You could almost hear the collective gasp when Shakespeare Santa Cruz called it quits last year.

But local appreciators of the bard were not to be denied.

Santa Cruz Shakespeare stepped in to bridge the gap, and is currently in its first run, kicking things off with As You Like It. Featuring what Good Times writer Christina Waters called “a smart cast of professionals, most of whom are familiar to audiences from past seasons in the glen,” the production features sibling quarrels, murder plots, love and cross-dressing, as well as some of Shakespeare’s more famous quotes including “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

INFO: Sunday, Aug. 3. 7:30 p.m. Festival Glen at UCSC, Santa Cruz. $30-$48. 459-2159.