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SAN DIEGO (February 5, 2019)—The Old Globe continues to make theatre matter to more people by welcoming everybody to enjoy a season of free performances, arts, crafts, and workshops on the Globe’s Copley Plaza in Balboa Park. Over 16,000 people attended our free AXIS events in 2018 that featured music, dance, original plays from the community, mariachi concerts, jazz for kids, and annual sonnet reading to celebrate the birthday of our resident playwright, William Shakespeare. The 2018 AXIS season also included our first-ever sensory-friendly AXIS event with music and workshops during Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
“San Diego is filled with diverse artistry and cultural traditions that make our curation dynamic and incredibly fun,” shared Director of Arts Engagement Freedome Bradley-Ballentine. “We have so many incredible options to choose from, like our annual Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!, as well as events featuring the traditions of many in our community and the funniest comics in town; making music together; and just having fun dancing with our neighbors. It brings people together. This is a vital way we make theatre matter all year round.”
The 2019 AXIS series will once again feature more free and fun-filled activities. Outstanding professional and community partner organizations and personalities will teach, speak, play, perform, choreograph, and inspire on the Globe’s Copley Plaza, with many opportunities for the public to participate at each of the events.
On Saturday, February 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (prior to the 2:00 p.m. matinee performance of Danai Gurira’s Familiar, directed by Edward Torres), the 2019 AXIS series kicks off with I Love Africa, featuring Zimbabwe-born musician and vocalist Piwai in concert. She will also teach an African-dance workshop, followed by a drumming workshop with Nana Obrafo Yaw Asiedu. This event is for the whole family and will feature artistic activities, games, face painting, and the opportunity to create your own traditional African mask with the support of a Globe Teaching Artist.
In April we will celebrate the Bard’s 455th birthday! The yearly celebration of our resident playwright, Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!, will take place on Saturday, April 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It is a fitting and festive reason to recognize his countless contributions to arts and culture around the world. This exciting day for the whole family will include birthday games and activities, free crafts, and cookie decorating. Expert fight choreographer George Yé will host a sword-fighting demonstration and workshop. Audiences can learn techniques used in Globe Shakespeare productions in a fun and safe event, and enjoy both modern and Elizabethan music and dance by San Diego musicians and performers. This year, the traditional sonnet presentation will come in a reloaded version that will include a sonnet-writing competition—winners will get two free tickets to the Summer Shakespeare Festival season!
In May we will have you break out the bellbottoms for the first-ever evening concert in the Globe’s free AXIS series on Thursday, May 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Take a trip back in time to the 1970s and the sound of Manila nightclubs with Manila Disco Fever in Concert. This music genre—inspired by American disco, funk, and pop—has seen resurgence in recent years. The Manila sound mixed Filipino musicality, catchy melodies, and a laid-back style to create what some call the Golden Age of Pinoy music. The dance floor will be open, so get ready to boogie!
June’s AXIS event is a celebration of, and inspired by, the world premiere of Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy on Saturday, June 15 at 6:00 p.m., and features a special pre-show event for the closing weekend of this delightful comedy. AXIS will present a free clean comedy show on our plaza featuring some of the best comics in town. A very fun evening for the whole family!
Also in June, Make Music San Diego brings the opportunity to not only play an instrument, but to create one and discover its own rhythm and sound! On June 21 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m., The Old Globe’s AXIS program joins forces with You Are Musical Project (Y.A.M.P.) for a free participatory community music-making initiative in San Diego that brings together ancient and modern musical tools to engage everyday people in making music together in public spaces. The creators of Y.A.M.P. believe that every person is musical, and this experiential installation is fun, connecting, and full of discovery for all who come across it!
For the month of July, the Department of Arts Engagement is working on a very exciting sensory-friendly AXIS surround event for Pigpen Theatre Co.’s world premiere musical The Tale of Despereaux. Stay tuned for more exciting information and mark Saturday, July 20 on your calendar.
In September, for the second consecutive year, AXIS will commemorate Mexican Independence Day, also referred to as El Grito, with a free concert! Join us on Saturday, September 14 for Mexican Independence Day Celebration. From 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., this event will be filled with craft making, margaritas, and dancing. Our special host will introduce and explain all aspects of this marvelous celebration, both in English and Español!
The Mexican traditions continue in November! The Globe’s Copley Plaza will once again celebrate Day of the Dead with an event that will feature unique activities, artistic expression, and the premiere of a community-generated theatre piece developed in a coLAB workshop, a collaborative art-making process between community members and artists, turning stories into theatre and developing both artists and new work. This Day of the Dead celebration on Sunday, November 3 will bring a platform for community participants and local artists to share their community and traditions in this premiere performance, hosted by a professional guest director. There will be music, singing, dancing, a display of community altars, face painting, and sugar-skull decorating. Join us from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
We will close 2019 with our second consecutive Grinch Sensory-Friendly AXIS event. Date, schedule, and activities to be announced!
AXIS is 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.
About AXIS: Realizing our commitment to making theatre matter to more people, AXIS offers free cultural programs on the Globe’s Copley Plaza 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: 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.
CALENDAR: Familiar (1/26–3/3), Tiny Beautiful Things (2/9–3/10), AXIS: I Love Africa with Piwai in concert (2/9), Globe Guilders’ s Celebrating Couture Fashion Show (3/22), Life After (3/22–4/28), They Promised Her the Moon (4/6–5/5), AXIS: Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare! (4/20), AXIS: Manila Disco Fever in Concert (5/9), 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), AXIS: Mexican Independence Day Celebration (9/14), 2019 Globe Gala (9/21), AXIS: Day of the Dead (11/3).
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-Ballentine.
Please contact Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti to arrange at aenciso@TheOldGlobe.org or (619) 238-0043 x2356.
The 2019 FREE AXIS PERFROMING ARTS SERIES
Saturday, February 9, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
I Love Africa
With Piwai in concert
Saturday, April 20, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!
Thursday, May 9, 6:30 p.m. -8:30 p.m.
Manila Disco Fever in Concert
Saturday, June 15, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
San Diego’s Gods of Comedy
Friday, June 21, 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m.
Make Music San Diego
Featuring You Are Musical Project
Saturday, July 20, 2019, time TBA
The Tale of Despereaux Sensory-Friendly AXIS Event
Saturday, September 14, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Mexican Independence Day Celebration
Sunday, November 3, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Day of the Dead
December 2019, date and time TBA
Grinch Sensory-Friendly AXIS Event