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Barry Edelstein, Artistic Director

Barry Edelstein

Artistic Director

Old Globe Artistic Director
Barry Edelstein.

Before his appointment as Artistic Director of The Old Globe, Barry was most recently the Director of the Shakespeare Initiative at New York City’s Public Theater. In this capacity he oversaw all of the company’s Shakespearean productions, including its famous Shakespeare in the Park series in Central Park, as well as The Public’s extensive educational, community outreach and artist-training programs. He was Associate Producer of The Public’s recent Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino. Other productions he supervised there were As You Like It and All’s Well That Ends Well directed by Daniel Sullivan, King Lear with Sam Waterston and Bill Irwin, Measure for Measure directed by David Esbjornson, The Winter’s Tale directed by Michael Greif, Twelfth Night with Anne Hathaway, Othello with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Hamlet with Michael Stuhlbarg. He supervised the addition of Shakespeare to The Public’s Public LAB small-scale producing series with his own production of Timon of Athens with Richard Thomas in the title role, and he supervised Love’s Labour’s Lost, Titus Andronicus and the upcoming Troilus and Cressida in that series. He launched The Public’s Mobile Unit tour to prisons, homeless shelters and other underserved audiences with Measure for Measure and
Richard III
. This body of work led NPR to call Barry “one of the country’s leading Shakespeareans.”

(from left) Daniel Oreskes, Ron Rifkin and Noah Robbins in The Twenty-Seventh Man, directed by Barry Edelstein at The Public Theater. Photo by Joan Marcus.

From 1998-2003 Barry was Artistic Director of Off Broadway’s Classic Stage Company, where he directed Richard III starring John Turturro and Julianna Margulies and The Winter’s Tale starring David Strathairn. He also staged the world premiere of Steve Martin’s The Underpants, which he commissioned, Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist and Molière’s The Misanthrope starring Uma Thurman in her stage debut. At Williamstown Theatre Festival, he directed As You Like It starring Gwyneth Paltrow. His other New York credits include Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (which won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Revival) and, at The Public, Steve Martin’s Wasp and Other Plays, Julius Caesar starring Jeffrey Wright for Shakespeare in the Park and The Merchant of Venice featuring Ron Leibman’s Obie Award-winning portrayal of Shylock.

Alessandro Nivola and Gwyneth Paltrow in As You Like It, directed by Barry Edelstein at Williamstown Theatre Festival.

He has also directed many contemporary and classic plays at leading regional theatres. His first film, My Lunch with Larry, starring Lisa Edelstein (no relation) and Greg Germann, played the festival circuit in 2006 and 2007. Most recently in New York he directed the premiere of novelist Nathan Englander’s first play, The Twenty-Seventh Man, at The Public.

Director Barry Edelstein (right) with John Turturro at a workshop of Richard III at Classic Stage Company.

Barry’s book Bardisms: Shakespeare for all Occasions “instructs and entertains” (New York Post) and was re-released in paperback in 2010. His book Thinking Shakespeare (called by New York magazine “a must-read for actors”) is the standard text on American Shakespearean acting.

Barry has taught at The Juilliard School, New York University’s Graduate Acting Program, Yale School of Drama and University of Southern California. He has lectured on theatre around the USA and the world and has written on the subject for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic and American Theatre. He is a graduate of Oxford University where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He and his wife, Hilit, have two children, Tillirose and August.


Director Barry Edelstein (left) with Steve Martin during rehearsal for Martin's Wasp and Other Plays at New York Stage & Film. Photo by Dixie Sheridan.


(from left) Mary Lou Rosato and Uma Thurman in The Misanthrope, directed by Barry Edelstein at Classic Stage Company.


The cast of Ferdinand Bruckner's Race, directed by Barry Edelstein, at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Dixie Sheridan.


(from left) Chris McKinney, Richard Thomas, Mark Nelson, Cary Donaldson and Max Casella in Timon of Athens, directed by Barry Edelstein, at The Public Theater. Photo by Joan Marcus.