined by friends or family in the disability section, the Mainstage Theater can accommodate between 1-3 wheelchairs.

Some technical details about the Mainstage Theater:
Upstage there are twenty counterweight line sets with a thirty-foot fly loft.

 In 1992 the original lighting package was upgraded to 5 Electronic Theater Controls ETC 2.4K Sensor 96 dimmer racks with a 375 dimmer-per-circuit system, a full complement of ETC lighting fixtures, and an ETC Obsession 1 Console.

In 1994 a custom tension grid was installed over the three-quarter thrust at 24’, allowing almost infinite lighting positions over that part of the stage.

 In 2008 an ETC EOS Console replaced the Obsession and the lighting network updated to Net3 over CAT5.

For detailed technical information on the Mainstage, click here