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Press Release: A Free Weekend of Poetry

A FREE WEEKEND of POETRY ~ Two Free Public Events to Celebrate the Power and Artistry of San Diego Poetry ~ FEBRUARY 13-14!

In Conjunction with THE OLD GLOBE’S WEST COAST PREMIERE of DAVID IVES’s Uproarious New “Translaptation,” THE METROMANIACS, Directed by MICHAEL KAHN, Presented in Association with SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY

SAN DIEGO (January 20, 2016)—In honor of David Ives’s poetry-infused comedy The Metromaniacs, the Globe brings together a dynamic mix of poets and performers for a Free Weekend of Poetry, featuring two free public events to celebrate the power and artistry of San Diego poetry. On Saturday, February 13 at 4:00 p.m., as part of the Subject Matters series immediately following the matinee of The Metromaniacs, hear San Diego poets Gill Sotu, Karla Cordero, and Jim Moreno discuss the wide-reaching impact of poetry in modern society. And on Sunday, February 14 at 4:00 p.m., join host Gill Sotu, the neo-soul band Abstrack, and other area poets including Karla Cordero, Jim Moreno, Lizz Huerta, and Joe Limer for Poetry on the Plaza, a one-hour showcase of San Diego poetry. Joining in on Sunday will be Francalou from The Metromaniacs, Adam LeFevre; in addition to his extensive Broadway, Off Broadway, and regional credits, his third volume of poems, A Swindler’s Grace, was just published by New Issues Press. Both events are free and open to the public.

The Old Globe presents this Free Weekend of Poetry in conjunction with the West Coast premiere of The Metromaniacs by supremely clever playwright David Ives (All in the Timing, Time Flies). This uproarious new “translaptation” of a classic French farce, Alexis Piron’s La Métromanie,is directed by one of America’s most renowned stage directors, Michael Kahn, presented in association with Shakespeare Theatre Company. This smart, sexy new comedy will run on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, January 30 – March 6, 2016. Previews run January 30 – February 3. Opening night is February 4 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets start at $29 and are currently on sale.

In 18th-century Paris, poets are the rock stars of the day, and young people like Damis have gone métromanie—crazy for poetry. Damis has a serious case of verse-mania, so much so that he falls in love with his favorite poetess, not knowing that his idol is actually a middle-aged gentleman writing under a pen name! Soon we’re off and running in a breathless series of complications, plot twists, and mistaken identities that The Washington Post calls “a marvel of old and new, with punchlines that glisten with classical flair and contemporary savvy!” The Metromaniacs is a true find: one of the nation’s most exciting new plays, in its original production, directed by the legendary Michael Kahn.

Our Local Poets and Artists:

Gill Sotu—a poet, musician, writer, DJ, and host—weaves poetry into musical performances and improvisational songs into hosting gigs, with a forceful undercurrent of soulful, comedic, thought-provoking passion that engages and inspires audiences throughout California. Sotu’s 10-minute Community Voices play Rich People’s Problems was seen in The Old Globe’s 2013 New Voices Festival. Sotu has been crowned Grand Slam Poetry Champion in Ventura County and Los Angeles, worked with the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera, been commissioned to create pieces for the United Way of San Diego, won the City of San Diego’s Anti-Littering Poetry Competition, and performed the closing number for TEDx San Diego 2013. Named San Diego Raw Performing Artist of the Year for 2012 and 2013, featured on NBC 7’s “Art Pulse TV,” Sotu currently hosts Neo-Soul Tuesdays at the Onyx Room as well as Raw Artist and Showcase at the House of Blues, and he is resident DJ for the Balboa Park’s Art and Poetry series and for Elevated. He was the inaugural Artist-in-Residence in 2015 for the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, where his play H.E.R.O.E.S debuted, which he also directed, with two more plays commissioned for 2016.

Karla Cordero is a Chicana poet, educator, and activist born along the borderlands of Southern California. In 2015 Cordero was awarded The Loft Literary Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship to support her community outreach and research toward creative writing as a form of healing for undocumented migrants in Mexicali, Mexico. She is also the recipient of the 2015 San Diego State University Global Diversity Award for her work in education and activism. Cordero is the co-founder and editor of SpitJournal, an online literary review for news articles and interviews for poetry and social justice around the world. Her spoken word was first recognized in 2013 as the San Diego Grand Slam Champion, joining the Elevated Slam Team, as they placed fourth in the nation at the National Poetry Slam in Boston. Her first chapbook publication, titled Grasshoppers Before Gods, will be released in 2016 by Dancing Girl Press.

Jim Moreno is an Artist-in-Residence teaching poetry with Young Audiences of San Diego and San Diego Writers, Ink, and he is the Poet-in-Residence for the Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS). At JCCS Moreno teaches cultural respect poetry workshops to adjudicated, homeless, recovering substance dependent, and young parent youth in lockups and community schools. Many of his students have been paid for their works, which have been published in the In Between Places newsletter (a publication for the homeless). Moreno’s students have poems accepted in the 2015 and 2016 San Diego Poetry Annuals. Their works have won awards in countywide Poetry for Peace contests and Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library’s Equality is for Every Person contest. Several are entered in VOYA Magazine’s Teen Poetry Contest, a national competition. Another, who had never seen a play before, wrote her first one-act in her cell in juvenile hall and won first place in a statewide playwright contest, then saw it performed in a local theatre. Moreno was an original member and coordinator of the Langston Hughes Poetry Circle, a board member of the African American Writers and Artists, and is now an advisory board member of the Poetic Medicine Institute in Palo Alto. He currently hosts “Poets Corner” on KNSJ, is regional editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual, and hosts 2nd Tuesday Jihmye Poetry at the Cafe Cabaret in Normal Heights.

Lizz Huerta is a poet and fiction writer born and raised in Chula Vista. She has worked with homeless and vulnerable youth facilitating creative writing workshops through literary not-for-profits such as So Say We All and Words Alive. Her writing has appeared in several journals and anthologies. She is working on a young adult novel.

Joe Limer has B.A.s in English and Political Science at West Virginia University, an M.A. in Public Policy at San Diego State University, and a J.D. with a concentration in Constitutional Law at WVU. He is the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Long Beach Poetry Slam Champion. As a member of San Diego’s slam team in 2012 and 2013, he finished fourth in the world and has toured in schools in San Diego, Hawaii, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, West Virginia, and Virginia. In 2015 Limer was a member of the San Diego team that finished in the top 10. He is a full-time professor of political science at Palomar College and maintains workshops in North County for anyone who wants to write poetry.

Abstrack is a San Diego-based band with an exceptional sound incorporating musical elements such as R&B, soul, pop, jazz, and hip hop, inspired by musical influences like J Dilla, D’Angelo, Robert Glasper, Jill Scott, and Billie Holiday, connecting audiences of diverse musical preferences. They have performed onstage with New Orleans’s Euphoria Brass Band and distinguished local jazz musicians David Borgo, Robert Dove, and Gilbert Castellanos (recognized as a “New American Master” by Downbeat Magazine). Abstrack’s fresh and original sound is highlighted by their unique use of vocal harmony, which incorporates two female voices. This unique quality has them headlining major San Diego jazz clubs like Croce’s Park West and Lestat’s West, featuring at the annual San Diego Indie Fest and RAWArtists of San Diego at the House of Blues, and opening for R&B artists Bilal and Tank for Neo-Soul Tuesdays at Onyx Room and AD Nightclub.

Joining us on Sunday from The Metromaniacs company:

Adam LeFevre (Francalou) has been seen on Broadway in The Devil’s Disciple, Our Country’s Good, Summer and Smoke, Footloose, Mamma Mia!, Guys and Dolls, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. His Off Broadway credits include The Boys Next Door, The View from Here (Lamb’s Little Theatre), The Doctor’s Dilemma, Cyrano de Bergerac starring Frank Langella, and The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Roundabout Theatre Company), The Old Friends (Signature Theatre Company), Him (Primary Stages), How the World Began and The Most Deserving (Women’s Project), Goose and Tomtom and Henry V (New York Shakespeare Festival), and Mr. Landing Takes a Fall (Slightly Altered States Theater Company at The Flea Theater). His regional credits include Shakespeare Theatre Company, Alley Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Capital Repertory Theatre, and La Jolla Playhouse. LeFevre’s television credits include Empire Falls, Recount, Crime, Storm of the Century, and guest starring roles on numerous sitcoms, series, and soap operas. He has been featured in over 90 films from John Sayles’s Return of the Secaucus Seven in 1980 to Steve Gaghan’s Gold, which will be released later this year. His third volume of poems, A Swindler’s Grace, was just published by New Issues Press.

The Metromaniacs is supported in part through gifts from Production Sponsors Conrad Prebys and Debra Turner, HM Electronics, Inc., and the Globe Guilders.

TICKETS to The Metromaniacs start at $29 and can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE, or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Performances begin on January 30 and continue through March 6. Regular Performances: Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday evenings at 7:00 p.m. For a full schedule, see http://theoldglobe.org/tickets/production.aspx?PID=11829. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and under, seniors, military members, and groups of 10 or more.

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. The Balboa Park valet is also available during performances ($12), located in front of the Japanese Friendship Garden. For additional parking information visit www.BalboaPark.org. For directions and up-to-date information, please visit www.TheOldGlobe.org/Directions.


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The Old Globe’s West Coast Premiere of David Ives’s THE METROMANIACS:

The production’s cast includes Benjamin Cole (Servant), Christian Conn (Damis), Cary Donaldson (Dorante), Michael Goldstrom (Mondor), Peter Kybart (Baliveau), Adam LeFevre (Francalou), Amelia Pedlow (Lucille), Connor Sullivan (Servant), and Dina Thomas (Lisette).

The creative team includes James Noone (Scenic Design), Murell Horton (Costume Design), Mark McCullough (Lighting Design), Matt Tierney (Sound Design), Adam Wernick (Original Music), Laura Stanczyk, CSA (Casting Director), Carter C. Wooddell (Additional Casting), and Jess Slocum (Production Stage Manager).

David Ives (Playwright) is the author of All in the Timing, Venus In Fur (both the celebrated play and the Roman Polanski film), Time Flies, Lives of the Saints, New Jerusalem, Ancient History,and Is He Dead? (adapted from Mark Twain). Ives has also done what he calls “translaptations,” plays that combine translation and adaptation: The Liar, The School for Lies, and The Heir Apparent (translaptated respectively from Corneille, Molière, and Regnard). He is a former Guggenheim Fellow in playwriting and lives in New York City.

Alexis Piron (1689-1773, Playwright, La Métromanie), one of the most widely produced comic writers of the 18th century, lived a life dogged by controversy. He had an uncanny ability to make powerful enemies and, as a result, he is all but forgotten today. Born in Burgundy in 1689, Piron moved to Paris in the early 1720s, eager to be a poet. But instead of garnering glory at La Comédie-Française—the theatre of King Louis XV—Piron worked at Paris’s unofficial fairground theatres. At these théâtres de la foire, Parisians came to have a naughty good time, classical decorum be damned. Arlequin-Deucalion (1722), an ingenious dramatic monologue sprinkled with satirical jabs at contemporary authors and actors, established Piron as an anarchic, dangerous wit. In 1738, Piron produced his masterpiece at, of all places, La Comédie-Française. Inspired by a real-life literary scandal involving Voltaire, La Métromanie brings the literary pretensions of the ruling classes down to the parterre of public opinion. The play was a popular success, one that Voltaire would not forget. Piron was nominated to the Académie Française (of which Voltaire was a member) in 1753. Citing his artistic improprieties, Louis XV vetoed him. Though he lived a long life of material comfort, Piron never again wrote for La Comédie-Française.

Michael Kahn (Director) has been the Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Theatre Company for the past 27 years. During this time he has directed award-winning classical theatre productions, instituted free Shakespeare performances, and led the theatre to receive the 2012 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Kahn has received seven Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Director. Kahn’s work in theatre and opera has been seen on Broadway, Off Broadway, in American regional theatres, and at international venues. Prior to joining STC, Kahn was the Richard Rodgers Director of the Drama Division at The Juilliard School, where he has taught since its founding in 1968. He served as the Artistic Director of The Acting Company, McCarter Theatre Center, and American Shakespeare Theatre. He also earned a Tony Award nomination for his direction of Showboat. In January 2013, Kahn was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. In April 2013, he was named an Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.

Shakespeare Theatre Company (Co-Presenter), winner of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is recognized as America’s premier classical theatre company. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Executive Director Chris Jennings, STC creates, preserves, and promotes classic theatre—ambitious, enduring plays with universal themes—for all audiences. In addition to a stable of arts education initiatives, STC has been proud to present the annual Free For All production, a remount of recent work offered to audiences at no charge, for 25 years and counting. Located in the nation’s capital, STC performs in two theatres in downtown Washington, DC: the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre and the 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall. These spaces create a dynamic, cultural hub of activity that showcases STC as well as outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations.

TICKETS to The Metromaniacs start at $29.00 and are currently on sale. Tickets can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE, or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Performances begin on January 30 and continue through March 6. Performance times: Previews: Saturday, January 30 at 8:00 p.m., Sunday, January 31 at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 2 at 7:00pm, and Wednesday, February 3 at 7:00 p.m. Opening Night is Thursday, February 4 at 8:00 p.m. Regular Performances: Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday evenings at 7:00 p.m. There will be a Wednesday matinee performance on February 24 at 2:00 p.m. and no matinee performance on Saturday, February 27. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and under, seniors, military members, and groups of 10 or more.

Additional events taking place during the run of The Metromaniacs include:

INSIGHTS SEMINAR: Tuesday, February 2 at 5:30 p.m. The seminar series features a panel selected from the current show. Reception at 5:00 p.m. FREE

POST-SHOW FORUMS: Tuesday, February 9, Tuesday, February 16, and Wednesday, February 24. Discuss the play with members of the cast and crew following the performance. FREE.


SUBJECT MATTERS: Saturday, February 13. Following the 2:00 p.m. performance, San Diego poets Gill Sotu, Karla Cordero, and Jim Moreno discuss the wide-reaching impact of poetry in modern society. FREE.

POETRY ON THE PLAZA: Sunday, February 14 at 4:00 p.m. Join host Gill Sotu, the neo-soul band Abstrack, and other area poets including Karla Cordero, Jim Moreno, Lizz Huerta, and Joe Limer for a one-hour showcase of San Diego poetry. Joining them will be Adam LeFevrefrom The Metromaniacs, whose third volume of poems, A Swindler’s Grace, was just published. FREE.

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.

2015-2016 SEASON CALENDAR: The Metromaniacs (1/30-3/6), The Last Match (2/13-3/13), Rain (3/24-5/1), Constellations (4/9-5/8), Camp David (5/13-6/19), tokyo fish story (5/28-6/26), Macbeth (6/19-7/24), Sense and Sensibility (7/6-8/14), Meteor Shower (7/30-9/4), Love’s Labor’s Lost (8/14-9/18).

PHOTO EDITORS: Digital images of The Old Globe’s productions are available here.

PHOTO EDITORS: Publicity photos from the Shakespeare Theatre Company production of The Metromaniacs are available here.

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 80 years. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Managing Director Michael G. Murphy, 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 education and community programs. Numerous world premieres such as the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, 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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