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SAN DIEGO (October 18, 2018)—The Old Globe believes that theatre matters, and our mission every day is to make theatre matter to more people. We invite friends and families to celebrate the great Mexican tradition Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) with a weekend full of unique activities and artistic expression, as well as premiere performances of a community-generated theatre piece.
For the third year in a row, two of the Globe’s signature arts engagement programs—coLAB and AXIS—unite in the spirit of creative collaboration to share the artistry created within a community, then demonstrated by the members with a performance. After a coLAB workshop hosted by guest director and co-creator Ramón Verdugo, the City Heights community participants and local artists are able to share a piece of their community and traditions in the premiere performances of La Visita de la Abuela (The Grandmother’s Visit), with costumes by Mayté Martinez. The collaborative piece is to be presented three times over the weekend, in both English and Español.
The initial coLAB performance of La Visita de la Abuela will take place at SAY San Diego’s City Heights Día de los Muertos Celebration on Saturday, October 27 at Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park (3795 Fairmount Ave., San Diego, 92105). The event will include music for singing and dancing; performances from Aztec dancers and Drummers Without Borders; a display of community altars; face painting; sugar-skull decorating; and prizes for the best traditional Catrina and Catrin costumes. The event will run from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with a performance of La Visita de la Abuela at 4:00 p.m.
The free AXIS Day of the Dead Celebration will take place on Sunday, October 28 on the Globe’s Copley Plaza in Balboa Park. This inclusive family event will celebrate the traditions that encompass this holiday remembrance of deceased loved ones. It will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with La Visita de la Abuela at 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Hosted by special guest Tony Valencia, the event will include traditional face painting by Lucia Ramirez, large interactive props, and the opportunity for audience members to join in for an open mic moment. Both the coLAB and AXIS programs involved in Day of the Dead are managed by the Globe’s Arts Engagement Programs Associate Katherine Harroff.
Sunday’s AXIS celebration will precede the 2:00 p.m. matinee of The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program’s Julius Caesar. A joint venture of the Globe and USD, the program nationally recruits seven students each year to participate in an intensive two-year course of graduate study in classical theatre, and this is their final production of 2018.
“Both of these arts engagement programs help us get even closer to our goal here at the Globe: making theatre matter to more people,” said the Globe’s Director of Arts Engagement Freedome Bradley-Ballentine. “These programs strengthen the connections between our neighbors and our theatre. Our Department of Arts Engagement aims to spark creativity through theatre-based activities and encourage direct participation. AXIS opens Copley Plaza up to our Balboa Park neighbors, and coLAB helps show the art in our communities. Together, these programs unite various levels of artistry and skills to tell stories that are important, innovative, participatory, and multigenerational.”
coLAB and AXIS are programs supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Financial support of The Old Globe is provided by The City of San Diego.
Ramón Verdugo (Director and Co-Creator, La Visita de la Abuela) is the current Artistic Director of Tijuana Hace Teatro in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, and a Mexico native. He has been an active member within the theatre community, supporting the mobility and internationalization of the arts. Verdugo has over a decade of experience under his belt as an actor, director, and producer of multiple plays throughout Baja California. As an educator, he continues to share his knowledge and appreciation for the theatre arts with students worldwide. Verdugo has been a speaker at conferences in Spain, Armenia, and the United States, focusing on making the arts more accessible on an international scale. He is happy to bring this goal to life by working with the City Heights community members to celebrate such a cherished Mexican tradition.
Mayté Martinez (Costumes, La Visita de la Abuela) is a native-born Hispanic San Diegan who lives in La Mesa and speaks Spanish and English fluently. She graduated with associate degrees in Theatre Arts Acting, Technical, and Humanities and Fine Art from Grossmont College, with an emphasis on Costume Design. She is very passionate about costume design, history, and what people wore in past centuries. Her future plans include a transfer to either San Diego State University or UC San Diego.
Drummers Without Borders uses drums and percussion Instruments from different parts of the world not only to teach the basic concepts of making music, but also to introduce students to geography, history, and world culture. Drummers Without Borders is a multicultural music-education project based in San Diego. It has been working with multiple public and charter schools, communities, and organizations since 2004.
Katherine Harroff is an Arts Engagement Programs Associate with The Old Globe. She helped develop Community Voices in 2012 and has instructed over 400 adults in the San Diego community and beyond in finding their voices in theatre. In 2016 she spearheaded the first coLAB project by curating the first production of The Living Altar. Harroff has her M.F.A. from Arizona State University in Performance Studies with an emphasis in Community-Based Theatre and Playwriting. She is the Artistic Director and head playwright for the not-for-profit, community-based production company Circle Circle dot dot. She has written and produced over 50 original community-based scripts and installation projects through her company and in residence with Arizona State University, San Diego State University, University of San Diego, UC San Diego, and several theatre companies across the U.S. She was named one of San Diego Magazine’s “People to Watch” in 2013, and The San Diego Union-Tribune honored her with the same title in 2014.
ABOUT AXIS: One of the ways The Old Globe’s Department of Arts Engagement exemplifies its mission to make theatre matter to more people is through a program called AXIS, where free cultural programs on the Globe’s Copley Plaza are led by local artists and craftspeople. 9.5 million visitors pass through Balboa Park each year. The Old Globe strives to engage this population as we transform our non-performance space into a participatory art venue, utilizing the Globe’s unique physical location as an opportunity for connectivity and creative placemaking. AXIS is an effort to broaden our concept of audience, extending beyond regular ticket holders and encompassing diverse, multigenerational constituencies from communities across San Diego County.
ABOUT coLAB: coLAB is a program designed to elevate the voices of San Diegans through a collaborative art-making process where community members become the artists, turning their own stories into theatre. It is a six-week program with the purpose of creating collaborative and original performance presentations for a community festival or event involving the participants.
SAY San Diego partnerships and services (including the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Prevention Program) address the comprehensive needs of the entire individual or family rather than focusing on one symptom or problem. SAY encourages the community to work collaboratively and coordinates with systems such as law enforcement, schools, and local government to create positive change. SAY’s holistic approach enriches youth, empowers individuals and families, and engages communities.
City Heights is a large community in San Diego, California known for its ethnic diversity. Along its main streets, one can find Hispanic, Northeast African, Near Eastern, South Asian, and Southeast Asian immigrant-owned businesses.
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: The Heart of Rock & Roll (9/6–10/21), 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 (11/11–12/16), The Grinch sensory-friendly perf & AXIS: Jungle Poppins (12/1), Familiar (1/26–3/3/2019), Tiny Beautiful Things (2/9–3/10), AXIS: I Love Africa Concert (2/9), Life After (3/22–4/28), They Promised Her the Moon (4/6–5/5), AXIS: Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare! (4/20), AXIS: concert TBD (5/9), Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy (5/11–6/16), What You Are (5/23–6/23), AXIS: Tuesday Dances (6/4, 6/11, 8/18, 6/25), AXIS: Make Music San Diego (6/21).
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 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bright Star, Meteor Shower,Allegiance, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,and the annual holiday musical Dr. Seuss’s 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-Ballentine.
Please contact Chandler Berke, PR Assistant, to arrange at cberke@TheOldGlobe.org or (619) 238-0043 x2356.