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Press Release: Shakespeare in America


Veteran Globe Actors & Stars of Stage, Screen, and Film Appeared in SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICA, a One-Night-Only Event Presented on Saturday, June 4 in the Globe’s Outdoor
Lowell Davies Festival Theatre as theKickoff Event for
on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library


The Book That Changed Culture Forever
at San Diego Central Library June 4 – July 7


SAN DIEGO (June 6, 2016)—Stars of stage and screen, beloved actors from The Old Globe’s history, local dignitaries, internationally renowned scholars, and other celebrities came together at The Old Globe for Shakespeare in America on Saturday evening, June 4. This special one-night-only event featured a constellation of luminaries reading selections from Shakespeare and other material, curated and hosted by the gifted writer/director Jeremy McCarter and our country’s most eminent Shakespeare scholar, James Shapiro. Old Globe Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein introduced and directed the evening.

The star-studded company featured Marsha Stephanie Blake, Jonathan Cake, J. Bernard Calloway, Louis Changchien, Kristen Connolly, Clifton Duncan, Eden Espinosa, Robert Foxworth, James Hebert, Hamish Linklater, Jonathan McMurtry, Alfred Molina, Mark Pinter, Lily Rabe, Sharon Rietkerk, Luis Rodriguez, Marion Ross, Mike Sears, Blair Underwood, and Jill Van Velzer; along with San Diego students Samuel Bennett, Jordi Bertran, Aidan Hayek, Katrina Heil, Brooke Henderson, Imahni King-Murillo, Natasha Partnoy, and Davina Van Dusen,

Performances included selections from Shakespeare and other related material—scenes, songs, and essays—inspired by Shapiro’s book Shakespeare in America: An Anthology from the Revolution to Now. This program reminded us that Shakespeare is very much our country’s national poet. The broad categories explored included The Noblest Stage, Othello and the Color Line, Lincoln and Booth: Shakespearean Dreams, Shakespeare on the Ohio, and Shakespeare in the Golden State.

After the show in the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre at The Old Globe, guests mingled with the stars at a lovely reception on the Globe’s Copley Plaza, serenaded by the lively strains of the Downs Family Band, with a repast from the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine and desserts from See’s Candies.

“This year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death (or, as we’d rather think of it, the 400th birthday of his posthumous reputation), and Shakespeare institutions worldwide are pulling out the stops in celebration,” said Old Globe Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein.  “The Old Globe’s launched our contribution to the international commemorations with an extraordinary evening of theatre that everyone in attendance will long remember.  Our country’s greatest talents gathered on our beautiful outdoor stage and led us through a moving and fun program that showed us just how central Shakespeare has been and continues to be in our evolving national story.  I am grateful to all of the wonderful artists and friends of The Old Globe for being with us, and to Jeremy McCarter and James Shapiro for a provocative and entertaining program.  I was honored to take part in it.”

Shakespeare in America officially kicked off the celebrations surrounding the First Folio!, which opened to the public on June 4 and closes July 7. The Old Globe and the San Diego Public Library were selected as the only stop in California for First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, a national traveling exhibition organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Shakespeare’s First Folio, published in 1623, will be available for public viewing starting Saturday, June 4, in the Art Gallery on the ninth floor of the San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common, 330 Park Blvd.

Accompanying the rare book is a multi-panel exhibition exploring the significance of Shakespeare then and now, as well as the importance of the First Folio. A supplemental exhibition showcases original props, costumes, photographs, and ephemera from The Old Globe’s 80-year archive and the Darlene Gould Davies Old Globe Theatre Collection, with a focus on the productions of Shakespeare that have made the Globe one of the most important Shakespeare theatres in North America, along with displays inside the Central Library exploring Shakespeare’s influence on pop culture and connection to everything from 3D printing to “Star Wars.”

The First Folio was published just seven years after Shakespeare’s death and contains 36 of his plays, 18 of which had never been printed before, including the works Macbeth, The Tempest and Comedy of Errors. Experts believe only 235 copies of the First Folio exist today. As part of the exhibit in the Central Library, the book will be opened to the page with the line “To be or not to be” from Hamlet.

The Old Globe and the San Diego Public Library—in partnership with the University of California San Diego, the University of San Diego, San Diego State University, the San Diego Public Library Foundation, and media partner KPBS—have scheduled over sixty free Shakespeare-related programs for children, adults and families are planned throughout the summer to coincide with the First Folio exhibition and showcase why San Diego is the perfect venue for this prized piece of literature.

The exhibit is free of charge and open to the public, but due to its popularity ticketed reservations are highly recommended. Timed admission runs every 30 minutes, and tickets are available on the First Folio San Diego website: www.firstfoliosandiego2016.org/pages/exhibition.html.

For press photos: https://www.theoldglobe.org/press-room/first-folio-the-book-that-gave-us-shakespeare/?id=11567.

For information about the exhibition, a list of upcoming events, RSVP procedures and ticket availability, please visit www.FirstFolioSanDiego2016.org.

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First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and by the support of Google.org, Vinton and Sigrid Cerf, the British Council, Stuart and Mimi Rose, and other generous donors.

Supporters of the San Diego exhibition of First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library and associated programming include:

Leading Sponsors

Diane and John Berol

Audrey S. Geisel/The Dr. Seuss Fund at the San Diego Foundation

Major Sponsors

The David C. Copley Foundation

The Favrot Fund



Ann Davies, in memory of John G. Davies

The San Diego Foundation


The City of San Diego

City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture

The County of San Diego Board of Supervisors

Barbara and Mathew Loonin

Friends of the San Diego Central Library

Helga Moore

Bob and Joan Reese


2016-2017 SEASON CALENDAR: 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), October Sky (9/10-10/23), The Lion (9/29-10/30), Globe for All Measure for Measure (11/1-13), Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (11/5-12/26), M.F.A. The Two Gentlemen of Verona (11/12-20), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (2/4-3/12/2017), The Blameless (2/25-3/26), Red Velvet (3/25-4/30), Skeleton Crew (4/8-5/7), The Old Man and The Old Moon (5/13-6/18), The Imaginary Invalid (5/27-6/25)

PHOTO EDITORS: Digital images of The Old Globe’s productions are available at https://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 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, 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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Jeremy McCarter is a writer, director, and producer. He is the co-author of Hamilton: The Revolution, with Lin-Manuel Miranda, published by Grand Central in 2016. He is finishing a book about young American radicals in World War One, to be published by Random House in 2017. He edited the collection Bite the Hand That Feeds You: Essays and Provocations by Henry Fairlie, which Yale University Press published in 2009. He spent five years on the artistic staff of the Public Theater in New York, where he created and ran the Public Forum series of performances and conversations. It brought together America’s leading actors, activists, writers, scholars, musicians, and community leaders to explore the intersection of arts and society. Before joining the Public, he directed radio plays that opened for The Magnetic Fields on the band’s 2008 national tour. He was a cultural critic for New York magazine and Newsweek, and an editor at The New Republic. He taught theater history and criticism at Brooklyn College, and served on the jury of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He wrote the liner notes for the cast recording of the 2005 Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company. He studied history at Harvard, and lives in Chicago.

James Shapiro currently serves as Larry Miller Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and is on the Board of Governors of the Folger. An internationally renowned Shakespeare scholar, he is highly regarded as an interpreter of Shakespeare for a wide public by making complex ideas in Shakespeare’s work accessible and immediate. Shapiro is especially interested in developing programming that examines how Shakespeare has influenced Asian and Latino American cultures in this region. In 2013, Shapiro visited The Old Globe to participate in the first installment of a new series of humanities discussions. During the sold-out event, Barry Edelstein In Conversation with James Shapiro, the two Shakespeareans explored themes in the Bard’s canon, current trends in American Shakespeare, and controversies surrounding The Merchant of Venice.

Marsha Stephanie Blake will be seen as the titular Lady in Macbeth later this summer.  She is well known for “Orange is the New Black” on television, The Merchant of Venice and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone on Broadway, and acclaimed off-Broadway productions of An Octoroon, Luck of the Irish, and Hurt Village.

Jonathan Cake is currently rehearsing to perform the eponymous role in Macbeth on this stage.  He has appeared on Broadway in Medea, Cymbeline, and The Philanthapist as well as many stages across New York and London.  On screen he is known for “Extras”, “Desperate Housewives,” Brideshead Revisited, and First Knight.

J. Bernard Calloway Globe audiences know J. Bernard from his tremendous portrayal of The Grinch in last season’s 18th incarnation of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  He has been seen on Broadway in Memphis and All The Way and recently completed an acclaimed off-Broadway run of Tarell McCraney’s new play, Head of Passes at the Public.

Louis Changchien Is known for his film appearances in The Bourne Legacy and Predators, as well as New York theatre appearances at Second Stage and EST, and the National Asian American Theatre Company.  He holds and MFA in acting from Brown University.

Kristen Connolly is best known for her work in the hit movie The Cabin in the Woods, as well as “House of Cards” and can currently be seen on “Zoo”.  She has appeared at the globe In Othello and will be returning to play the Princess of France in Love’s Labors Lost later this summer.

Clifton Duncan was last seen at the Globe as Haywood Patterson in The Scottsboro Boys and is currently in rehearsal to play Macduff in our upcoming production of Macbeth.  He has been seen in New York in Kung-Fu, Twelfth Night, and Tis Pity She’s a Whore.

Eden Espinosa recently appeared as Sadie Thompson in the Globe production of Rain.  She is renowned for portrayal of Elphaba in the Broadway sensation Wicked and has played the title characters in Brooklyn and Flora the Red Menace.  Her debut album, Look Around is out now and available online.

Robert Foxworth is an Associate Artist and Board Member at The Old Globe, having appeared in over a dozen productions, most recently Quartet and Other Desert Cities as well as numerous Shakespeare productions.  He has many Broadway credits to his name and is well known for his television work on “Falcon Crest” and “Storefront Lawyers”.

James Hebert Is the theatre critic for the San Diego Union-Tribune and has covered the San Diego arts scene for over two decades.  He has many awards for journalism to his name and, in 2008, served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

Hamish Linklater is one of the country’s most in demand Shakespearean actors, having appeared in five productions of the Public’s Shakespeare in the Park including Much Ado about Nothing, Twelfth Night, and Cymbeline.  On celluloid, he is well known for the long running “The New Adventures of Old Christine”, The Fantastic Four, and Battleship.

Jonathan McMurtry Is an Associate Artist at the Old Globe where he has appeared in over 200 productions and each one of Shakespeare’s plays.  He was the 2008 recipient of the Craig Noel Lifetime Achievement in Theatre Award.

Alfred Molina has been nominated for the Best Actor Tony Award for his work in Art, Red, and Fiddler on the Roof and is a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.  His iconic screen work ranges from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark to Boogie Nights to Frida

Mark Pinter Is currently in rehearsal for the upcoming Macbeth and has appeared in Old Globe productions of Othello, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hamlet, and Charley’s Aunt.  He has copious New York and San Diego theatre credits and is recognizable from his years on “Another World”.

Lily Rabe Is one of America’s leading Shakespeareans, having been nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of Portia in The Merchant of Venice on Broadway as well as numerous appearances at the Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park.  Her television work includes the “American Horror Story” anthology and “The Whispers”.

Sharon Rietkerk will be reprising her role as Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility at The Old Globe. Her regional credits include Chicago Shakespeare Theater, TheatreWorks, San Jose Rep, and North Coast Rep.

Luis J. Rodriguez is poet laureate of the City of Los Angeles.  In addition to his poetry he has written 15 books in many genres, including the best-seller Always Running, La Vida Loca, and Gang Days in L.A and is a community activist who advocates for urban peace, youth, and the arts.

Marion Ross is an Associate Artist at The Old Globe.  Her first Globe appearance was as Olivia in Twelfth Night under Craig Noel's direction in 1949 and has been in too many productions to count in the ensuing years, most recently The Last Romance.  Television audiences know her fondly as Mrs. Cunningham in “Happy Days”.

Mike Sears was recently seen at the Globe in Rain, and well as previous productions of Othello and Kiss Me, Kate.  Mike has appeared in many shows across San Diego including four shows at La Jolla Playhouse.

Deborah Taylor is an Associate Artist at the Old Globe having been seen in over twenty Globe productions, most recently The Comedy of Errors and Pygmalion.  She has appeared at prestigious stages across the continent including Hartford Stage, The Huntington, the Shaw Festival, and Studio Arena.

Blair Underwood Star of Film and TV, Blair has been seen in such hits as “Sex in the City”, “LA Law”, “In Treatment”, and most recently “Agents of Shield”.  He was last seen on this stage playing the doomed Othello.

Jill Van Velzer will be appearing in the Old Globe’s upcoming Sense and Sensibility.  She has been seen at great theatres like the Laguna Playhouse, The Pasadena Playhouse, The Theatre @ Boston Court, and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

Children Reading Hamlet Those eight wonderful young adults have all already appeared on the Globe’s stages at such a young age, performing in everything from our annual holiday production of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, to mainstage Shakespeare productions like The Winter’s Tale and Richard III, to our fabulous Summer Shakespeare Intensive. They are Samuel Bennett, Jordi Bertran, Aidan Hayek, Katrina Heil, Brooke Henderson, Imahni King-Murillo, Natasha Partnoy, and Davina Van Dusen.