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SAN DIEGO (October 1, 2020)—The Old Globe announced today that it will present the series finale of Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein’s hit online series Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets!on Tuesday, October 20 at 6:30 p.m. PDT. This special presentation is the culmination of a series, created during the hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic, in which Edelstein introduces Shakespeare sonnets and delves into one masterpiece of the form each episode. This finale event will showcase some of the nation’s greatest Shakespeareans (all of whom are artists who have been part of recent Globe seasons) performing the matchless sonnets that Edelstein explored in earlier episodes of the series, and talking about what Shakespeare means to them at this extraordinary moment in time. The final episode will be broadcast on Facebook, YouTube, and the Globe website, and will remain on those sites for later and repeat viewings.
When The Old Globe shut down all live theatre operations in March due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Artistic and Arts Engagement Departments immediately pivoted several of their programs online to continue to serve the San Diego community. On March 31, Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein launched his Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets! online to instant audience raves from around the nation. Sonnets! is an online version of Edelstein’s beloved Thinking Shakespeare Live! presentations, which he has staged at the Globe’s home in Balboa Park for years to widespread acclaim. Throughout the summer Edelstein presented his unique exploration of the language of Shakespeare as he featured a different sonnet each episode that both enlightened and entertained a growing global audience. The program is 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. Previous episodes can be seen on the Globe’s website or YouTube channel.
The illustrious Shakespearean actors who will bring the Bard’s sonnets to life are Globe alumni Opal Alladin (Hamlet, Tiny Beautiful Things, Hurricane Diane), Michelle Beck (The Wanderers), Kate Burton (The Tempest), Angel Desai (The Winter’s Tale, Double Indemnity), Monique Gaffney (Globe for All’s Much Ado About Nothing, Red Velvet), Michael Genet (Hamlet), Bill Irwin (In-Zoom), Lizan Mitchell (The Tempest), Aaron Clifton Moten (Romeo and Juliet), Jennifer Paredes (Globe for All’s Twelfth Night, American Mariachi), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (director of August Wilson’s Jitney), Herbert Siguenza (The Rainmaker), Keith Randolph Smith (August Wilson’s Jitney, Water by the Spoonful), and Blair Underwood (Othello).
“Published 411 years ago in 1609, Shakespeare’s sonnets are a remarkable series of 154 short poems that express everything that’s wonderful about Shakespeare,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “I loved spending hours talking about these poems, and I’m delighted to present to our digital audiences an amazing group of 14 great friends of The Old Globe. These are artists with long and rich relationships with us, and with profound relationships to Shakespeare and his plays. It’s an honor and a joy to have them share their talents as well as their thoughts about this towering writer, his language, and his meaning at this extraordinary moment in the life of our country and our society. Together these actors are a testament to why American Shakespeare is so dynamic, and to why the sonnets are an eternal source of inspiration and delight.”
Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets! is generously supported by lead sponsors Elaine and Dave Darwin.
The Old Globe regards William Shakespeare as our premiere resident playwright, whose works and universal themes continue to resonate more than 400 years after his plays were written. For many San Diegans, their ability to understand and appreciate the wonders of the Bard during our Summer Shakespeare Festival has increased exponentially since they joined us for Thinking Shakespeare Live! Edelstein reveals a performer’s approach to Shakespearean language so audiences may easily understand the poetry of the Bard. Consistently one of our most popular offerings, this special program is 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. An ideal introduction to Shakespeare for families and young audiences as well as an exciting new look at the playwright for Bardophiles, Edelstein has performed this across the country, including at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. The book was re-released in a 2018 revised edition by Theatre Communications Group.
Note: All in-person Globe productions and events have been postponed until further notice; all dates are subject to change. In the meantime, the Globe develops and presents a wide array of free online programs to continue reaching the San Diego community. These currently include a free commissioned short-plays project Play At Home and The Old Globe Coloring Book. Current arts engagement programs include the exploration of modern poetry The Poet’s Tree; at-home theatre program The Living Room Play Workshop; Voces de la Comunidad, the Spanish-language version of Community Voices, our popular playwriting program; collaborative Mad Libs–style program Word Up!; and Creative Youth Studio, a series of professional development opportunities for youth and high-school theatre enthusiasts. Coming soon are new middle school and high school Globe to Go focused resources, a part of School in the Park, which offers free downloadable K–5 resources for teaching; season 2 of Reflecting Shakespeare TV, a digital version of the transformative initiative offered at prisons; Behind the Curtain: Art of Protest; Community Voices: Comedy Writing; and the sixth annual AXIS event Day of the Dead/Día de Muertos.
Programs and videos archived on our website at www.TheOldGlobe.org and on our YouTube channel, available for viewing at any time from the comfort of your home, including the world premiere of Bill Irwin’s In-Zoom; On Book: The Old Globe’s Shakespeare Reading Group; outreach from familiar Globe artists in Act Breaks and Flashbacks; Soap It Up with students from The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program; and Barry Edelstein’s hit presentation Thinking Shakespeare Live! and his series Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets! Archived arts engagement programs include the Community Voices playwriting workshop; Behind the Curtain and its offshoots, the Spanish-language Detrás del Telón and Behind the Curtain: Technical Assistance forum; check-in program with Globe-commissioned playwrights Playwrights Unstuck; and season 1 of Reflecting Shakespeare TV.
Follow us on www.TheOldGlobe.org for schedules and updates!
An updated guide to our free online theatre programs, as well as videos of those programs, are available here.
You can also watch our videos on our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/TheOldGlobe.
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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 Audrey S. Geisel 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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Opal Alladin has appeared at the Globe in Hurricane Diane, Tiny Beautiful Things, and Hamlet. She was last on Broadway in The Lifespan of a Factand Travesties (2018 Tony Award nomination for Best Revival of a Play). Her previous Broadway credits include Hedda Gabler and On Golden Pond. Her Off Broadway credits include Close Up Space (Manhattan Theatre Club), What Once We Felt (Lincoln Center Theater), Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Two Noble Kinsmen (The Public Theater). Her regional theatre credits include My Wonderful Day; In the Next Room, or the vibrator play; The Violet Hour; Breath Boom; Wit; Twelfth Night; The Trojan Women; and As You Like It. Alladin’s film and television credits include the Academy Award–nominated United 93, Before/During/After, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, November Criminals, Brown Sugar, “High Maintenance,” “The Blacklist: Redemption,” “Elementary,” “The Affair,” “Madam Secretary,” “The Good Wife,” “Unforgettable,” “Law & Order,” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” Alladin is a graduate of The Juilliard School. She is delighted to be back at the Globe.
Michelle Beck appeared at the Globe in the world premiere of The Wanderers in 2018. She has appeared on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun and Off Broadway in Hurricane Diane (New York Theatre Workshop), Richard III and Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Public Theater), A Kid Like Jake (LCT3), As You Like It and The Tempest (The Bridge Project for Brooklyn Academy of Music/The Old Vic), Much Ado About Nothing (Theatre for a New Audience), Measure for Measure (Epic Theatre Ensemble), Uncle Vanya (The Pearl Theatre Company), and Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally (The Playwrights Realm, Baltimore Center Stage). Regionally, she has performed in Top Girls (American Conservatory Theater), King Charles III (American Conservatory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company), Tartuffe (McCarter Theatre Center/Yale Repertory Theatre), Hamlet (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Twelfth Night (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Proof (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley; San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award nomination), and The Winter’s Tale and Cyrano de Bergerac (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Beck has worked on “Luke Cage” (recurring), “Manifest,” “Claws,” “Homeland,” and “Madam Secretary.” Her film credits include Ovum, Ambition’s Debt, The Death of a Prince, and Spinning into Butter. She recently directed the short film The Snakes as well as co-wrote and co-directed the short film Sam & Julia with Randy Harrison. She is a member of the Artists Advisory Council with Epic Theater Ensemble and of Dorset Theatre Festival’s Women Artists Writing Group, where her play The Others is in development.
Kate Burton was last seen at the Globe as Prospera in 2018’s The Tempest. Nominated for the Tony Award for her performances in Hedda Gabler, The Elephant Man, and The Constant Wife, she was last seen on Broadway opposite Kevin Kline in Present Laughter, having made her debut in this same play opposite George C. Scott in 1982. Amongst many appearances on and Off Broadway, she most recently played in Coriolanus and Cymbeline (New York Shakespeare Festival), The Dead, 1904 (Irish Repertory Theatre), The Price (Mark Taper Forum), and The Seagull and The Corn Is Green (Huntington Theatre Company). Emmy Award–nominated for her performances on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” she will be seen soon in “Inventing Anna” for Netflix. Most recently seen in Where’d You Go, Bernadette starring Cate Blanchett, her other films include Big Trouble in Little China, The Ice Storm, Unfaithful, 2 Days in New York, Liberal Arts, and 127 Hours. The daughter of two Shakespearean actors, Burton has played Viola, Desdemona, Juliet, Isabella, Princess of France, Hermione, and Titania. She is a professor of Dramatic Arts at USC, serves on the Actors’ Equity Association Council on the Western Regional Board, and is a trustee of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Brown University.
Angel Desai’s most recent acting work pre-pandemic included recurring roles on “NCIS: New Orleans” and “For Life” and guest spots on “FBI: Most Wanted,” “City on a Hill,” and “Bull.” During the pandemic she has been lucky to record a monologue and this sonnet for The Old Globe, read Gertrude in Hamlet for Play On Shakespeare, and sing in the American Opera Project’s workshop of the song cycle Letters You Will Not Get, composed by Kirsten Volness. Desai’s recent New York theatre includes India Pale Ale (Manhattan Theatre Club), An Ordinary Muslim (New York Theatre Workshop), and Play On Shakespeare (a reading series produced by Oregon Shakespeare Festival at Classic Stage Company). She also appeared on Broadway in the 2006 revival of Company (Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical). Her other Off Broadway work includes Classic Stage Company, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, Women’s Project Theater, Ma-Yi Theater Company, and MCC Theater. Desai’s regional theatre credits include The Old Globe, Yale Repertory Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Berkshire Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Long Wharf Theatre, Arena Stage, and PlayMakers Repertory Company. She was seen in the films The Oh-Gees, This Time Next Tuesday, The Clique, The War Within, Heights, Black Knight, and Robot Stories. She received her M.F.A. in Acting from New York University.
Monique Gaffney was last seen as Cynthia in Sweat at San Diego Repertory Theatre. Her selected San Diego credits include Disgraced, Clybourne Park, and In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (San Diego Rep), Red Velvet, Much Ado About Nothing, and All’s Well That Ends Well (The Old Globe/Globe for All), The Wind and the Breeze, The Piano Lesson, and Yellowman (Cygnet Theatre Company), Hoodoo Love (Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company), A Streetcar Named Desire (ion theatre company), Medea and I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me By a Young Lady from Rwanda (6th @ Penn Theatre), Trouble in Mind (MOXIE Theatre), and Gee’s Bend (North Coast Repertory Theatre). She received a B.A. from UC San Diego and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.
Michael Genet most recently appeared as Principal Hawkins in The Prom and Headmaster Marrow in Choir Coy, both on Broadway; as Chuck Hall in the acclaimed Off Broadway production of Is God Is; and as Alonso in the epic Walt Disney Concert Hall production of The Tempest. His other Broadway credits include Wicked, A Few Good Men, Hamlet, Lestat, and Fences. Off Broadway he has starred in Northeast Local, A Soldier’s Play, All My Sons, Dance of the Holy Ghosts, The Whipping Man, and Resurrection. His many film and television credits include Fosse/Verdon, I Know This Much Is True, “Blue Bloods,” “Bull,” One Fine Day, She Hate Me, 25th Hour, “The Affair,” “The Mysteries of Laura,” “Ugly Betty,” “Taxi Brooklyn,” “The Following,” “Law & Order,” and “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.” Genet is the author of the critically acclaimed They Must Not Know Who I Think I Am: Lessons in Defiant Resilience, and he won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture for the Focus Features release Talk to Me.
Bill Irwin is an actor, director, writer, and clown. He was most recently seen, with Christopher Fitzgerald, in In Zoom, an Old Globe virtual production. His other original works include The Regard of Flight, Largely New York, Fool Moon, Old Hats, The Happiness Lecture, and others. His theatre credits include Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?; The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia?; Waiting For Godot; Endgame; and On Beckett, an evening of passages from Samuel Beckett’s work. Irwin’s television appearances include FX’s “Legion,” HBO’s Confirmation, “This Is Us,” and Mr. Noodle in “Elmo’s World.” His film credits include Rachel Getting Married, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Eight Men Out, and Interstellar. His work has been honored with Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Barrymore, and Helen Hayes Awards. He is also a recipient of Guggenheim, Fulbright, MacArthur, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships.
Lizan Mitchell appeared at the Globe in The Tempest in 2018. She has appeared on Broadway and on tour in Electra, Having Our Say, and So Long on Lonely Street. Her Off Broadway credits include Passage, The First Noel, brownsville song (b-side for tray), Cell, Rosmersholm, the 25th anniversary production of for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, Gum, Ma Rose, and Salt. She has been seen regionally in Richard III (Shakespeare Theatre Company), My Lord What a Night (Contemporary American Theater Festival), Pride and Prejudice (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Skeleton Crew (Trinity Repertory Company), A Raisin in the Sun (Arena Stage; 2018 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play), The Good Peaches (Cleveland Play House), The House That Will Not Stand (Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater), Dead and Breathing (Contemporary American Theater Festival, National Black Theatre, 2018 U.K. premiere), The Trip to Bountiful (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Round House Theatre). Mitchell’s film and television work includes Detroit, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Deadbeat,” “Golden Boy,” John Adams, “The Good Wife,” “Law & Order,” The Human Stain, “Sesame Street,” and “The Wire.”
Aaron Clifton Moten appeared as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at The Old Globe in 2019. He is currently set as a series regular on the upcoming Fox drama “neXT,” hailing from John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, and Manny Coto. Prior to “neXT,” he was a series regular on Netflix’s “Disjointed.” His other television credits include recurring roles on HBO’s award-winning miniseries The Night Of and Amazon’s highly acclaimed “Mozart in the Jungle.” He played opposite Meryl Streep in the feature film Ricki and the Flash and starred in Barrow Street Theatre’s production of the critically acclaimed play The Flick. A Juilliard School alumnus, Moten’s wide range of theatrical credits includes Young Collector in A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway; Regan in King Lear directed by Ed Iskandar; Henry V in The Life of King Henry the Fifth directed by Nigel Smith; and The Seagull directed by Richard Feldman and A Raisin in the Sun directed by Jade King Carroll (The Juilliard School). His regional credits include Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing (Two River Theater) and Sweeney Todd (Long Center).
Jennifer Paredes previously appeared at The Old Globe in Hurricane Diane, American Mariachi, Twelfth Night (Globe for All), and Waking La Llorona (also at La Jolla Playhouse/Without Walls Festival; made possible by The San Diego Foundation Creative Catalyst Fund). Her regional theatre credits include El Huracán (Yale Repertory Theatre), The Straights (Access Theater), The Clean House (Portland Stage), Native Gardens (Florida Rep), The River Bride (Stages Repertory Theatre), Manifest Destinitis, Into the Beautiful North, and Rapture, Blister, Burn (San Diego Repertory Theatre), Ballast (Diversionary Theatre), Seven Spots on the Sun (InnerMission Productions), Perfect Arrangement (Intrepid Theatre Company), Lydia (ion theatre company), and The Shape of Things (University of San Diego). She received her B.A. from University of San Diego. jenniferparedesactor.com, @_jennparedes on Instagram.
Ruben Santiago-Hudson most recently adapted August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for Netflix, produced by Denzel Washington, to be released this fall. He directed the Broadway production of August Wilson’s Jitney,which garnered several awards for Outstanding Revival, including the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award, and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, along with five additional Tony nominations. His other directing credits include The Piano Lesson, Skeleton Crew, Othello, Gem of the Ocean, Paradise Blue, My Children! My Africa!, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Cabin in the Sky, The Happiest Song Plays Last, Two Trains Running, Things of Dry Hours, The First Breeze of Summer,and Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, among many others. Santiago-Hudson received a Tony Award as featured actor for his performance in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. He made his Broadway acting debut alongside Gregory Hines in Jelly’s Last Jam. His other Broadway credits include Stick Fly and Gem of the Ocean. The multi-award-winning director/writer/actor wrote, executive produced, and co-starred in the HBO film Lackawanna Blues, based on his Obie and Helen Hayes Award–winning play. The movie received several honors, including Emmy, Golden Globe, NAACP Image, Humanitas, National Board of Review, Black Filmmaker Foundation, and Christopher Awards. In a career that spans over four decades, he considers opening the Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center in 2014 in his hometown of Lackawanna, New York as one of his proudest and most cherished accomplishments.
Herbert Siguenza is a founding member of Culture Clash, a Latino performance ensemble that just celebrated their 35th anniversary. He is currently the Playwright-in-Residence at San Diego Repertory Theatre through a generous Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant. His other plays include El Henry, Steal Heaven, Manifest Destinitis, Beachtown, and Bad Hombres/Goodwives. His recent COVID era projects include Beachtown Live! and a film version of his solo show A Weekend with Pablo Picasso.
Keith Randolph Smith appeared at The Old Globe in August Wilson’s Jitney and Water by the Spoonful. Broadway: Jitney; American Psycho; Come Back Little Sheba; Salome; King Hedley II; Fences; The Piano Lesson. Off-Broadway: Paradise Blue; Lockdown; Tamburlaine; Holiday Heart; The First Breeze of Summer; Jitney; The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll’d; Intimacy. Regional; A Human Being of a Sort; How to Catch Creation; Our Town; Romeo and Juliet; Antony and Cleopatra; Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Tempest; Three Sisters; Ivanov; The Seagull; In Walks Ed; Water by the Spoonful; Sunset Baby; The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. Film and TV: The Good Fight; Law and Order; One Life to Live; I’ll Fly Away; NY Undercover; Cosby; Malcolm X; Girl Six; Path to Paradise; Anesthesia; Backstreet Justice; The Warrior Class; Dead Dogs Lie; Fallout.
Blair Underwood was most recently seen on screen co-starring in the Netflix limited series Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker opposite Octavia Spencer. His performance earned a Black Reel Award earlier in August. While audiences were streaming that performance, Underwood was onstage, starring on Broadway opposite David Allen Grier in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of A Soldier’s Play at the American Airlines Theatre. His performance garnered accolades and was recently nominated for a Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance. In 2019 Underwood recurred on the Netflix comedy series “Dear White People,” and in Clark Johnson’s Juanita opposite Alfred Woodard, also for Netflix. He spent two years as a series regular on the ABC drama series “Quantico” while also recurring on another hit ABC drama, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” He also had a co-starring role in The After Party from writer/director Ian Edelman, which Netflix released late in 2018. He can be seen co-starring in Justin Simien’s horror comedy Bad Hair, which will premiere on Hulu in October 2020. His past television credits include series regular roles on “Dirty Sexy Money,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “In Treatment,” “L.A. Law,” and “The Event.” His film credits include Rules of Engagement, Madea’s Family Reunion, and director Steven Soderbergh’s Full Frontal. Underwood co-starred opposite Cicely Tyson in the Lifetime telefilm The Trip to Bountiful, based on the Tony Award–winning play. In 2012 he made his acclaimed Broadway debut in the iconic role of Stanley in Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he earned a Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nomination.