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Audience Favorite Word Up! is Back!

The Old Globe
Brings Back Audience Favorite
WORD UP! by the Arts Engagement Department
to Its Outdoor Copley Plaza

Join the Free Fun with Mad Libs–Inspired Artistic Collaborations
with San Diego Local Artists!

PHOTO EDITORS: Photos are available by clicking here.

SAN DIEGO (March 14, 2022)—The Old Globe brings back Word Up!, part of the AXIS free performing arts series, to The Old Globe’s outdoor Copley Plaza in beautiful Balboa Park!

Word Up! is a free, fun, festive word-based collaboration between audience and artist, hosted by Laura Zee. This Mad Libs–style communal storytelling will feature new performing artists and art mediums every time, as well as special community guests from around San Diego. More of a gathering than a show or a class, Word Up! is a low-pressure opportunity for community members to connect with each other and with a new performing art medium.

“There are so many artists and community figures around San Diego and Tijuana who are already beloved, already well known among the community, and already making a meaningful impact,” shares host and program creator Laura Zee. “Word Up! has been an opportunity to welcome them onto a Globe stage, collaborate among artists and audience members alike, and invite more people to connect to them and their work. It’s an opportunity to have communal conversations led by artists, and it’s been a huge honor for the Globe—and for me—to connect with so many remarkable community members.”

The beloved Word Up! stage will bring back San Diego favorites and regular collaborators including Miki Vale as live sound designer, Ric Scales with his freestyling, and Valeria Vega as live moderator. Past guests have included R&B singer Rebecca Jade, poet Gill Sotu, and our very own Shakespeare expert, Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. The audience has had the chance to create a Mad Libs–inspired collaboration in real time on various art mediums such as drag music, spoken word, songwriting, and more! For those living outside of San Diego, these events will be livestreamed on The Old Globe’s YouTube channel for everyone to participate.

The first Word Up! of 2022 will take place on Sunday, March 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on The Old Globe’s outdoor Copley Plaza. This real time playwriting collaboration will feature guests from the South West Asian and North African (SWANA) communities around San Diego to highlight their artistry and impact in their communities. Join featured guest theatre artist, activist, and educator Farah Dinga and community guest Wahida Hamdard, an SDSU-bound student and former Afghan refugee who volunteers with local organizations to help resettle incoming Afghani families in San Diego, along with other artists and surprises. As part of the Word Up! premiere, the event will help to raise funds to support Hamdard’s efforts with the resettling of newly arrived refugees. Donations will be accepted throughout the event.

Upcoming Word Up! events will take place on Saturday, May 28 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday, August 27 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Check our website www.TheOldGlobe.org for updates.

Bios and photos of all participants can be found at www.TheOldGlobe.org/Press-Room.

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. The Globe’s unique physical location—and now our social media platforms—are participatory art venues where we make opportunities for connectivity and creative placemaking. AXIS is an effort to broaden our concept of audience by encompassing diverse, multigenerational constituencies from communities across San Diego County.

The Old Globe continues to prioritize the safety of its audiences, artists, and staff. All patrons who enter the plaza will be required to either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and present proof of vaccination, or provide proof of the negative results of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of entering our space. Face masks are encouraged.

Arts engagement programs at The Old Globe are generously supported in part by Price Philanthropies, Qualcomm, US Bank, and Viasat, with additional support by La Jolla Kiwanis Foundation. Globe Teaching Artists are supported by the Ann Davies Fund for Teaching Artists.

Financial support is provided by the City of San Diego. The Theodor and Audrey Geisel Fund provides leadership support for The Old Globe’s year-round activities.

The Tony Award–winning The Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional not-for-profit regional theatres. Now in its 87th 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 the 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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Sunday, March 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Word Up!
Saturday, April 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!
Saturday, May 28 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – Word Up!
Sunday, June 19 from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. – Juneteenth Celebration
Saturday, July 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Globe PRIDE
Saturday, August 27 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – Word Up!
Saturday, September 17 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Mexican Independence Day Celebration
Saturday, October 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. –Día de Muertos / Day of the Dead Celebration

Saturday, December 10 – Grinch Sensory-Friendly AXIS Event