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First Friday Art Tours

First Friday Santa Cruz is a monthly Art Tour across the county featuring exhibits and art events in local galleries and art spaces.

Actors' Theatre is participating in the First Friday art tours!

Admission is free.
See the full list of First Friday Santa Cruz events at

The Stories Behind "White Sky, Falling Dragon"

Friday, April 5


Playwright and director Steve “Spike” Wong discusses the cultural background and social history of his play White Sky, Falling Dragon, which will be produced at Actors' Theatre from April 19 through May 5, 2024.

Inspired by his father’s World War II military service and subsequent return home to Watsonville, California, the play is a story of immigration, family honor, military commitment, and love. The play had a successful premier at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts in fall of 2022, and now Actors' Theatre is thrilled to give Santa Cruz audiences a chance to see it.


With an all-Asian cast in the main roles, original music, and actors from Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, and the SF Bay Area, this show is a unique and powerful glimpse into local history and culture. Learn more about the characters and true events that inspired the play from the playwright himself. 

Presentations at 5 pm, 6 pm, and 7 pm. But stop by anytime between 5 and 8 to meet the playwright and chat. Light refreshments served.

Get Loopy with Y2K Loop Fest Musical Artists

Friday, November 3

Artists from the Y2K23 International Live Looping Festival will be bringing their musical magic to the Art Center lobby from 5 to 6:30 pm, before the official festival opens in the theater at 7 pm. Originally started in the year 2000 as a series of small local looping festivals, the Y2K2 International Live Looping Festival has grown and grown, bringing as many as 70 artists from 17 countries in 6 days in 5 cities in Northern California a year. Hundreds of live looping artists have come to the festival from 20 different countries and the festival itself has inspired other live looping festivals in over 20 countries around the world.

Among the artists performing and demonstrating their looping techniques at First Friday are Norwegian guitarist Christer Fredriksen, Per Boysen from Sweden, and Hideki Nakanishi aka MANDOMAN from Japan. Fredriksen is an ambient solo jazz guitarist whose sets are filled with wonderful space and melody. Utilizing loops, ambience and the jazz idiom as an anchor, he creates a vast improvisational soundscape. Boysen has performed many shows around Asia, Europe and the US as a solo performer, in duets and with ensembles. He is also active as a media music composer, having produced recordings of surround music, mixed records for bands and creative remixing for special record label releases. Mandoman is one of the most popular artists who have headlined the Y2K Live Looping Festival in past years, and is also a world class luthier of electronic instruments. Playing instruments he builds, he can turn a single mandolin into a symphony orchestra.

Come get a taste of the looping delights being presented
at this year’s 20th Anniversary Y2K International
Live Looping Festival.

Friday, October 6


The Magic of Shadows: Hand Shadow
Show and Workshop with Adelina Skalandyte

Enter the captivating world of hand shadow theater and learn how ordinary hands can transform into enchanting characters and stories. Actors' Theatre guest artist Adelina Skalandyte unveils the secrets of this unique art form that has entranced audiences for generations. Adelina will present a brief hand shadow show, followed by a workshop where you can roll up your sleeves (literally!), breathe life into your imagination, and be amazed at the charming creatures your hands can create. Kids, parents, grandparents are all invited to join in the fun, with the promise that, after this workshop, your hands will never be empty again. Three separate show/workshops will be held at 6, 7 and 8 pm.

Adelina Skalandyte is an actress from "Budrugana Lithuania," specializing in hand shadow theater. With over 8 years of experience, she has developed a deep appreciation for the enchanting magic and boundless joy that shadows can bring to life.

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