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The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Begins February 12, 2021

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Sam White

The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program’s students use all the tools of streaming theatre to bring the Bard’s most popular comedy directly to your screen! Filled with music, humor, and magnificent poetry, this dream unfolds in an enchanted forest where fairies play tricks on unsuspecting lovers, and bumbling actors are transformed beyond their wildest imaginings. Add to this a secret potion that grants love at first sight, and anything can—and does—happen! Ingenious director Sam White transports the action to industrial America circa 1940, where the assembly line is as magical as the woods of Athens.

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 Dorothy Brown Endowment Fund and Louis Yager Cantwell Foundation.


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Cast and Creative



Sam White (Director) is Founding Artistic Director at Shakespeare in Detroit. Her credits include the prestigious 2017 Paul Nicholson Arts Management Fellowship at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is also a member of the 2017 cohort for ArtEquity in Los Angeles. In addition, White served as the assistant director for Antoni Cimolino’s 2018 production of The Tempest at Stratford Festival. She was also a part of the inaugural 2019 cohort for the Classical Directing Fellowship at The Old Globe. White served as the director of 2019’s Twelfth Night at Utah Shakespeare Festival and completed the director’s intensive at Yale University during its Summer Session that year. Next up, she will direct a virtual production of Romeo and Juliet at University of Michigan’s Department of Theatre & Drama.

Mark Anthony Holmes (Co-Director of Photography) is a filmmaker, photographer, editor, and producer. He is Co-Founder of Daisy 3 Pictures and served as Executive Producer for their feature films Ready? OK! and That’s What She Said, as well as Director of Photography for their first feature 29th & Gay and the short Feet of Clay. He provided video segments for the West Coast premiere of Rich Girl at The Old Globe and recently served as editor for Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets! His recent credits include filming and editing the world premiere of Buzz directed by Carrie Preston at Alabama Shakespeare Festival and work with La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, San Diego Musical Theatre, Moonlight Stage Productions, and Broadway/San Diego.

James Vásquez (Co-Director of Photography) recently directed the West Coast premieres of Hurricane Diane and Tiny Beautiful Things and the world premiere of American Mariachi at The Old Globe, where he has also directed Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Rich Girl, and Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show and provided musical staging and movement for several additional productions. His directing and choreography credits also include work at Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, Children’s Theatre Company, and Dallas Theater Center, as well as developmental workshops for La Jolla Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals. He is the recipient of the Craig Noel Award for his productions In the Heights (Moonlight Stage Productions) and Sweeney Todd (Cygnet Theatre Company). Vásquez is an amateur gardener, lover of dogs, and graduate of The Juilliard School.

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. 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. 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 The Visit. 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 100 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. Benzoni holds a costume design M.F.A. from UC San Diego, where she currently is an adjunct professor. www.elisabenzoni.com.

Nate Parde (Lighting Design) is a lighting designer based in San Diego, where he has lived and worked for the last 15 years, lighting shows such as Damn Yankees (San Diego Musical Theatre), Kingdom (The Old Globe), Brownsville song (b-side for tray) (MOXIE Theatre), and miXtape (Lamb’s Players Theatre). Parde is a member of the faculty at University of San Diego.

Melanie Chen Cole (Sound Design) (she/her/hers) 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 The Promise, The Visit, Twelfth Night, Stupid F**king Bird, Our Town, Cloud 9, Three Sisters, Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Pericles: Prince of Tyre. She has designed regionally for Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Indiana Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Ma-Yi Theater Company, The Old Globe, PlayMakers Repertory Company, South Coast Repertory, Studio Theatre, and Tantrum Theatre/Ohio University. In San Diego, she has worked with San Diego Repertory Theatre, Cygnet Theatre Company, Diversionary Theatre, New Village Arts, North Coast Repertory Theatre, Blindspot Collective, The Roustabouts Theatre Co., Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company, MOXIE Theatre, and ion theatre company. 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. 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 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. Most recently, four of her poems were published in the international journal The Voice and Speech Review, and you can hear her interviewed about Shakespeare on podcast 36 of “In a Manner of Speaking with Paul Meier.”

Abraham Stoll (Dramaturg) is professor of English and Head of Text and Context for The Old Globe and University of San Diego Graduate Theatre Program. In addition to teaching Shakespeare, he serves as Production Dramaturg in the M.F.A. program. In recent years he has worked on Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s The Visit, Twelfth Night, 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 10th 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, Cygnet Theatre Company, Diversionary Theatre, Broadway/San Diego, and Starlight Musical Theatre. Ries holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Arts Management from San Diego State University.


Publicity Photos

Director Sam White. Photo by Laur Nash Photography, 2017.
Director Sam White. Photo by Laur Nash Photography, 2017.
Jesse Perez
Director of Professional Training Jesse Perez. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.
Cast Collage
Henian Boone, Brett Cassidy, Christopher Cruz, Lily Davis, Jacqui Dupré, Savannah Faye, Komi Gbeblewou, Sarah Joyce, Christopher M. Ramirez, Jocelyn Renee, Klarissa Marie Robles, Claire Simba, Nathan VanAtta, Jonathan Aaron Wilson.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Artwork
A Midsummer Night’s Dream.