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SAN DIEGO (March 26, 2020)—The Old Globe believes that theatre matters, now more than ever, and we are determined to continue to serve the public through theatre art. We consider it paramount that we continue to be a leader in programming for our community, and we are developing plans to support and maintain valued connections with those searching for meaning and entertainment in the arts. Although our campus is dark, we are aware of the hunger for artistic content and continued personal growth, so our staff has been planning ways to offer some of our programs online for free, part of The Old Globe’s ongoing commitment to serve the public good by providing programs that make theatre matter to more people.
The Globe will transition our existing groundbreaking work in diverse arts engagement programs developed with our Community Partner venues onto our online platforms. The first of these will include Community Voices, a playwriting workshop that begins Thursday, March 26, 2020 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Behind the Curtain, a how-to-make-theatre workshop, starting Wednesday, April 1, 2020 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. They will both be available on The Old Globe Arts Engagement’s Facebook page.
These public offerings are built upon the success of ongoing arts engagement programs, which were in the midst of classes in Community Partner venues. Immediately following the initial stay-at-home rulings, participants were offered the chance to continue their workshops through Zoom, utilizing their phones and computers. Globe Teaching Artists held our first Community Voices Zoom workshop for Lemon Grove Branch Library participants on Saturday, March 21—a resounding success.
The Old Globe’s Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein will lead a special free online sonnets edition of Thinking Shakespeare Live!, a fast-paced, funny, and altogether fascinating guide to the language of the Bard. An ideal introduction to Shakespeare for families and young audiences, as well as an exciting new look at the playwright for Bardophiles, Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets! will take place on Tuesday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m. on The Old Globe’s Facebook page. Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, each only 14 lines long, contain some of his most beautiful and moving poetry. This half-hour, “social-distance” version of Thinking Shakespeare Live! will introduce the sonnets and then delve into one masterpiece of the form, exploring its language and how it works, and how it relates to Shakespeare’s work for the stage.
While the Globe’s stages are dark, audiences are invited to explore Shakespeare’s plays in On Book: The Old Globe’s Shakespeare Reading Group. Beginning with the two plays announced for the Globe’s 2020 Summer Shakespeare Festival, The Taming of the Shrew and Henry V, the group will offer an online space to read and discuss Shakespeare’s work with directors, actors, and other artists who have tackled these great masterworks for the Globe’s stages. The roster of artists is being assembled now and will be announced shortly. Beginning Thursday, April 2, meetings will take place every Monday and Thursday at 12:00 noon on The Old Globe’s On Book Facebook group page. (Timeframe may shift as interest develops).
In addition to these initial offerings, conversations are taking place and plans are evolving for exciting additional online content from past Globe artists and upcoming productions. Check in for exciting new content on our social media platforms, and check our website and emails for future institutional news. All programs are first come, first served, subject to interactive class limits.
“Theatre endures, even in the most challenging circumstances,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “The Old Globe’s 85-year history of providing exciting and entertaining programming for our community continues with these special initiatives. I’m so proud of our staff, whose hard work and endless creativity have developed ways for us to bring our work to San Diego and beyond, and I’m beyond thrilled to be able to fulfill our mission to serve and support our community in this unprecedented moment. Our arts engagement programs are nationally renowned, and I know that participating in them will be a balm. Our humanities programs keep us in conversation about how theatre keeps the world spinning forward. And personally: a great mentor of mine taught me that there’s no problem in this world that can’t be eased at least a little by having some Shakespeare thrown at it, so I’m raring to go. We all look forward to seeing you, at least virtually, very soon.”
“In times of uncertainty, people crave not only information but community,” added Director of Arts Engagement Freedome Bradley-Ballentine. “Since its inception, the Globe has been a vital gathering place to offer comfort, discuss big ideas, and entertain. Whether on Broadway, in prisons, or at senior centers, we are dedicated to the public good. It is our responsibility to be responsive to our community, to make theatre that matters, and to offer people who depend on the Globe a place to gather, connect, share their stories, and not feel alone.”
Community Voices is a series of free online workshops dedicated to the process of creating short plays inspired by personal experiences. Everyone in the online-platform community is encouraged to participate. This is a beginner-level course where no experience is required, only the desire to learn and share their own stories. Participants will join Arts Engagement Programs Manager and Globe-commissioned playwright Katherine Harroff and two Teaching Artists/actors for free hour-long online playwriting workshops for nine weeks, in which we will offer discussions with participatory opportunities and online material to download.
Start date: Thursday, March 26, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
When: Every Tuesday and Thursday for nine weeks
Where: Facebook Live on our new arts engagement Facebook page: The Old Globe Arts Engagement
Behind the Curtain is a free online series of workshops offering a chance to explore the magic of creating a theatrical production. Through interactive, live-streamed workshops with industry professionals, viewers will be introduced to a different design discipline each week, including costumes, sets, sound, lighting, and props. Guest artists, along with host and Arts Engagement Programs Manager Laura Zablit, will provide unique insight and lead participants in hands-on activities teaching the principles of design while offering practical and transferable skills. Viewers will also have a chance to ask questions of a real industry professional. Workshops are intended as standalone offerings, so participants can join at any point to deepen their connection and understanding of theatre. This workshop is intended for adults ages 18 and up, though it is appropriate for theatre-enthused preteens and teens.
Start date: Wednesday April 1, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
When: Every Wednesday for six weeks (time subject to change, please watch our website)
Where: Facebook Live on our new arts engagement Facebook page: The Old Globe Arts Engagement
Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets! is a half-hour, “social-distance” version of Thinking Shakespeare Live! which will introduce the sonnets and then delve into one masterpiece of the form, exploring its language and how it works, and how it relates to Shakespeare’s work for the stage. For many San Diegans, their ability to understand and appreciate the wonders of William Shakespeare (our premiere resident playwright) has increased exponentially since they joined us for Thinking Shakespeare Live! In this lively program, Edelstein, called by NPR “one of the country’s leading Shakespeareans,” provides audiences a unique opportunity to learn the methods he imparts to professional actors in the rehearsal room. This entertaining behind-the-scenes look at the creative process offers a primer on the tools used to hear and understand Shakespeare. With humor and insight, it brings audiences into the intoxicating world of the Bard and shows how his masterful poetry can come to life for everyone. This special program, based on Edelstein’s book Thinking Shakespeare: A How-To Guide for Student Actors, Directors, and Anyone Else Who Wants to Feel More Comfortable with the Bard, has been performed by Edelstein across the country, including at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC.
Takes place: Tuesday, March 31, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Facebook Live on The Old Globe’s Facebook page
On Book: The Old Globe’s Shakespeare Reading Group is a free online group offering a chance to explore Shakespeare’s plays with other audience members as well as Globe artists and actors. Through live-streamed discussion meetings, as well as online question-and-answer sessions with Shakespeare scholars and actors, audiences will read and discuss Shakespeare’s plays, beginning with The Taming of the Shrew and Henry V. Guest artists will join the Globe’s Literary Manager and Dramaturg Danielle Mages Amato for an interactive exploration of the plays and how they make their way from page to stage. This group is intended for adults ages 18 and up, though it is appropriate for enthusiastic preteens and teens.
Start date: Thursday April 2, 12:00 noon
When: Every Monday and Thursday (time subject to change, please watch our website)
Where: Facebook Live on The Old Globe’s On Book Facebook group page
Status update: For those who are not aware, our current productions of Little Women and Faceless have been postponed until further notice, and further season production dates are subject to change. All community-based programming run by the Globe’s Department of Arts Engagement in partnership with neighborhood not-for-profit and other organizations has been temporarily suspended, or, where possible, will be conducted online. Both The Old Globe Classical Directing Fellowship and the Globe Guilders/Neiman Marcus Celebrating Couture 2020 fashion show fundraiser will be rescheduled for later this year. Please stay tuned!
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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