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Red Velvet

March 25 – April 30

Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage
Old Globe Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

Photo Credits

The cast of Lolita Chakrabarti’s Red Velvet, directed by Stafford Arima, running March 25 – April 30, 2017 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

Red Velvet


Red Velvet

By Lolita Chakrabarti
Directed by Stafford Arima

This stirring drama transports audiences to the turbulent backstage world of London’s Theatre Royal in the early 1800s. Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation, can’t go on tonight as Othello, and his company is in disarray. A young American actor named Ira Aldridge arrives to step into the role—but no black man has ever played Othello on the English stage. His groundbreaking performance upends stage tradition and changes the lives of everyone involved. Lolita Chakrabarti’s multi-award-winning play uncovers the fascinating true story of a pivotal figure in theatre history. In-demand director Stafford Arima (Allegiance) returns to The Old Globe with a stunningly theatrical production of a play that the London Telegraph called “informative, entertaining, and thought-provoking.”

Estimated running time is 2 hours, 20 minutes, including one intermission.

"A rich portrait of a theatre pioneer!" —The San Diego Union-Tribune

Production Sponsor
Dow Divas
HM Electronics, Inc.
The Estate of Madelon McGowan

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"Multilayered magic! Ira Aldridge is one of those 'hidden figures' too long ignored. Red Velvet is a revealing story of pursuing and achieving a dream, reminding that in spite of onstacles, talent triumphs." —Voice & Vewpoint

"Playwright Chakrabarti's instincts for comic dialogue are sharp. The show's acting is superb, starting with the magnetic presence of Albert Jones as Ira Aldridge." —The San Diego Union-Tribune

"A fascinating story, sure to intrigue! Albert Jones is a forceful presence as Ira Aldridge." —Times of San Diego

Cast and Creative



Jason Sherwood (Scenic Design) is making his Globe debut. He recently designed the stage adaption of Frozen for Walt Disney Creative Entertainment. His recent and upcoming designs Off Broadway and regionally include Her Portmanteau (New York Theatre Workshop), Songbird (59E59 Theaters), Ring Twice for Miranda (New York City Center), Frankenstein (Denver Center Theatre Company), Paint Your Wagon and Jasper in Deadland (The 5th Avenue Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare Theatre Company), The Whipping Man (Alliance Theatre), Cake Off (Signature Theatre Company), Choir Boy and Silence! The Musical (Studio Theatre), The Circus in Winter (Goodspeed Musicals), Squash (The Flea Theater), and many others. Mr. Sherwood is the recipient of a Henry Hewes Design Award nomination, several Suzi Bass Award nominations, a Gregory Award nomination, and the USITT Rising Star Award, and he was named by Live Design magazine as a “Young Designer to Watch.”

David Israel Reynoso (Costume Design) is a scenic and costume designer who recently designed the Globe’s productions of The Blameless, tokyo fish story, Constellations, Twelfth Night, Arms and the Man, Water by the Spoonful, Time and the Conways, Double Indemnity, and Be a Good Little Widow. He also designed As You Like It for The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. Mr. Reynoso is the Obie Award-winning costume designer of the Off Broadway hit Sleep No More (New York and Shanghai) and is also a Helen Hayes Award nominee for Healing Wars (Arena Stage). He is recognized locally for his designs of Tiger Style!, Healing Wars, The Darrell Hammond Project, Kingdom City,and the DNA New Work Series presentation of Chasing the Song (La Jolla Playhouse). His other work includes Futurity, Cabaret, The Snow Queen, Alice vs. Wonderland, Trojan Barbie, Copenhagen, No Man’s Land, Hamletmachine, Ajax in Iraq,and Abigail’s Party (American Repertory Theater), The Comedy of Errors and Othello (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company), The Woman in Black (Gloucester Stage Company), and Dead Man’s Cell Phone (The Lyric Stage Company). Mr. Reynoso is also the recipient of the San Diego Foundation’s Creative Catalyst Grant, an Elliot Norton Award, a Craig Noel Award nomination, and multiple IRNE and BroadwayWorld Award nominations.

Jason Lyons (Lighting Design) designed Love’s Labor’s Lost and Macbeth at the Globe last summer. He designed the Broadway productions of Hand to God, On the Town, Bronx Bombers, Let It Be, Bring It On: The Musical, Rock of Ages (as well as the Vegas, Toronto, Australia, London, and national tours), The Threepenny Opera, Barefoot in the Park, and Good Vibrations. His other recent credits include Dry Powder, Barbecue, and Venice (The Public Theater), Smart People (Second Stage Theatre), Murder for Two and Heathers: The Musical (New World Stages), Hand to God (MCC Theater), The Commons of Pensacola (Manhattan Theatre Club), Nerds (Philadelphia Theatre Company), Hello, Dolly! (Goodspeed Musicals), All in the Timing (Primary Stages), Medieval Play (Signature Theatre Company), Uncle Vanya (Classic Stage Company), White Noise (Chicago), Broke-ology and Clay (Lincoln Center Theater), Happy Hour, Two by Pinter, and Scarcity (Atlantic Theater Company), and 10 years with The New Group including the productions The Good Mother, Marie and Bruce, Abigail’s Party, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and Hurlyburly.

Jonathan Deans (Sound Design) previously designed Kiss Me, Kate andthe world premiere of Allegiance at The Old Globe. His work spans from Royal Opera House in Covent Garden to Michael Jackson: One in Las Vegas. His Broadway credits include Waitress, Finding Neverland, Pippin (Tony Award nomination), Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, La Cage aux Folles (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations), Young Frankenstein, The Pirate Queen, Lestat, Taboo, Follies, Seussical, Beauty and the Beast, The Music Man, Fosse, Candide, King David, and the original production of Ragtime. His numerous Off Broadway credits include Invisible Thread, The Public Theater’s A Second Chance, Carrie (Drama Desk nomination), and Parade (Drama Desk nomination). He has also designed opera, plays, and productions on the West End. His work with Cirque du Soleil includes One, Love, Ka, Criss Angel Believe, Viva Elvis, Zumanity, O, Mystère, La Nouba, Wintuk, Ovo, Corteo, and Saltimbanco. Mr. Deans was presented with the USITT Award for Distinguished Achievement in Sound and has received a number of other awards.

Lynne Shankel (Original Music) was music supervisor/arranger/orchestrator for Allegiance starring Lea Salonga and George Takei on Broadway and in its 2012 world premiere at The Old Globe, for which she received the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Orchestrations. Her diverse musical background has led her to write orchestrations and arrangements for everyone from Chita Rivera, The New York Pops, and Raul Esparza, to Tony Award winner and Bon Jovi member David Bryan and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. She was music director/arranger for the Broadway production of Cry-Baby and the resident music supervisor for the Tony Award-winning revival of Company, for which she conducted the Grammy Award-nominated cast album. She was music director/arranger for the Off Broadway hit Altar Boyz, for which she received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Orchestrations. Ms. Shankel received a second Drama Desk nomination for The Extraordinary Ordinary by Paul Loesel and Scott Burkell. In 2014, Ms. Shankel was orchestrator/arranger for the world premiere of Chasing the Song, with music by David Bryan and book by Joe DiPietro, at La Jolla Playhouse. She was music supervisor/arranger/co-orchestrator for bare and collaborated with lyricist Jon Hartmere to provide new songs for that production, which are featured on her new album Bare Naked.

Jenn Rapp (Movement, Associate Director) is the current associate director and choreographer for The Illusionists, which played record-breaking runs for the past three years on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre, Neil Simon Theatre, and Palace Theatre. She choreographed Song for a Future Generation (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and associate directed the new musical Found (Atlantic Theater Company and Philadelphia Theatre Company). As an associate director to Stafford Arima, she worked on the concert productions of The Secret Garden and Ragtime (Manhattan Concert Productions at Lincoln Center). They also recently mounted the world premiere of A.R. Gurney’s Two Class Acts (The Flea Theater). Her Off Broadway credits include bare (New World Stages), Lucky Guy (Little Shubert Theatre), Carrie (MCC Theater), and Indian Ink (Roundabout Theatre Company). She directed and choreographed Prison Dancer at the New York Musical Festival, for which she won the festival’s Excellence in Choreography Award. She created the original Norwegian Cruise Line production of Cirque Bijou, a mix of aerial circus choreography and dance. For companies such as DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, and Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, she has traveled to numerous countries, directing original musicals from popular cartoons.

David Huber (Vocal Coach) has worked on the Globe productions of The Blameless, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Measure for Measure (Globe for All), October Sky, Meteor Shower, Sense and Sensibility, Macbeth, tokyo fish story, Camp David, Constellations, Rain, The Last Match, The Metromaniacs, Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Arms and the Man, Buyer & Cellar, The Royale, Bright Star, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. His previous Globe acting credits include The Winter’s Tale directed by Jack O’Brien, The Tempest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Merchant of Venice, among several others. He has studied voice with Master Linklater Voice teacher David Smukler, Eric Armstrong, and Kate Burke. He is a graduate of the Graduate Voice Teacher Diploma Program at York University in Toronto. His regional theatre credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Pittsburgh Playhouse, PCPA Theaterfest, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Center REP Theatre, and Centennial Theater Festival, among many others. Mr. Huber coaches voice, speech, and acting locally, works on speech issues with special needs students, and recently taught speech in the graduate theatre program at UC San Diego. He is a graduate of The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program.

Caparelliotis Casting (Casting) has cast the Globe productions of Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Blameless, Meteor Shower, tokyo fish story, Constellations, The Last Match, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Rich Girl, Arms and the Man, Buyer & Cellar, The White Snake, The Twenty-seventh Man, The Royale, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Water by the Spoonful, Time and the Conways, Bethany, The Winter’s Tale, The Few, Double Indemnity, The Rainmaker, Other Desert Cities, Be a Good Little Widow, A Doll’s House, The Brothers Size, Pygmalion, and Good People. Their Broadway casting credits include The Front Page, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Glass Menagerie (upcoming), Jitney (upcoming), The Little Foxes (upcoming), The Father, Blackbird, An Act of God, Airline Highway, Fish in the Dark, It’s Only a Play, Disgraced, The Country House, Holler If Ya Hear Me, Casa Valentina, The Snow Geese, Lyle Kessler’s Orphans, The Trip to Bountiful, Grace, Dead Accounts, The Other Place, Seminar, The Columnist, Stick Fly, Good People, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The House of Blue Leaves, Fences, Lend Me a Tenor, and The Royal Family. They also cast for Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theater Company, LCT3, Ars Nova, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre Center, Arena Stage, Second Stage Theatre (seven seasons), and Williamstown Theatre Festival (three seasons). Their recent film and television credits include HairBrained with Brendan Fraser, “American Odyssey” (NBC), “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC pilot), “Ironside” (NBC), and Steel Magnolias (Sony for Lifetime).

Jess Slocum (Production Stage Manager) previously worked on the Globe productions of Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Measure for Measure (Globe for All), Love’s Labor’s Lost, tokyo fish story, The Metromaniacs, In Your Arms, Twelfth Night, Buyer & Cellar, Bright Star, Othello, Water by the Spoonful, The Winter’s Tale, A Doll’s House, Pygmalion, A Room with a View, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show, the 2011–2013 Shakespeare Festivals, Rafta, Rafta…, Robin and the 7 Hoods, Alive and Well, Sammy, Cornelia, Since Africa, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,and The Glass Menagerie. Her Broadway credits include In the Heights. Her regional credits include Indecent, Side Show, Ruined, The Third Story, Memphis,and Most Wanted (La Jolla Playhouse) and Post Office (Center Theatre Group). Her San Diego credits include Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, North Coast Repertory Theatre, and Lamb’s Players Theatre.



Insight Seminar

This series provides Old Globe patrons with an opportunity to closely connect with productions both onstage and backstage. A panel selected from the artistic company of each show (playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and/or technicians) engages patrons in an informal and illuminating presentation of ideas and insights to enhance the theatre going experience. Each Insights Seminar takes place 90 minutes before curtain time on the Tuesday after performances begin, and includes an informal reception 30 minutes before the start. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.


Post-Show Forums

Join us after the show for an informal and enlightening question-and-answer session with cast members. Get the "inside story" on creating a character and putting together a professional production. Post-show forums are scheduled after select Tuesday and Wednesday evening performances. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Subject Matters

Explore the ideas and issues raised by a production through brief, illuminating post-show discussions with local experts, such as scientists, artists, historians and scholars. Subject Matters will ignite discussion, bring the play's concerns into sharp focus, and encourage you to think beyond the stage! Subject Matters discussions follow select Saturday matinee performances. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Saturday, April 1, 2017