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The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci

January 21 - February 26

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

Photo Credits

The cast of The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci at The Old Globe, 2023. Photo by Jim Cox.

The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci


January 21 – February 26, 2023

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

Written and directed by Mary Zimmerman

You know you’re pretty special when painting the Mona Lisa is the least of your accomplishments! Leonardo da Vinci was one of the greatest thinkers of all time. Now Tony Award winner and MacArthur Genius Grantee Mary Zimmerman (The White Snake, Metamorphoses) shapes a genre-busting play entirely from da Vinci’s own notebooks. A cast of chameleon-like actors takes us on a journey through da Vinci’s mind as he considers everything from math and engineering to philosophy and love. Created by one of the most acclaimed artists working in the American theatre, this unique and breathtaking show that The New York Times called “a fun house of the mind” illuminates what it truly means to be a Renaissance man.

The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci is supported by major production sponsors Joan and Irwin Jacobs and The Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Fund and artist sponsors Elaine Galinson and Herb Solomon (for director Mary Zimmerman).

Vicki and Carl Zeiger Insights Seminar: Tuesday, January 24 at 6:00 p.m.

Post Show Forum: Tuesday, January 31; Tuesday, February 14; and Wednesday, February 15.

Total running time: One hour and 30 minutes (one act with no intermission).



“Wildly imaginative! A visually stunning, often funny, and quite insightful portrait of the endlessly curious thinker, inventor, draftsman, and painter of the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

“A visually sumptuous peek into the mind of a creative genius.” —BroadwayWorld

Cast and Creatives



Mary Zimmerman (Writer and Director) Goodman Theatre: Artistic Associate; 17 productions in 25 years; directed and adapted Candide, The Jungle Book, White Snake, Mirror of the Invisible World, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Journey to the West, The Odyssey; directed The Music Man, Wonderful Town, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Trojan Women, Pericles, Silk. Other works as playwright/director: Arabian Nights, Argonautika, The Secret in the Wings, Treasure Island, Eleven Rooms of Proust (Lookingglass Theatre). Adapted Ovid’s Metamorphoses: originated at Northwestern and Lookingglass Theatre, ran on Broadway for year, received Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play. Opera directing: Galileo Galilei with Philip Glass (Goodman), Lucia de Lammermoor (Metropolitan Opera, La Scala), Armida, La Sonnambula, Rusalka, Eurydice (Metropolitan Opera). Other: professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University, Ensemble Member at Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of 1998 MacArthur Fellowship, recipient of numerous Jeff Awards.

Scott Bradley (Scenic Design) The Old Globe: Sea of Tranquility, Smash, Enter the Guardsman.Broadway: Seven Guitars, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Off Broadway: Eurydice, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (Second Stage), Incident at Vichy (Keen). Regional: Mr. Dickens and His Carol, A Great Wilderness (Seattle Rep), Pride and Prejudice (St. Louis Rep), Fun Home (Center Stage), His Eye Is on the Sparrow (Portland Center Stage), West Side Story (Virginia Stage). Honors: Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award (Seven Guitars); Drama Desk nomination (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone); Joseph Jefferson Award (Mary Zimmerman’s Silk); Lucille Lortel nominations (The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Eurydice).

Mara Blumenfeld (Costume Design) The Old Globe: The White Snake. Broadway: Metamorphoses. Off Broadway: Trevor the Musical (Stage 42), The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (Second Stage), The Glorious Ones (Lincoln Center), Lookingglass Alice (New Victory). Chicago: Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, Writers Theatre, Court, Lookingglass Theatre Company (also ensemble member). Regional: Oregon Shakespeare, Berkeley Rep, Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Rep, McCarter, Asolo Rep, Huntington. International: Stratford Festival (Canada), Donmar Warehouse, Barbican (London), K-Ballet, DisneySea (Tokyo). Opera: Rusalka, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Sonnambula (Metropolitan Opera), The Merry Widow (Lyric Opera of Chicago). Honors: four Joseph Jefferson Awards, 2012 Michael Merritt Award. marablumenfeld.com.

T.J. Gerckens (Lighting Design) The Old Globe: The White Snake. Broadway: Metamorphoses. Off Broadway: Metamorphoses, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Measure for Measure.Metropolitan Opera: Eurydice, Rusalka, La Sonnambula, Lucia di Lammermoor. Regional: Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Guthrie Theater, LA Opera, Arena Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Huntington Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Berkeley Repertory, Brooklyn Academy of Music.International: La Scala (Milan), The Barbican (London), Melbourne Theatre Company (Australia). Awards: Drama Desk Award (Metamorphoses), Drama Desk nomination (The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci), Lortel Award (Metamorphoses), Jeff Awards (The Odyssey, Metamorphoses). Other: faculty at Otterbein University, member of USA 829.

Michael Bodeen (Original Music and Sound Design) Broadway: music/sound for No Man’s Land, Waiting for Godot, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Miracle Worker; sound for Fish in the Dark, Sweat, The Price, Of Mice and Men, This Is Our Youth, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Superior Donuts, A Year with Frog and Toad, reasons to be pretty, Hollywood Arms, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Off Broadway: music/sound for The True, Gently Down the Stream, Guards at the Taj, Sticks and Bones, Checkers, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Boy Gets Girl, Red, Space, Marvin’s Room;sound for Good for Otto, The Spoils, Brundibar, Jitney; music direction/sound for Ruined.

Miriam Sturm (Original Music) Broadway: The Grapes of Wrath (Cort Theatre), The Glass Menagerie (Roundabout). Regional: The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Journey to the West, Gertrude Stein: Each One As She May, Black Snow, The Baltimore Waltz, The Winter’s Tale, Richard II, All’s Well That Ends Well (Goodman Theatre), Fuente Ovejuna (Court Theatre), Ring Round the Moon (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); productions at La Jolla Playhouse, Marin Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, National Theatre (London). Film: The Impostors, Ithaca. Awards: Joseph Jefferson Award for Original Music (Black Snow). Other: numerous live concert films, videos, television appearances as violinist for John Mellencamp for 25 years.

Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi (Acrobatic Consultant) Theatre: Steadfast Tin Soldier, Lookingglass Alice, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Moby Dick, Thadeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure, Hard Time, others (Lookingglass Theatre), Quixote (Writers Theatre), The Tempest (Steppenwolf Theatre), The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, The Diver (Goodman Theatre), The Bartered Bride (Lyric Opera of Chicago). Awards: Joseph Jefferson Awards for Choreography, 3Arts Award for Design, Illinois Theatre Association Honor for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Distinguished Achievement.

Lauren Port, CSA (Casting) Casting credits: Casting Director at Goodman Theatre since 2019; Caparelliotis Casting for 10 years, including seven seasons with The Old Globe. Broadway: Junk, Meteor Shower, A Doll’s House, Part 2, The Front Page, It’s Only a Play, Disgraced, Fish in the Dark, Holler If Ya Hear Me, Trip to Bountiful, Grace, Death of a Salesman, Seminar, Stick Fly, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Lend Me a Tenor, Fences, others. Television/film: “New Amsterdam,” “American Odyssey,” Steel Magnolias. Awards: four Artios Awards, Media Access Award.

Rachael Jimenez, CSA (Casting) Casting credits: Goodman Theatre (eight seasons), Theater Wit, Windy City Playhouse, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. Member: CSA (Casting Society of America), ALTA (The Alliance for Latinx Theater Artists of Chicago), casting director trainer team in Broadway for Racial Justice’s Casting Directive program. Education: B.A. in Theatre Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Comparative Religious Studies from California State University, Fullerton.

Marne Anderson (Production Stage Manager) Regional: American Prophet: Frederick Douglass in His Own Words, Seven Guitars, Newsies, Jubilee, Indecent, Dave, The Great Society, Moby Dick, All the Way, Metamorphoses, Arabian Nights (Arena Stage), Jane Anger, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, The Amen Corner, Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare Theatre Company), A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Pericles, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Folger Theatre), Angels in America, Parts I and II (Round House Theatre). Training: University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Amanda Salmons (Assistant Stage Manager) The Old Globe: Come Fall in Love, Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, Life After, The Blameless, American Mariachi, October Sky, Rain, The Metromaniacs, The White Snake, Inherit the Wind, over 30 more productions. Regional: Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin (La Jolla Playhouse), Kiss Me, Kate (Hartford Stage), The Foreigner, See How They Run, The Rivalry (Lamb’s Players Theatre), The Gondoliers, The Pirates of Penzance, Candide, Trial by Jury (Lyric Opera San Diego). Education: UC San Diego.