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The Tale of Despereaux Cast and Creative Announcement

THE OLD GLOBE Announces the Cast and Creative Team for the
WORLD PREMIERE Musical
THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX,
with Book, Music, and Lyrics by PIGPEN THEATRE CO.,
Directed by MARC BRUNI and PIGPEN THEATRE CO.;
the Family-Friendly Show Runs JULY 6 – AUGUST 11, 2019,
and Opens Saturday, July 13 at 8:00 p.m.

PHOTO EDITORS: Advance photos for The Tale of Despereaux are available by clicking here.

SAN DIEGO (June 4, 2019)—The Old Globe today announced its latest cast and creative team as the award-winning PigPen Theatre Co., which delighted Globe audiences in 2017 with The Old Man and The Old Moon, returns with a world premiere musical: The Tale of Despereaux. Based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo and the Universal Pictures animated film, with book, music, and lyrics by PigPen Theatre Co., this inspiring family-friendly adventure will be directed by Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) and PigPen Theatre Co. It will run July 6 – August 11, 2019 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, opening on Saturday, July 13 at 8:00 p.m. Single tickets start at $30.00 for children and $40.00 for adults, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE, or at the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.

The acclaimed PigPen Theatre Co. brings their one-of-a-kind theatrical and musical inventiveness to Kate DiCamillo’s beloved, Newbery Medal–winning modern fable. Despereaux is a courageous mouse who dreams of becoming a knight. He sets off on a noble quest that will take him down into dungeons and up to the heights of a castle tower to rescue a beautiful human princess—but the dark-hearted rat Roscuro has other ideas. The Boston Herald proclaims, “PigPen Theatre Co. is already a phenomenon,” while The New Yorker says, “It’s like watching child geniuses at play!” Full of gorgeous music, stunning stage effects, witty performances, and a message of optimism and community, The Tale of Despereaux is an inspiring and beguiling story for all ages.

The cast includes Alex Falberg as Lester (Globe’s The Old Man and The Old Moon; Pericles directed by Trevor Nunn), Ben Ferguson as Furlough (Globe’s The Old Man…), Curtis Gillen as Louise and Most High Head Mouse (The Old Man…; Pericles, HairBrained), Taylor Iman Jones as Princess Pea and Merlot (Broadway’s Head Over Heels, Groundhog Day, The Who’s Tommy at The Kennedy Center, American Idiot tour), Ryan Melia as Librarian and Prisoner (Globe’s The Old Man…; Pericles), Betsy Morgan as Miggery Sow and Antoinette (Globe’s Rain; First Daughter Suite, Sweeney Todd), Bianca Norwood as Despereaux, Matt Nuernberger as Botticelli (Globe’s The Old Man…; Pericles), Eric Petersen as Roscuro (Broadway’s School of Rock, Escape to Margaritaville, Shrek The Musical, Peter and the Starcatcher), San Diego native Arya Shahi as King Philip (Globe’s The Old Man…; Pericles), and Dan Weschler as Stained-Glass Knight (Globe’s The Old Man…; Pericles); with swings Michael Cusimano, Natasha Harris, and Devon Hunt.

The award-winning creative team includes Jason Sherwood (Scenic Design; Globe’s Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy, Red Velvet; Rent: Live), Anita Yavich (Costume Design; Broadway’s Fool for Love, Venus in Fur, Chinglish, Anna in the Tropics), Isabella Byrd (Lighting Design; Obie Award winner for Light Shining in Buckinghamshire; “Daddy”, Continuity), Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design; Globe’s Bright Star; Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown, The Cher Show), Lydia Fine and Nick Lehane (Puppetry Design), Jennifer Jancuska (Choreography), Christopher Jahnke (Music Director), Tara Rubin Casting/Merri Sugarman, CSA (Casting), and Libby Unsworth (Production Stage Manager).

“I’m completely thrilled to welcome the brilliant PigPen Theatre Co. back to the Globe,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “These exciting theatre makers are endlessly inventive, hugely talented, and committed to the idea that the stage is a place for magical fun, captivating music, and stories that touch and move us. The Tale of Despereaux is a perfect match for their gifts, because it, too, is about the power of stories to bewitch and transform us. It’s a special delight that PigPen is working on this world premiere with the gifted director Marc Bruni, whose track record for spectacular staging precedes him, and with four accomplished musical theatre actors who join their merry band to create a work of theatre art that will enchant audiences of all ages.”

PigPen Theatre Co. (Book, Music, Lyrics, Co-Directors) last performed at The Old Globe in The Old Man and The Old Moon in 2017. They began creating their unique brand of theatre, music, and film as freshmen at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama in 2007. They have since produced their original plays in New York City and toured the country, earning them Critic’s Picks from The New York Times, Time Out New York, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Boston Globe, and many more, and ranking them in the top 10 theatrical events of 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016. They were the first group to win the New York International Fringe Festival’s top honor for a play two years in a row (2010 and 2011), and they have since gone on to win IRNE (2012, 2015) and Joseph Jefferson Awards (2014) for their theatrical productions. In 2016, Sir Trevor Nunn invited PigPen to be a part of his first American acting company for a production of Shakespeare’s Pericles. PigPen’s debut album, Bremen, was named No. 10 album of the year in The Huffington Post’s 2012 Grammy Awards preview, sending PigPen on tour playing to sold-out crowds across the country. American Songwriter premiered their follow-up EP, The Way I’m Running, in 2013 while the band was playing a series of concerts that became one of the most popular residencies of the past decade at the legendary Schubas Tavern in Chicago. In 2015, PigPen released their sophomore album, Whole Sun; performed at Mumford & Sons’s return to the Gentlemen of the Road festival; and made their feature film debut in Jonathan Demme’s Ricki and the Flash starring Meryl Streep. In addition to The Tale of Despereaux, they are creating a musical based on Sara Gruen’s beloved novel Water for Elephants (in collaboration with Rick Elice). In 2020, they will premiere their first interactive theatrical experience, The Phantom Folktales, for Richard Branson’s groundbreaking cruise line Virgin Voyages.

Marc Bruni (Co-Director) is currently represented on Broadway and U.S. tour with the Tony, Olivier, and Grammy Award–winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. He won the Helpmann Award for Best Direction of a Musical for its Australian production, and the show has also played the West End, U.K. tour, and Japan. His other credits include Paint Your Wagon, Pipe Dream, Fanny, and Hey, Look Me Over! (City Center Encores!), The Music Man and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (The Kennedy Center), Old Jews Telling Jokes (New York and Chicago; Joseph Jefferson Award nomination), Roman Holiday (Golden Gate Theatre), Trevor (Writers Theatre; Jeff Award nomination), The Explorers Club (Manhattan Theatre Club), The Sound of Music (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Other People’s Money (Long Wharf Theatre; Connecticut Critics Circle Award nomination), Presto Change-O (Barrington Stage Company), and Ordinary Days (Roundabout Theatre Company). He has directed nine musicals for The Muny in St. Louis, most recently My Fair Lady and Singin’ in the Rain, and he has twice been nominated for Kevin Kline Awards. He is a proud member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and a graduate of Dartmouth College.

The Tale of Despereaux at The Old Globe is supported in part through a gift from Production Sponsors Peter Cooper and Erik Matwijkow, Silvija and Brian Devine, Hal and Pam Fuson, and Globe Guilders. The Artist Sponsor for PigPen Theatre Co. is Jeanette Stevens; the Artist Sponsors for director Marc Bruni are Sue and Edward “Duff” Sanderson. Financial support is provided by The City of San Diego.

Additional events taking place during the run of The Tale of Despereaux include:

VICKI AND CARL ZEIGER INSIGHTS SEMINAR: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.
This series provides an opportunity to closely connect with productions both onstage and backstage. A panel selected from the artistic company of each show (playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and/or technicians) engages patrons in an informal and illuminating presentation of ideas and insights to enhance the theatregoing experience. Reception at 5:00 p.m. FREE; no reservations necessary.

POST-SHOW FORUMS: Tuesdays, July 16 and July 23; Wednesday, July 17, 2019.
Join us after the show for an informal and enlightening question-and-answer session with cast, crew, and/or Globe staff members. Get the inside story on creating a character and putting together a professional production. FREE for ticketholders of that evening’s performance.

SENSORY-FRIENDLY PERFORMANCE: Saturday, July 20 at 12:00 noon; see description below.l

FREE SENSORY-FRIENDLY AXIS EVENT: Saturday, July 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
A pre-show performance featuring the acclaimed PigPen Theatre Co. at 10:00 a.m. in a family-friendly and supportive environment for children and adults on the autism spectrum and with other special needs. Sensory-friendly activities will follow at 11:00 a.m. It will be hosted by San Diego actor and teacher Samantha Ginn on the Globe’s Copley Plaza.

PIGPEN THEATRE CO. SHOW: Monday, August 5.
Live concert at the Voodoo Room at House of Blues San Diego. Tickets are now on sale at www.ticketmaster.com/event/0A0056BFE28C48CA. The Huffington Post calls them “a great rock band that also happens to put on delightful theatrical shows. Or they're a great theatrical troupe that also happens to release terrific albums. Take your pick.”

Following the highly popular special performances for Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and The Lorax, the Globe is delighted to offer a sensory-friendly performance of The Tale of Despereaux on Saturday, July 20 at 12:00 noon, with a free surround AXIS event featuring activities to be announced. Despereaux will be performed for children on the autism spectrum and their families, as well as for other families with special needs that may appreciate the welcoming and supportive environment this performance provides. Slight adjustments will be made to the production, including fewer loud noises and flashing lights that may be challenging for some audience members. Additional features will also help make the experience safer and more enjoyable, including an online sensory guide available to view and print at home that will outline the experience of a visit to the Globe; a quiet area in the lobby of the theatre; and on-site volunteers to assist families as needed.

Single tickets for The Tale of Despereaux start at $30.00 for children and $40.00 for adults, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE [234-5623], or at the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and under, seniors, military members, and groups of 10 or more.

Performances begin on July 6 and continue through August 11, 2019 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Preview performances run July 6–12. Opening night is on Saturday, July 13 at 8:00 p.m. Regular performances: Tuesday through Friday evenings at 7:00 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Please note unique family-friendly schedule!)

LOCATION and PARKING INFORMATION: The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. Through a special arrangement with the San Diego Zoo, Old Globe evening ticket-holders have the opportunity to pre-purchase valet parking in the Zoo’s employee parking structure. With a drop-off point just a short walk to the Globe, theatregoers may purchase fast, easy, convenient valet parking for just $14 per vehicle per evening. Pre-paid only, available only by phone through the Old Globe Box Office. Call (619) 234-5623 or visit www.theoldglobe.org/plan-your-visit/directions--parking/valet-parking. The Balboa Park valet is also available during weekend performances, located in front of the Japanese Friendship Garden. For additional parking information visit www.BalboaPark.org.

There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park. Guests may be dropped off in front of the Mingei International Museum. There is a 10-minute zone at The Old Globe, used only for daytime deliveries, ticket purchases, and handicapped access dropoff. 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. 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: Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy (5/11–6/16), What You Are (5/30–6/30), AXIS: San Diego’s Gods of Comedy (6/15), As You Like It (6/16–7/21), AXIS: Make Music San Diego (6/21), The Tale of Despereaux (7/6–8/11), Steve Martin’s The Underpants (7/27–8/25), Romeo and Juliet (8/11–9/15), Almost Famous (9/13–10/20), AXIS: Mexican Independence Day Celebration (9/14), Noura (9/20–10/20),2019 Globe Gala (9/21), Globe for All Tour: The Winter’s Tale (10/29–11/17), M.F.A.: Twelfth Night (11/2–10), AXIS: Day of the Dead (11/3), Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (11/3–12/29), Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show (11/23–12/24), August Wilson’s Jitney (1/18/2020-2/23), Hurricane Diane (2/8–3/8), Little Women (3/14–4/19), Faceless (3/28–4/26), The Gardens of Anuncia (5/8–6/14), What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank (5/28–6/28).

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

The Tony Award–winning The Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional not-for-profit regional theatres. Now in its 85th year, the Globe is San Diego’s flagship performing arts institution, and it serves a vibrant community with theatre as a public good. 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 16 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages, including its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people annually attend Globe productions and participate in the theatre’s artistic and arts engagement programs. Its nationally prominent Arts Engagement Department provides an array of participatory programs that make theatre matter to more people in neighborhoods throughout the region. Humanities programs at the Globe and around the city broaden the community’s understanding of theatre art in all its forms. The Globe also boasts a range of new play development programs with professional and community-based writers, as well as the renowned The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. Numerous world premieres—such as 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bright Star, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!—have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.

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CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM BIOGRAPHIES

Michael Louis Cusimano (Swing) is an actor and singer who has been seen on many stages around San Diego since relocating from New York three years ago. His Southern California credits include Guy in Once and Big Will Bloom in Big Fish (Lamb’s Players Theatre), Lancelot in Spamalot (Moonlight Stage Productions), Dan in Homos, or Everyone in America and This Beautiful City (Diversionary Theatre), Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Show and Bruce Granit in On the Twentieth Century (Cygnet Theatre Company), Orpheus in Metamorphoses (Ensemble Theatre Company), Clown in The 39 Steps (Glendale Centre Theatre), and Danny Zuko in Grease (Cabrillo Music Theatre). Cusimano’s New York City credits include Marcus in Titus Andronicus, Dr. Barnes in the world premiere of The Haunted Train, and Chien de Moi (La MaMa). He also appeared on television in “Devil in the Details” for Investigation Discovery. Cusimano is a B.F.A. graduate of Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. @koozimano on Instagram.

Alex Falberg (Lester), originally from Kharkov, Ukraine, is thrilled to be back in San Diego. He is over the moon to be attending Bela Fleck’s second annual Blue Ridge Banjo Camp later this summer. His credits include The Hunter and The Bear (Writers Theatre), The Old Man and The Old Moon (The Old Globe), and Pericles (Theatre for a New Audience). His television credits include “Daredevil” (Netflix) and The Men Who Built America (History). He is excited to be in development with Caroline Watt on an upcoming holiday show called Juanita and the Shepherd.

Ben Ferguson (Furlough) was born and raised in Austin, Texas and received his B.F.A. in Acting alongside the rest of PigPen at Carnegie Mellon University before moving to New York City. He has since created and performed shows with PigPen such as The Nightmare Story, The Mountain Song, The Old Man and The Old Moon, and The Hunter and The Bear. @benstagramferguson.

Curtis Gillen (Louise, Most High Head Mouse), originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has appeared Off Broadway in The Old Man and The Old Moon and in Pericles directed by Trevor Nunn. His other PigPen credits include The Mountain Song; The Nightmare Story; and most recently The Hunter and The Bear at Writers Theatre in Chicago. His film credits include Ricki and the Flash and HairBrained. He graduated with a B.F.A. in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was destined to find these lifelong collaborators.

Natasha Harris (Swing) is grateful to be working with The Old Globe and PigPen Theatre Co. on this brand new production. Her regional credits include The Cocoanuts, The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure, and Into the Woods (Utah Shakespeare Festival), Three Sisters, Peter Pan, Hairspray, and West Side Story (Pacific Conservatory Theatre), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (McCoy Rigby Entertainment), and The All Night Strut! (Oregon Cabaret Theatre). She received her B.A. in Drama at UC Irvine. natasha-harris.com.

Devon Hunt (Swing), an M.F.A. Musical Theatre student at San Diego State University, is thrilled to be making his debut at The Old Globe in this fantastic show. He most recently appeared as Grasshopper in SDSU’s production of James and the Giant Peach, and he is currently in the company of The Producers at Moonlight Stage Productions. Also a classically trained pianist and conductor, he has worked as an assistant music director under Robert Meffe at SDSU. His other acting credits include Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, Seaweed J. Stubbs in Hairspray, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Hunt holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance from University of Maryland. devonhuntonstage.com.

Taylor Iman Jones (Princess Pea, Merlot) is so excited to be making her Old Globe debut. She has appeared on Broadway in the original casts of Head Over Heels and Groundhog Day. She was recently seen in The Who’s Tommy at The Kennedy Center, and she toured nationally with American Idiot. As a California native she has performed regionally in The Unfortunates (American Conservatory Theater), Stage Kiss (San Francisco Playhouse), Spring Awakening, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, and Lucky Stiff (Center REPertory Company), The Wiz and Mary Poppins (Berkeley Playhouse), Lizzie (Ray of Light Theatre), Hookman (Z Space), and West Side Story (Broadway by the Bay). taylorimanjones.com, @taylorimanjones.

Ryan Melia (Librarian, Prisoner) is excited to be back at The Old Globe, where he was last seen with the rest of PigPen in The Old Man and The Old Moon. His other shows created by PigPen include The Nightmare Story, The Mountain Song, and The Hunter and The Bear. He also performed with PigPen in Pericles at Theatre for a New Audience, directed by Sir Trevor Nunn.

Betsy Morgan (Miggery Sow, Antoinette) was last seen at The Old Globe in Michael John LaChiusa’s new musical Rain. She has spent over a decade working with LaChiusa, originating the roles of Tricia Nixon and Susan Ford in First Daughter Suite at The Public Theater, Louisa in Rain, and Leslie in Giant at Signature Theatre Company. Morgan earned a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for her portrayal of Pirelli and Beggar Woman in Barrow Street Theatre’s production of Sweeney Todd. She also recently appeared as Mrs. Walker in The Who’s Tommy at Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company and Julie Jordan in Carousel at Arena Stage. She was in the original Broadway companies of The King and I (2015 revival), Les Misérables (2014 revival), A Little Night Music (2009 revival), The Little Mermaid, and High Fidelity, as well as the original Off Broadway companies of Found (Atlantic Theater Company), The Fantasticks (2006 revival), and Bernarda Alba (Lincoln Center Theater). She recreated the role of Fantine in the 25th anniversary tour of Les Misérables. She was seen on television in “Flight of the Conchords.”

Bianca Norwood (Despereaux) is a proud California native and a graduate of the acting program at Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA). Norwood is currently a second-year student at The Juilliard School. The Tale of Despereaux marks Norwood’s professional debut.

Matt Nuernberger (Botticelli), a Chicago native, graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. His previous credits include Pericles directed by Trevor Nunn (Theatre for a New Audience), A Little More Alive, Pocatello, and Tape (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The Old Man and The Old Moon (The New Victory Theater, The Old Globe, Writers Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, ArtsEmerson, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, City Theatre, The Gym at Judson), and The Hunter and The Bear (Writers Theatre). His film credits include Ricki and the Flash, and his voiceover credits include commercial work for Raid.

Eric Petersen (Roscuro) has appeared on Broadway as Dewey in School of Rock, Brick in the original cast of Escape to Margaritaville, Shrek standby in Shrek The Musical, and Ted in Peter and the Starcatcher. He appeared in national tours as Shrek in Shrek The Musical and William Barfee in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, as well as Buddy in Elf at Madison Square Garden. Petersen’s television and film credits include “Kirstie” (series regular), “The Big Bang Theory,” “Modern Family,” “NCIS,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Law & Order,” “GCB,” and The Brittany Murphy Story;Disney Channel’s “Jessie,” “Sydney to the Max,” “Kirby Buckets,” and “Pair of Kings”; and Netflix’s Coen Brothers film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. He has also appeared in multiple concerts at famed New York City venue 54 Below. He is a Bradley University graduate. EricPetersenOnline.com, @ericpetersen44, on Twitter, @ericpete and @theportlygentleman on Instagram.

Arya Shahi (King Philip) was raised in Tucson, Arizona. He is a member of the #BARS Workshop at The Public Theater in New York, and he co-created the poetry visual-art project @inboxart on Instagram. Alongside his dearest friends, he co-created PigPen’s The Hunter and The Bear, The Old Man and The Old Moon, The Mountain Song, and The Nightmare Story. His additional credits include the film Ricki and the Flash directed by Jonathan Demme, Off Broadway’s Pericles directed by Sir Trevor Nunn, Off Broadway’s Exile directed by Lisa Peterson, and the video game 1979 Revolution directed by Navid Khonsari. He received his B.F.A. in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University. aryashahi.com, @aryashahi.

Dan Weschler (Stained-Glass Knight) grew up in Hershey, Pennsylvania before studying acting at Carnegie Mellon University. After receiving his B.F.A., he moved to New York. His theatre credits include The Hunter and The Bear (Writers Theatre), The Old Man and The Old Moon (Williamstown Theatre Festival, The New Victory Theater, Writers Theatre, The Gym at Judson), The Mountain Song and The Nightmare Story (PigPen Theatre Co.), Pericles (Theatre for a New Audience), and American Realism (The Invisible Dog, San Diego Museum of Art).

Jason Sherwood (Scenic Design) is a Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, and Henry Hewes Design Award nominee. He previously designed the Globe’s productions of Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy and Red Velvet. Sherwood recently designed Rent: Live; Sam Smith’s arena world tour and campaign television appearances (including “The Grammy Awards,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show”); the Spice Girls world tour; and “The People’s Choice Awards”on E! He has also designed for New York Theatre Workshop, The Playwright’s Realm, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, American Repertory Theater, and Guthrie Theater, among many others. @JasonSherwoodDesign.

Anita Yavich (Costume Design) designed the Broadway productions of Fool for Love, Venus in Fur, Chinglish, and Anna in the Tropics. Her other New York credits include The Mother (Atlantic Theater Company), Apologia (Roundabout Theatre Company), Soft Power and Oedipus El Rey (The Public Theater’s New York Shakespeare Festival), The View Upstairs (Lynn Redgrave Theater), The Legend of Georgia McBride, Coraline, and The Wooden Breeks (MCC Theater), Nathan the Wise, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Orlando, New Jerusalem, and Texts for Nothing (Classic Stage Company), Thom Pain (based on nothing), Big Love, Kung Fu, Golden Child, and Iphigenia 2.0 (Signature Theatre Company), The Oldest Boy (Lincoln Center Theater), The Moors (The Playwrights Realm), The Explorers Club (Manhattan Theatre Club), and Macbeth, Coriolanus, and Švejk (Theatre for a New Audience). Her opera credits include Aida (San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera), Cyrano de Bergerac (La Scala, The Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House), and Les Troyens (The Met). Yavich was also the puppet and costume designer for The Sound of Music (Salzburger Marionettentheater). She has received Obie, Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, and Ovation Awards. Upcoming she will design Der Ring des Nibelungen for Opera Australia in Brisbane.

Isabella Byrd (Lighting Design) is a Brooklyn-based designer. She received an Obie Award for her design of Caryl Churchill’s Light Shining in Buckinghamshire directed by Rachel Chavkin at New York Theatre Workshop. Her recent New York credits include Jeremy O. Harris’s “Daddy” (The New Group/Vineyard Theatre), Plano (Clubbed Thumb), Continuity (Manhattan Theatre Club), and The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons). Her regional work includes Seascape (American Conservatory Theater), The Member of the Wedding and Artney Jackson (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Angels in America (co-designer) and the 2018 Humana Festival (Actors Theatre of Louisville), and other designs (Portland Center Stage, City Theatre). Byrd’s upcoming productions include work at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Playwrights Horizons, Westport Country Playhouse, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Hartford Stage, and Alley Theatre. isabellabyrd.design.

Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design) previously designed The Old Globe’s production of Bright Star. His Broadway credits include Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown, The Cher Show, Bandstand, Bright Star, It Shoulda Been You, Mothers and Sons, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Tony Award nomination), The Performers,and Magic/Bird. His Off Broadway credits include Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, The Landing,and Far from Heaven. He has designed over 30 Broadway productions with Acme Sound Partners, receiving five additional Tony nominations, for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Fences, Hair,and In the Heights.

Lydia Fine (Puppetry Co-Design) is a New York City–based designer and award-winning creative director. She has been working with PigPen Theatre Co. since their days together at Carnegie Mellon University. When Fine is not playing with shadow puppets, she is working in various media, creating worlds and characters for films, music videos, photo shoots, and immersive events. lydiafine.com.

Nick Lehane (Puppetry Co-Design) worked previously with PigPen Theatre Co. as the puppet designer for The Phantom Folktales and the understudy for The Old Man and The Old Moon. Hispuppetplay Chimpanzee premiered earlier this year at HERE Arts Center. His original puppet work has shown at St. Ann’s Warehouse, Puppet BloK at Dixon Place, The Jim Henson Carriage House, Special Effects Festival at wild project, and Pillsbury House Theatre. Lehane’s select puppet performances include Robin Frohardt’s The Plastic Bag Store and The Pigeoning (HERE Arts Center, international tour), Petrushka (Giants Are Small, New York Philharmonic, Barbican Centre), Islamic Solidarity Games Opening Ceremonies (Baku, Azerbaijan), Doug Fitch’s El Retablo de Maese Pedro (American Symphony Orchestra, Bard SummerScape), James Ortiz’s The Little Mermaid (Glass Bandits Theater Company, Strangemen Theatre Company), and “Lore” (Amazon). He also provided puppet and movement direction for SeaWife (Naked Angels). Lehane received his B.F.A. in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University.

Jennifer Jancuska (Choreography) is currently working on Broadway as Resident Choreographer/Dance Supervisor of Hamilton. As choreographer, she is developing Hood with Mark Brokaw; Anne of Green Gables, A New Musical with Matte O’Brien and Matt Vinson; and Johnny and the Devil’s Box with Douglas Waterbury-Tieman. As creative director and choreographer of Jennifer Jancuska + The BringAbout, she produces development platforms via A•STIR Lab, The BringAbout Salon, and BC Beat. As a choreographer and associate choreographer/director, her work has been seen at Madison Square Garden, The Public Theater, New York City Center, Skirball Cultural Center, Dallas Theater Center, Royal George Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, Trinity Repertory Company, Theater for the New City, and The Drama League. Jancuska has taught at New York University, Syracuse University, Ithaca College, Pace University, University of the Arts, College of Charleston, and Shanghai Theatre Academy. She is a graduate of Cornell University. jenniferjancuska.com, @jencuska.

Christopher Jahnke (Music Director) orchestrated the Broadway and/or London productions of King Kong, Legally Blonde, Cry-Baby, Grease (2007 revival), Dessa Rose, A Man of No Importance, Dear Evan Hansen (additional orchestrations, with Alex Lacamoire), Stiles and Drewe’s The Wind in the Willows, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Tony Award nomination for Best Orchestrations), and Les Misérables (new orchestrations, performed worldwide since 2006). His other orchestrations include Do You Hear the People Sing?, a symphonic tour of Boublil and Schönberg’s work; Stiles and Leigh’s Tom Jones; Stiles and Drewe’s Just So; Bartram and Hill’s Not Wanted on the Voyage; Lady Gaga’s tribute to The Sound of Music at the 2015 Oscars (with Stephen Oremus); The Wiz Live!; Radio City Music Hall’s New York Spectacular and Christmas Spectacular; and work with Rufus Wainwright, Emily Bear, Adam Schlesinger, and Jägermeister Blaskapelle. On Broadway, Jahnke also served as conductor for Aida and music supervisor for Escape to Margaritaville and Memphis. He was apprentice and assistant to orchestrator William David Brohn on Sweet Smell of Success, Ragtime, The Secret Garden, The Three Musketeers, The Witches of Eastwick, Mary Poppins, and Wicked.

Tara Rubin Casting (Casting) has cast the Globe’s productions of Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy, Life After, The Heart of Rock & Roll, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, Guys and Dolls, Othello, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Dog and Pony, A Room with a View, and others. Their select Broadway credits include Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations, King Kong, The Band’s Visit, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Prince of Broadway, Bandstand, Indecent, Sunset Boulevard, Miss Saigon, Dear Evan Hansen, A Bronx Tale The Musical, Cats, Falsettos, Disaster!, School of Rock, Gigi, Bullets Over Broadway, Aladdin, Les Misérables, The Heiress, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Billy Elliot: The Musical, Shrek The Musical, Young Frankenstein, Mary Poppins, Spamalot, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Producers, Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys, and The Phantom of the Opera. Their Off Broadway credits include Gloria: A Life; Smokey Joe’s Cafe; Clueless, The Musical; The Band’s Visit; Here Lies Love;and Love, Loss, and What I Wore. They have also cast regionally for McCarter Theatre Center, Yale Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Paper Mill Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and more.

Libby Unsworth (Production Stage Manager) is thrilled to be back at The Old Globe, having previously stage managed Barefoot in the Park and The Old Man and the Old Moon. Her Broadway credits include Prince of Broadway, Les Misérables, The Visit, and Scandalous. Her Off Broadway credits include The Niceties and Sell/Buy/Date (Manhattan Theatre Club), The Beast in the Jungle (Vineyard Theatre), At Home at the Zoo (Signature Theatre Company), Fire and Air (Classic Stage Company), Murder for Two (New World Stages), Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Musical Mystery (DR2 Theatre), Next Fall (Naked Angels), and Speech & Debate (Roundabout Theatre Company). She has worked regionally at The 5th Avenue Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Two River Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival (eight seasons), Geffen Playhouse, Goodspeed Musicals, and Huntington Theatre Company. She received her B.F.A. in Stage Management from Boston University.

World premiere musical
The Tale of Despereaux
Book, music, and lyrics by PigPen Theatre Co.
Based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo and the Universal Pictures animated film
Directed by Marc Bruni and PigPen Theatre Co.

RUNS: July 6 – August 11, 2019.
Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, Old Globe Theatre, Conrad Prebys Theatre Center.

TICKETS: Ticket prices start at $30 for children, $40 for adults.

SYNOPSIS: The acclaimed PigPen Theatre Co. charmed and astonished Globe audiences with The Old Man and The Old Moon. Now they return, bringing their one-of-a-kind theatrical and musical inventiveness to Kate DiCamillo’s beloved, Newbery Medal–winning modern fable. Despereaux is a courageous mouse who dreams of becoming a knight. He sets off on a noble quest that will take him down into dungeons and up to the heights of a castle tower to rescue a beautiful human princess—but the dark-hearted rat Roscuro has other ideas. The Boston Herald proclaims, “PigPen Theatre Co. is already a phenomenon,” while The New Yorker says, “It’s like watching child geniuses at play!” Full of gorgeous music, stunning stage effects, witty performances, and a message of optimism and community, an inspiring and beguiling story for all ages.

CAST: Alex Falberg (Lester), Ben Ferguson (Furlough), Curtis Gillen (Louise, Most High Head Mouse), Taylor Iman Jones (Princess Pea, Merlot), Ryan Melia (Librarian, Prisoner), Betsy Morgan (Miggery Sow, Antoinette), Bianca Norwood (Despereaux), Matt Nuernberger (Botticelli), Eric Petersen (Roscuro), Arya Shahi (King Philip), Dan Weschler (Stained-Glass Knight); Michael Cusimano, Natasha Harris, Devon Hunt (Swings).

CREATIVE TEAM: Jason Sherwood (Scenic Design), Anita Yavich (Costume Design), Isabella Byrd (Lighting Design), Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design), Lydia Fine and Nick Lehane (Puppetry Design), Jennifer Jancuska (Choreography), Christopher Jahnke (Music Director), Tara Rubin Casting/Merri Sugarman, CSA (Casting), Libby Unsworth (Production Stage Manager).

BOX OFFICE WINDOW HOURS: 12:00 noon to final curtain Tuesday through Sunday. American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and VISA accepted. (619) 23-GLOBE [234-5623].

LOCATION: The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. Free parking is available throughout the park. Valet parking is also available ($14, advance reservation by calling the Box Office, evening performances only).

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:
Please Note Unique Schedule!
PREVIEW PERFORMANCES:

July 6 SAT 7:00pm
July 7 SUN 7:00pm
July 9 TUE 7:00pm  (Zeiger Insights Seminar)
July 10 WED 7:00pm
July 11 THU 7:00pm
July 12 FRI 7:00pm
OPENING NIGHT: July 13 SAT 8:00pm
REGULAR PERFORMANCES:
July 14 SUN 12:00pm
July 14 SUN 5:00pm
July 16 TUE 7:00pm  (Post-Show Forum)
July 17 WED 7:00pm  (Post-Show Forum)
July 18 THU 7:00pm
July 19 FRI 7:00pm
July 20 SAT 12:00pm  (Sensory-Friendly)
July 20 SAT 5:00pm
July 21 SUN 12:00pm
July 21 SUN 5:00pm
July 23 TUE 7:00pm  (Post-Show Forum)
July 24 WED 7:00pm
July 25 THU 7:00pm
July 26 FRI 7:00pm
July 27 SAT 12:00pm
July 27 SAT 5:00pm
July 28 SUN 12:00pm
July 28 SUN 5:00pm
July 30 TUE 7:00pm
July 31 WED 7:00pm
Aug 1 THU 7:00pm
Aug 2 FRI 7:00pm
Aug 3 SAT 12:00pm
Aug 3 SAT 5:00pm
Aug 4 SUN 12:00pm
Aug 4 SUN 5:00pm
Aug 6 TUE 7:00pm
Aug 7 WED 7:00pm
Aug 8 THU 7:00pm
Aug 9 FRI 7:00pm
Aug 10 SAT 12:00pm
Aug 10 SAT 5:00pm
Aug 11 SUN 12:00pm
Aug 11 SUN 5:00pm

PHOTOS: Digital images of Globe productions are available at TheOldGlobe.org/press-room.

PRESS CONTACTS:
Susan Chicoine
schicoine@TheOldGlobe.org
(619) 238-0043 x2152 / 325-9416

Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti
aenciso@TheOldGlobe.org
(619) 238-0043 x2356