Luis Escobar, Reflections Photography Studio


This production was scheduled August 17-26, 2023 in Santa Maria, and August 31-September 10, 2023 in Solvang.

William Shakespeare is dead. Bad Hamlet knock-offs and children’s acting troupes litter the stages of Elizabethan London. And the King’s Men are running out of time.

Rooted in real events, The Book of Will is the witty and wonderful battle of how the Bard’s legacy came to be. Sure to be loved by Shakespeare fans and skeptics alike, the play is onstage at PCPA’s Marian Theatre August 17 through 26. It also ends the 59th season at the Solvang Festival Theater August 31 through September 10.

The Book of Will is an unforgettable true story centered around the first collection of the works of William Shakespeare. The play takes place in London between 1619 and 1623 and follows the artists, colleagues, rivals, and real-life friends of William Shakespeare who were determined to protect and preserve his poetry and legacy.

“We know that Shakespeare’s friends collected his plays and published them in the first folio,” according to playwright Lauren Gunderson. “But most of us don’t really know how that came to be and how complicated and exacting and surprising and riveting the process actually was. And in many ways, the events that unfolded to make the first folio possible were like a great Shakespeare play!”

That great play has, indeed, come to fruition. It premiered at the Denver Theatre Center in 2017, won the 2018 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, and has been moving and delighting audiences across the country and internationally ever since.

The creative team behind PCPA’s production includes director Emily Trask, scenic designer Jason Bolen, costume designer Pamela Shaw, lighting designer Cody Soper, sound designer Ben Lechtman, and stage manager Jack D. Myles.

The cast includes Andrew Philpot, Isabella Lind, Don Stewart, Kitty Balay, Polly Firestone Walker, Erik Stein, George Walker, Joshua Aran, Antwon Mason, and Audrey Cizran.