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By William Shakespeare
Directed by Jesse Perez
“If music be the food of love, play on!”
Shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria, the clever and courageous Viola disguises herself as a man for protection in this strange land, and soon finds a job working for Duke Orsino. Orsino loves the noble Olivia, Viola falls for Orsino, and Olivia becomes infatuated with Orsino’s messenger boy… who’s actually Viola in disguise! In Shakespeare’s world where identity is topsy-turvy, true love sees through all disguises. The classical actors of tomorrow, now training in The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, expertly perform Shakespeare’s magical comedy, filled with some of his most unforgettable characters and memorable moments.
A joint venture of the Globe and USD, the Shiley Graduate Theatre Program nationally recruits seven students each year to participate in an intensive two-year course of graduate study in classical theatre. Private funding for the Master of Fine Arts in Theatre program has been contributed through a generous endowment established by Donald and Darlene Shiley. Additional support for the program is provided by the Dorothy Brown Endowment Fund and the Louis Yager Cantwell Foundation.
Jesse Perez (Director) is the Director of Professional Training for The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. He is an actor, director, and choreographer out of New York City. He has directed and taught at The Juilliard School for the last 12 years. He has experimented with the likes of Adrienne Kennedy, Thornton Wilder, George Saunders, Samuel Beckett, and Jean-Claude van Itallie, plus full productions of As Five Years Pass by Federico García Lorca, Queens Boulevard by Charles L. Mee, and The Other Shore by Gao Xingjian. He also directed Sorry, a dance-theatre piece performed by Shook Ones and written by Alejandro Rodriguez at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. Mr. Perez is happy to be working at The Old Globe.
Robin Sanford Roberts (Scenic Design) has been designing for The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program since 2002. She has also designed over 25 productions for The Old Globe, including Alive and Well, The Price, Fiction, Bus Stop (San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award), Blue/Orange,and Betrayal (Critics Circle Award, Patté Award). She was the scenic designer for the Tony Award–nominated It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues on Broadway. Ms. Roberts has designed for San Diego Repertory Theatre, MOXIE Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and Swine Palace. Ms. Roberts holds a degree in Architecture from Louisiana State University and an M.F.A. in Scenic Design from UC San Diego. She is the resident scenic designer and professor of practice for University of San Diego’s Department of Theatre. Her most recent scenic design for the M.F.A. program was Our Town. www.robinsanfordroberts.com, @mizrobin on Instagram.
Elisa Benzoni (Costume Design) is thrilled to be working again with The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. She has also worked on over a hundred productions across Southern California with theatres such as The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Geffen Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, Laguna Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, and New Village Arts. Ms. Benzoni holds a costume design M.F.A. from UC San Diego, where she currently is an adjunct professor. www.elisabenzoni.com.
Jason Bieber (Lighting Design) is thrilled to be returning to the stage with The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, with which he has collaborated for nearly a decade and a half on roughly a dozen productions. Most recently he designed Cloud 9 and The Importance of Being Ernest in the Shiley Theatre on the USD campus, and Pericles, Prince of Tyre in the Sheryl and Harvey White, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, at The Old Globe. He has also designed at various theatres in town, including The Old Globe, San Diego Repertory Theatre, MOXIE Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, and Starlight Musical Theatre. He is currently Lighting Director at San Diego Opera, where he just began his eighth season with the company.
Melanie Chen Cole (Sound Design) is delighted to be working with The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program again. Her designs with the program include Stupid F**king Bird, Our Town, Cloud 9, Three Sisters, Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Pericles: Prince of Tyre. Her recent regional credits include Noura, Tiny Beautiful Things,and The Imaginary Invalid (The Old Globe), the 2019 POP Tour Light Years Away, At the Old Place, and the 2017 POP Tour #SuperShinySara (La Jolla Playhouse), Buzz and Romeo and Juliet (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Silent Sky (Tantrum Theater/Ohio University), Aubergine, Actually, and Vietgone (San Diego Repertory Theatre), Steel Magnolias (Dallas Theater Center), Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood (PlayMakers Repertory Company), and Mrs. Warren’s Profession (A Noise Within). She holds an M.F.A. in Sound Design for Theatre & Dance from UC San Diego. melaniesound.com.
Jan Gist (Vocal Coach) has been the voice, speech, and dialect coach for The Old Globe on 89 productions, and she has coached at theatres around the country, most recently at Arena Stage in Washington DC on The Heiress. Her other theatre credits include Ahmanson Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Theatre Company, American Shakespeare Center, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, San Diego Repertory Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and American Players Theatre. She is an original member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association, and she has presented at numerous conferences, including Voice Foundation’s conferences. Ms. Gist has taught workshops at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama and the International Voice Teachers Exchange at Moscow Art Theatre in Russia. She has been published in numerous VASTA journals, and chapters in books including Voice and Speech Training in the New Millennium—Conversations with Master Teachers, The Complete Voice and Speech Workout, and More Stage Dialects.
Brian Byrnes (Fight Director) has served as fight director and/or movement coach for The Old Globe’s Red Velvet, Rain, Arms and the Man, The Twenty-Seventh Man, and The Winter’s Tale, and The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program productions of Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure, and Pericles, Prince of Tyre. His other credits include New York theatres, regional theatres, Shakespeare festivals, and motion-capture animation in the U.S. and Sweden. His theatre credits include American Players Theatre, Intrepid Theatre Company, Prague Shakespeare Company, Alley Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, Stages Repertory Theatre, The Ensemble Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Houston Ballet, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Texas Ballet Theater, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, John Housman Theatre, Lucille Lortel Theatre, Westbeth Theatre Center, and others. Mr. Byrnes is an Actors’ Equity Association actor and a director; he has written several plays that have been professionally produced; and he is a member of the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) as a Certified Teacher, Fight Director, and Fight Master.
Abraham Stoll (Dramaturg) is a professor of English and theatre at University of San Diego. In addition to teaching in the graduate theatre program, he serves as dramaturg. In recent years he has worked on Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, among others. He has published widely on early-modern literature and is currently editing a new edition of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University.
Nicole Ries (Production Stage Manager) is happy to return for her ninth season as Production Stage Manager for The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. She is currently MOXIE Theatre’s Production Manager, and she has collaborated with San Diego Repertory Theatre (as Company Manager/Assistant Production Manager, 2003–2009) and Starlight Musical Theatre (as General Manager, 2010–2011). Ms. Ries holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Arts Management from San Diego State University.