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Press Release: Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley

Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley: From Slavery to Modiste,
a FREE coLAB Presentation

Join Us on TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2018, 11:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.,
(Keckley Performance at 1:00 p.m.)

Encore presentations in The Old Globe’s HATTOX HALL
SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 12:30 P.M. and 4:00 P.M.
(12:30 P.M. Performance Will Be Followed by a Post-Show Talkback)

SAN DIEGO (June 18, 2018)For the second consecutive year, The Old Globe will participate in the George Stevens Senior Center’s annual Juneteenth Celebration by presenting an original play developed in the coLAB workshop: Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley: From Slavery to Modiste. Written by local community member and new playwright Claudia Thompson, it will be directed by the award-winning Delicia Turner Sonnenberg (Skeleton Crew at the Globe last spring).

The presentation will feature performances by other workshop participants and a cast of local actors led by Andréa Agosto as Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley.

The Old Globe created coLAB workshops as part of its continued effort to make theatre matter to more people. This arts engagement program involves a collaborative art-making process between community members and artists uniting storytelling and playmaking. The goal is to develop original pieces and showcase them in established community festivals.

The Juneteenth Celebration event begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 2:00 p.m. The presentation of Thompson’s Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley will take place as part of the June 19 event at 1:00 p.m. RSVP is required to this free presentation by calling (619) 266-2066.

Two free encore presentations will take place on Sunday, June 24 at 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. in the Globe’s Hattox Hall (located above Lady Carolyn’s Pub). A post-show talkback will be held immediately following the 12:30 p.m. performance. RSVP is required to this free presentation through the link:  https://www.theoldglobe.org/reserve/index.aspx?performanceNumber=15529

The play, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley: From Slavery to Modiste, follows Keckley’s life and the challenges of being a former slave who became the most talented dressmaker of the 18th century. Her story encompasses sorrow, grief, loss, triumph, strength, confidence, and friendship. As an employee of the Lincoln White House, she experienced a tumultuous relationship with First Lady Mary Todd, from triumph to grief. Keckley was a slave for over 30 years and purchased her freedom for $1,200, moving to Washington DC to operate a very successful dressmaking business. She eventually became Lincoln’s dressmaker, confidante, and best friend. She was a designer, quilter, businesswoman, teacher, philanthropist, author, and mother.

“We are so excited to participate in this event for the second year in a row. The partnership we have developed with the George L. Stevens Senior Center is incredibly rewarding and valuable to us,” shared Freedome Bradley-Ballentine, Director of Arts Engagement of The Old Globe. “We are honored to support and present this work about an important American who has made a significant contribution to our shared culture. Claudia Thompson has done a wonderful job of capturing who Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley was, and Delicia Turner Sonnenberg has directed this production with considerable skill. I hope you can join us in what will be a wonderful celebration of people, history, and theatre”.

Claudia Thompson, a retired San Diego psychiatrist, former educator, and current activist, was drawn to tell Keckley’s story while participating in the Globe’s arts engagement workshop Community Voices. She participated in three separate sessions to continue developing this unknown story into a theatrical narrative. Arts Engagement Programs Associate Katherine Harroff manages both the Community Voices program and the coLAB workshops. Recognizing the wonderful connection between Thompson’s writing and the Juneteenth Celebration event, Harroff invited Thompson to develop an abbreviated, touring version of her work to produce for the festival event.

Delicia Turner Sonnenberg made her Old Globe debut last year directing Skeleton Crew. She is the former Artistic Director of MOXIE Theatre, where she has directed many acclaimed productions. Her other local directing credits include San Diego Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Cygnet Theatre Company, Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, New Village Arts, Diversionary Theatre, ion theatre company, and Playwrights Project. Her honors include the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle 2015 Director of the Year Award, Theatre Communications Group’s New Generations Program fellowship, San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Awards, a Women’s International Center Living Legacy Award, Van Lier Fund fellowship (Second Stage Theatre), and the New York Drama League’s Directors Project.

Andréa Agosto graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2014 with a Master of Arts degree in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies with a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Agosto hopes to be an example to her future students by showing them you can follow your dreams and have a day job.

Since 2002, the Fourth District Seniors Resource Center (FDSRC) has worked to enhance and embrace the quality of life for its “seasoned ambassadors” by providing a wholesome and safe environment for them to thrive, while assisting them to live more independently and proactively. It provides quality services to its district’s lower-to-moderate-income seniors and their families through a variety of resources. FDSRC does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or political opinion or affiliation. The new George L. Stevens Senior Center was formally opened in March 2006. The building itself is LEED certified, which means it is environmentally friendly and “green” in materials and in all aspects of the facility’s maintenance. This allows the center to sell its energy back to the gas and electric company, which becomes a source that helps it sustain itself.

coLAB and Community Voices are supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Financial support is provided by The City of San Diego.

LOCATION and PARKING INFORMATION: The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park. Guests may also be dropped off in front of the Mingei International Museum. For additional parking information visit www.BalboaPark.org. For directions and up-to-date information, please visit www.theoldglobe.org/plan-your-visit/directions--parking/detailed-directions.

PLEASE NOTE: To look up online or GPS directions to The Old Globe, please do not use the Delivery Address above. There is only a 10-minute zone at that physical address. For GPS users, please click here for the map coordinates, and here for written directions to The Old Globe and nearby parking in Balboa Park.

CALENDAR: Native Gardens (5/26–6/24),The Tempest (6/17–7/22), AXIS: Make Music San Diego (6/21); Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax (7/2–8/12), AXIS: Fourth District Senior Center’s Globe Takeover, Featuring the Seasoned Line Dancers (7/10), Barefoot in the Park (7/28–8/26), Much Ado About Nothing (8/12–9/16), AXIS: LV’s Island Flair, Featuring Dance Lessons with Elvina Addams (8/21), The Heart of Rock & Roll (9/6–10/21), AXIS: Mexican Independence Day Celebration, Featuring Las Colibrí in Concert (9/15), 2018 Globe Gala featuring Andra Day (9/22), M.F.A.: Julius Caesar (10/20–10/28), AXIS: Day of the Dead Celebration (10/28), Globe for All Tour: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (10/30–11/18), Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (11/3–12/29), Looking for Christmas: The New Clint Black Christmas Musical (11/13–12/16), Familiar (1/26–3/3/2019), Tiny Beautiful Things (2/9–3/10), Life After (3/22–4/28), They Promised Her the Moon (4/6–5/5), Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy (5/11–6/16), What You Are (5/23–6/23).

PHOTO EDITORS: Digital images of The Old Globe’s productions are available at www.theoldglobe.org/press-room.

The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional regional theatres and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for over 80 years. Under the leadership of Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Managing Director Timothy J. Shields, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, both part of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 605-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theatre’s artistic and arts engagement programs. Numerous world premieres such as the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Meteor Shower, Bright Star, Allegiance, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and the annual holiday musical Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.

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Advance interviews are available with Director of Arts Engagement Freedome Bradley-Ballentineas well as most of our great expert consultants.
Please contact Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti to arrange at
aenciso@TheOldGlobe.org or (619) 238-0043 x2356.