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YORUBA MYTHOLOGY: ORISHAS AND THEIR MEANING

(2/5/13) • The Brothers Size, says playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, was “inspired by Yoruba life and traditions, steeped in Southern rhythms and cadences and seamed shut with the fire of urban music and dance.” Today, there are more than 20 million Yoruba, living mostly in the West African countries of Nigeria, Benin and Ghana. The Yoruba worship a creator god, Olodumare, and a rich pantheon of other deities, called orishas, that represent different aspects of nature or the spirit. Each of the characters in The Brothers Size is named for a different Yoruba orisha, and their personalities are strongly influenced by that orisha.

OGUN
The orisha of iron, fire and war. Ogun is the patron of blacksmiths and the deity of all metalwork and metalworkers. He is often pictured with an iron tool or sword in his hand. In The Brothers Size, Ogun owns a garage and works wonders with cars. He is steady and solid, but he can also seem hard and unyielding to his brother Oshoosi.

OSHOOSI
The orisha of the forest, the hunter, the wanderer. Oshoosi is often portrayed as a loner, a stranger, a solo traveler into strange realms. In The Brothers Size, Oshoosi is newly returned from a journey to prison, and he is struggling with how to live on the outside. He does not seem to have a clear path in life, and his brother berates him for his lack of direction.

ELEGBA
The trickster, the teacher of difficult lessons. Elegba is the orisha of the crossroads and patron of travelers who holds power over fortune and misfortune. In many legends, Elegba plays tricks on unsuspecting humans in order to put them on the path to maturity. In The Brothers Size, Elegba is Oshoosi's friend from prison, who shows up on the Size doorstep at this major crossroads moment in Oshoosi's life. Elegba's presence causes discord between the brothers, as Elegba seems to be tempting Oshoosi to take risks that could put him back in prison.

YORUBA IN THE UNITED STATES
Yoruba culture and mythology made their way to the Americas during the years of the Atlantic slave trade. Many Yoruba were brought to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Caribbean and from there made their way to the United States, especially to Florida and the other Gulf Coast states. The Yoruba beliefs combined with indigenous traditions and Christian teachings to form belief systems like today’s Santería, Vodun and Oyotunji. For McCraney, growing up in Miami, this rich mixture of traditions was part of what it meant to be African American. “From a young age,” he has said, “I found myself running into people — Lucumi, Santero — in Miami who would tell me that I am a child of Yemoja or that the deities speak to me strongly...the Yoruba have been with me, around me — even when I didn’t know it.” Many African American, Afro Cuban and Afro Caribbean artists have been inspired by traditional Yoruba stories and practices. Painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose father was Haitian, frequently included images of Ogun and Elegba in his art, combining them with Catholic saints and American figures like Charlie Parker and Joe Lewis. In a 2009 interview with American Theatre magazine, McCraney emphasized that his use of the Yoruba mythology is a specifically American vision. “You can trace the myths to Africa,” he says, “but that’s not how I learned them. The orisha stories I learned are American myths, not West African stories.”

YORUBA AND MUSIC
As with art and religion, Yoruba has had a profound influence on Caribbean and Cuban music. The foundation of Yoruba musical practice is the drum, which has a powerful significance in both ritual ceremonies and cultural life. The Brothers Size is in many ways an experiment in rhythm, and the constant presence of the percussionist is another nod to Yoruba tradition and shamanistic storytelling. The production showcases modern instruments and rhythms that reflect a Yoruba influence, including Cuban congas, West African djembes and various pan-African and South American instruments, played to a traditional Afro Cuban beat.

—Danielle Mages Amato


Grillo by Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1984.


TARELL ALVIN MCCRANEY AND TEA ALAGIĆ ON THE BROTHERS SIZE

(2/2/13) • Director Tea Alagić first staged The Brothers Size when she and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney were classmates at Yale University. Since then, Alagić and McCraney have taken the play on an extraordinary journey: Alagić directed the world premiere in New York as well as productions in Washington, DC and Dublin, Ireland. The play launched McCraney's career and brought both artists into the national spotlight.

The two of you worked together on the very first productions of The Brothers Size. Tea, what drew you back to the play to work on it again? Tarell, what makes Tea a good director for this piece?

TEA: I love this play. I loved it from the first day I read it in 2006, and I love the fact that we created it together. It’s like our baby. Tarell and I know each other well, we know each other’s work and we know each other’s aesthetics. It also helps that we were both actors and dancers before we became what we are today, since a profound concern for voice, movement and body strongly influences our work.

TARELL: The things that made Tea a great person to work on my first professional play back in that small room in New Haven are the same things that make it lucky for us that she’s returning to it. She’s incredibly smart, not just in terms of intellect and theatrical knowledge but also in her intuition and ability to understand the emotional weight of a piece. You want a director with that kind of fearless curiosity and tenacity in the room.

How would you describe the style of The Brothers Size? Why does the story need to be told in this way?

TARELL: The Brothers Size is a fable and is told in this manner in order for it to be passed on. It doesn’t have to be told in this way, but this play takes this form (three actors in a room handing the story to you, sometimes directly, other times not) so that you feel as if you’ve shared the experience or been there and have the right and ability to share it, pass it on, yourself. You own it more.

TEA: The production arose, in part, out of restrictions — when I first directed the piece I had to not only direct it but also design it, everything from sets to lights to costumes. On the one hand, our resources were limited and demanded an approach to the text that was feasible within these practical limitations. On the other hand, its many allusions posed a challenge to the reader or viewer, whose familiarity with the figures Tarell weaves into his work is restricted. But I also asked, “What is universal about this play?” I come from Bosnia; I know very little about African American history, aside from the bits and pieces I gathered while attending Yale and living in the U.S. So it became of personal importance for me to find out how this production could be universal to every country, every place in the world, no matter what color or race people are. The most productive question, though, turned out to be the most specific one: When I first read the play, I asked Tarell, “What are these names? I’ve never heard of these names: Oshoosi, Ogun, Elegba.” And he said, “Oh, I just took them from Yoruba.” So I thought, “OK, we can actually put this more into the world of Yoruba gods and ritualistic concepts.” Rather than seeking more general terms in which to understand the play, it was the intensification of the specific tone and world that made it resonate and become accessible. I went back to the way the Yoruba in Nigeria talk to each other through drumming. That’s a sort of conversation they have village to village. And it is also how they perform on the open ground — they create a space to perform in and for people to come in and watch. That was part of my inspiration.

How did music become such a vivid part of the play? How does music and language come together in the performance of the piece?

TARELL: Music and the words were always intertwined. The words were placed on the page in rhythms and when said correctly they erect a kind of song. The music, the language, the bodies all come together to aid us in delivering the story to the audience.

TEA: When I first directed the play, I didn’t know we were going to include drumming. In rehearsal, we started highlighting beats. Tarell doesn’t explicitly mark all pauses in his stage directions but there are still changes or beats. In a naturalistic drama, these beats are psychological, but I thought, let’s accentuate them even more, make them physically palpable and show them with the beats of the drums. In rehearsal we had the actor playing Elegba playing the drum, doing those beats, and then they gradually became a score.

The play includes a lot of strong language, including the “n-word.” Do you see the word as controversial? Why do you feel the characters speak the way they do?

TARELL: All language is strong and can be controversial. The words used in this play are a part of the lives of the men we are depicting. I would only worry if they were an untrue color or pigment of that portrait.

The play is dedicated to “my brothers.” What does the question of brotherhood in the play mean to each of you?

TARELL: (Laughing) I spend about 90 pages telling you what brotherhood means, can mean, might mean, should mean to me, so I’ll let Tea take this one.

TEA: As much as Tarell uses poetic language and the style is abstract, the story is so truthful and so honest and the brother relationship is extraordinarily well portrayed. I have tears when I’m watching it. It’s at once very funny and very tragic. You can see how much sacrifice this older brother is prepared to make for his younger brother, and that’s a universal story. I connect it to my own family. In 1992, I had a war in my country, and I had to leave my country in 10 minutes, because bombs were coming into the city and destroying everything. And my parents said, “Take this bag and run.” And they told me, “We’re going to see each other in two weeks.” And we didn’t see each other until many, many years after that. The play tells us a story of unconditional love; it’s a family story, and everyone can relate to that.

(Top photo: Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. Photo by Deana Lawson. Bottom photo: Director Tea Alagić. Photo by Henry DiRocco.)



THE BROTHERS SIZE CELEBRATES OPENING NIGHT

(2/1/13) • The cast and crew of the Southern California premiere of The Brothers Size gathered in Hattox Hall on Thursday, Jan. 31 to celebrate their opening night. After stopping by the red carpet for some photos, guests headed inside to meet friends and family and party into the night. To see additional photos of The Brothers Size opening night, visit our Facebook page!


(from left) Managing Director Michael G. Murphy, Artistic Director Barry Edelstein, cast member Joshua Elijah Reese, driector Tea Alagić and cast members Okieriete Onaodowan, Jonathan Melville Pratt and Antwayn Hopper.


Cast member Antwayn Hopper, Literary Manager
Danielle Mages Amato and Phil Mages.


Joshua Elijah Reese, costume designer
Michelle Hunt Souza and Mike Souza.


(from left) Cast members Okieriete Onaodowan, Antwayn Hopper and Joshua Elijah Reese. Photos by Doug Gates.


CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM SET FOR A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER

(2/1/13) • The Old Globe today announced the complete cast and creative team for the world premiere of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, a new musical comedy with book by Robert L. Freedman, music by Steven Lutvak and lyrics by Freedman and Lutvak. Former Old Globe Co-Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak returns to the Globe to direct the production. Based on the novel Israel Rank by Roy Horniman, the musical also features choreography by Peggy Hickey. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder will run March 8 – April 14, 2013 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Preview performances run March 8 – March 12. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is a co-production with Hartford Stage.

When Monty Navarro, the black sheep of the D’Ysquith family, finds out he is ninth in line to inherit a dukedom, he decides to eliminate the other eight heirs standing in his way – all played by one agile actor. Set in England’s elegant Edwardian era, this witty music hall comedy was proclaimed “gorgeous, funny and melodious” by the Harford Courant. Named one of the top 10 “Hottest Tickets of the Year” by The New York Times, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder explores how low we’ll go to make it to the top.

Ken Barnett stars as the charming and vengeful Monty Navarro, and Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays plays all eight ill-fated members of the D’Ysquith clan. The cast of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder also features Chilina Kennedy (Phoebe D’Ysquith), Lisa O’Hare (Sibella Hallward) and Heather Ayers, Rachel Izen, Kevin Ligon, Kendal Sparks, Price Waldman and Catherine Walker (Ensemble).

The creative team includes Alexander Dodge (Scenic Design), Linda Cho (Costume Design), Philip S. Rosenberg (Lighting Design), Dan Moses Schreier (Sound Design), Aaron Rhyne (Projection Design), Charles LaPointe (Wig Design), Jonathan Tunick (Orchestrator), Mike Ruckles (Music Director), Dianne Adams McDowell and Steven Lutvak (Vocal Arrangements), Binder Casting (Casting), Jan Gist (Dialect Consultant) and Susie Cordon (Stage Manager).


(from left) Heather Ayers as Miss Evangeline Barley, Ken Barnett as Monty Navarro and Jefferson Mays as Asquith D'Ysquith Jr. in the world premiere of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, with book by Robert L. Freedman, music by Steven Lutvak, lyrics by Freedman and Lutvak, based on the novel Israel Rank by Roy Horniman and directed by Darko Tresnjak, March 8 - April 14, 2013 at The Old Globe. Photo by Joan Marcus.


FROM THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: THE BROTHERS SIZE

(1/30/13) • Once a decade, perhaps even less frequently, the American theatre produces a new voice that changes its future course. David Mamet's was that voice when it was first heard in the 1970s, for example. Its scabrous, staccato bursts charted the bobs and weaves of American confidence men and charlatans on the make. Tony Kushner's voice came in the '80s. Full of dense argument, fueled by moral indignation and leavened with acid irony, his arch cadences made his work a cosmopolitan, American answer to George Bernard Shaw.

Now at the Globe you will hear the voice that will define the American theatre of the 2010s: that of Tarell Alvin McCraney. McCraney's raw material is the music of urban African America. Percussive and jazzy one moment, slow and insinuating the next, it sweeps through breathtakingly sharp turns from a kind of profane poetry to a shockingly sacred street-talk. A character whose vocabulary comprises a mumble of monosyllabic curses in one moment suddenly waxes hyper-articulate enough to narrate his own stage directions in description of his inner world. It's theatre as contact-sport; playwriting as virtuoso musicianship.

While McCraney's idiosyncratic voice is entirely unique, his themes are anything but. He is the rare young writer who embraces the old as much as the new. Myths and classic tales — not solely from the Western tradition — are McCraney's source material. His stories are new narratives forged in the molds of ancient forms.

The Brothers Size is the work that proclaimed McCraney's arrival on the scene, and in it is everything that makes this writer so special. The relationship between Ogun and Oshoosi Size is at once deeply, indeed painfully, intimate, and yet also primal, even mythic. Their fraternal bond is so rich, so multilayered, that it recalls the great, epic brotherly loves whose stories are central to our culture: those of Cain and Abel, and Jacob and Esau, and Romulus and Remus. But the play's locale is very much the here and now: a greasy auto shop on the outskirts of town. And its preoccupations are solidly of today: how a man finds his identity in the roiling, riven culture of urban America, with its prejudices and pressures closing in from every direction. And most striking of all, its heart is — refreshingly — irony-free: as deeply felt and unselfconsciously open as can be.

Like most truly original talents, McCraney simultaneously breaks from and echoes the work of his predecessors. Listen closely tonight and you'll hear, bubbling beneath McCraney's play, not only the American world outside the theatre's doors, but also the American playwrights who paved his way. Mamet's here, with his hustlers; Kushner too, with his moralists. August Wilson's earnest chroniclers of African American life are in this play, as are the carnivalesques of the great African American playwrights Adrienne Kennedy and George C. Wolfe. I sometimes think that if the Pulitzer-prized stage giants Arthur Miller and Suzan-Lori Parks had a kid, he'd be a lot like Tarell McCraney. Where this extraordinary talent will take us next is one of the most exciting prospects in the American theatre — and in American culture, too. I can't wait to find out and to make sure The Old Globe is there for all the fun.

(Photo: Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. Photo by Joseph Moran.)



THE OLD GLOBE HOLDS 2013 ANNUAL MEETING

(1/30/13) • The Old Globe’s Annual Meeting was held on January 28 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. After a reception in the Ottenstein Lobby, Old Globe Board Chair Harold W. Fuson Jr. welcomed the Board of Directors and guests and announced the newly elected Board members. Managing Director Michael G. Murphy gave an update on the Globe’s financial position and presented highlights of the 2012 fiscal year, and the Globe’s Artistic Director Barry Edelstein spoke about the Globe’s rich artistic history and its bright future in the American theatre. The meeting was followed by a reception and dinner for Board of Directors, Ambassadors and Founders Level Donors at the Prado Ballroom in Balboa Park’s historic House of Hospitality.

Fuson announced that the current members of the Board of Directors Executive Committee will continue their terms in 2013. The committee consists of Fuson (Chair), Donald L. Cohn (Immediate Past Chair), Anthony S. Thornley (Vice Chair, Finance), Elaine Bennett Darwin (Vice Chair, Nominating), Harvey P. White (Secretary), Mary Beth Adderley, Peter J. Cooper, Kathryn Hattox, Paula Powers and Conrad Prebys.

Fuson also announced that the following candidates identified by the Globe’s Nominating Committee were formally elected to serve three-year terms on the Board of Directors: Joseph J. Cohen, Ann Davies, Sheila Lipinsky, Steven J. Stuckey, Rhona Thompson, Linda Van Vark, Jordine Von Wantoch, Pamela J. Wagner and Debbie Wilson. Current Board members Jo Ann Kilty, Crystal Sargent and Stacey LeVasseur Vasquez will begin new consecutive three-year terms in 2013. The following Board members, whose terms of service concluded at the end of 2012, were honored for their outstanding commitment to The Old Globe: Joseph Benoit, Jean-Marie Hamel, Elizabeth Helming, Viviana Ibañez, Reneé Schatz, Dean Thorp and Carolyn Yorston-Wellcome, who was named a Director Emerita.

The Old Globe’s Board of Directors also includes: Elizabeth Altman, Pamela Cesak, Nicole Clay, Valerie S. Cooper, Silvija Devine, Pamela A. Farr, Karen Fox, Victor P. Gálvez, Deni Jacobs, Daphne Jameson, Ramin Pourteymour, David Reagan, Sandra Redman, Jean Shekhter, Ann Steck, Daniel L. Sullivan, Ph.D., Julie H. Sullivan, Ph.D., Evelyn Mack Truitt, Debra Turner, Jim Wening, Lynne Wheeler, Karin Winner, June Yoder and Vicki L. Zeiger.

After the meeting, the Board and guests adjourned to the annual Board of Directors & Ambassadors Reception and Dinner held in the Prado Ballroom. The celebratory evening featured performances by Okieriete Onaodowan and Antwayn Hopper (accompanied by musical director Charlie Reuter), who star in the Globe’s Southern California premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size, which runs through Feb. 24 in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center.

(Photo: Old Globe Board of Directors Chair Harold W. Fuson Jr. addresses the crowded at The Old Globe’s 2013 Annual Meeting. Photo by Doug Gates.)


CRITICS AND AUDIENCES HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH PYGMALION!

(1/29/13) • Audiences and critics have fallen under the spell of Pygmalion, George Bernard shaw's comic masterpiece, currently playing at The Old Globe through Feb. 17. The classic story of a speech professor and the common flower girl he tries to transform is a witty and charming night at the theatre!

“A THOROUGH DELIGHT!
Director Nicholas Martin's sure hand, handsome production and stellar cast
make the revival of George Bernard Shaw's classic play a triumph from start to finish.”
-Los Angeles Times

CRITICS CHOICE
“A savvy, sumptuous and very funny production,
which does the George Bernard Shaw masterwork proud.”
-U-T San Diego

“FUNNY AND HEARTWARMING!
With a topnotch cast, a stunning set design and superb direction...
audiences will appreciate everything about this production,
especially the laughs that just keep coming.”
-La Jolla Light

To view additional photos from Pygmalion, visit our Facebook page!


Robert Sean Leonard as Henry Higgins and
Charlotte Parry as Eliza Doolittle.


(from left) Paxton Whitehead as Colonel Pickering and
Robert Sean Leonard as Henry Higgins.


Charlotte Parry as Eliza Doolittle (center) with (from left) Danielle O'Farrell, Robbie Simpson, Kandis Chappell, Paxton Whitehead,
Robert Sean Leonard and Maggie Carney in The Old Globe's 100th Anniversary production of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion,
directed by Nicholas Martin, Jan. 12 - Feb. 17, 2013. Photos by Henry DiRocco.


Don Sparks as Mr. Doolittle and
Kandis Chappell as Mrs. Higgins.


Charlotte Parry as Eliza Doolittle, Robert Sean Leonard as Henry Higgins and Maggie Carney as Mrs. Eynsford Hill.


NICHOLAS MARTIN: A LIFE AT THE OLD GLOBE

(1/28/13) • Director Nicholas Martin speaks with Literary Manager and Dramaturg Danielle Mages Amato about his history at The Old Globe.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE OLD GLOBE?

I started to work at the Globe in the 1950s when I was still in college. At that time, of course, it was run by the great Craig Noel. My acting teacher, Alan Fletcher, directed there every summer. He brought gifted young people from Carnegie Mellon to the Shakespeare Festival with him to act, and I was one of those lucky people. I just kept coming back every summer for four years. I fell in love with San Diego, and to this day, I think of San Diego as my hometown and the Globe itself as my home theatre.

WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR EARLY PRODUCTIONS AT THE GLOBE?

I played the fool in King Lear. That was my favorite. It’s still my favorite part I ever played, and I was only 18. A real highlight for me when I was young was playing Rosencrantz in Bill Ball’s Hamlet. And then later, I came back to be in Jack O’Brien’s Hamlet.

YOU AND JACK O’BRIEN MET WHEN YOU WERE QUITE YOUNG, YES?

Jack and I met when I was 23 and he was a year younger. I was an actor and Jack was a director, and from the moment we met we were great friends. I got to know him when we were in a famous repertory company called APA Rep, which was run by a genius named Ellis Rabb. It was really the last repertory company to work on Broadway. Jack was an assistant to Ellis, and he eventually rose in the company to be a staff director. He was enormously encouraging of me when I stopped acting and started directing. And he’s a great director.

I UNDERSTAND YOU ALSO HAVE A LONG HISTORY WITH ROBERT SEAN LEONARD.

When I started directing, which was very late in life — I was 50 when I started directing in New York — I worked with a wonderful bunch of young people, including Calista Flockhart, Ethan Hawke and Jonathan Sherman, and Bobby was in that group. We first had a chance to work together when I was directing George Bernard Shaw’s You Never Can Tell at the Roundabout. He was the ideal person to play the lead, and we became fast friends. Among the actors I have worked with, he is one of the greatest and certainly one of the smartest and most charismatic.

WHAT MADE HIM A GOOD FIT FOR THE PART OF HENRY HIGGINS?

It’s a hard part, and you need somebody who is enormously appealing as well as enormously articulate, because if you don’t like Henry Higgins, you’re in trouble. That’s a very short list of actors. I just played a hunch that Bobby, after all that television and not really being able to do theatre, would fall for a masterpiece. And I was right. It was one of the happiest days in my old life when he agreed. And then I knew I had to find an actress who was equally gifted to play Eliza. And with Charlotte Parry, I have.

IS THERE SOMETHING ABOUT SHAW’S WORK THAT YOU FIND PARTICULARLY ATTRACTIVE?

I’m drawn by his enormous skill with language. And the wit. It’s never been equaled.

HIS PLAYS — AND ALSO HIS LETTERS AND ESSAYS — ARE JUST SO ENORMOUSLY FUN.

I’m glad you mentioned the word fun. I’m up for fun, and I’m up for giving an audience fun. I’ve frequently been assailed for finding the humor in plays like Chekhov. And I think, “Well, it’s there.” Just like people are always discovering that Hamlet has some funny things to say. Well, yeah! I like to mine that fun.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO COME BACK TO THE GLOBE AT THIS POINT IN YOUR CAREER?

It means a lot to me to come back now. I’m old but feeling young, and the Globe is a place where I’ve always felt at home and sort of...in love. It’s so peculiar to fall in love with a place, but one hears about people falling in love with Paris, or falling in love with Venice. I really feel that way about San Diego. I’ve seen it change greatly, but I don’t regret those changes, because the great spirit of this theatre, and this city, is still so prevalent.


(Top photo: Nicholas Martin (left) in Hamlet with Bill Ball, 1960. Middle photo: Victor Garber with Joan McMurtrey in Macbeth, directed by Nicholas Martin, 1996. Below: (from left) Paxton Whitehead, Nicholas Martin, Mitchell Edmonds, Linda Hoy and Henry J. Jordan in The School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, directed by Craig Noel, 1989.)

100 YEARS OF PYGMALION

(1/24/13) • In October 1913, audiences saw George Bernard Shaw's influential comedy Pygmalion for the first time. With his story of a flower girl transformed into a lady through the fine art of proper speech, Shaw reinvented a Greek myth well known to audiences of his time. He turned an ancient tale about a sculptor who falls in love with his own creation into a truly modern story of class divides and sexual politics with an unforgettable heroine at its center. With this 100th Anniversary production, director Nicholas Martin brings Shaw's landmark play to new life at The Old Globe.

Ironically, Pygmalion, a love letter to the English language in all its forms, did not premiere in London — or even in English. Instead, in an act of defiance that was typical Shaw, the playwright arranged for the play to have its first production in Vienna in a German translation. This allowed him to thumb his nose at the English press, confound the public's expectations and amuse himself — all things he dearly loved to do.

In attendance at Pygmalion's first performance was Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination eight months later would spark the start of World War I. After its Vienna run, Pygmalion transferred to Berlin. The German translation, written by Shaw's friend and collaborator Siegfried Trebitsch, would make its way to New York months before Shaw's original English version opened on Broadway.

It was not until April 1914 that Pygmalion was first performed in London, starring Mrs. Patrick Campbell, the actress for whom Shaw wrote the part of Eliza. Mrs. Pat, as she was known, was 49 years old, decades older than the 18-year-old described in the script, but for Shaw and the critics of the time, she was the definitive Eliza. She went on to play the role in Pygmalion's Broadway debut, and she continued to play the part for nearly a decade in tours and revivals in both England and North America.

When the film version of the play was made in 1938, directed by Hungarian filmmaker Gabriel Pascal, Shaw once again offered Mrs. Pat the part. (She was then 73 years old.) In the end, the film role went to a young Wendy Hiller, whose performances in Shaw's plays helped launch her long and successful career. Shaw himself wrote the film script, creating new scenes and expanding the number of locations in which the story takes place. The screenplay won him an Academy Award.

Shaw began fielding requests to set Pygmalion to music as early as 1920, when he firmly quashed a proposed German operetta, writing, "To allow a comic opera to supplant [my play] is out of the question." But the requests kept coming. In 1948, Shaw declared that the play had "its own verbal music," saying further, "My decision is final. Let me hear no more about it. This is final." Just two years later, however, after Shaw's death, Gabriel Pascal acquired the rights from the Shaw estate and began to move forward with the idea. Artists like Cole Porter, Noël Coward, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein were attached to the project at various times, but in the end, it was Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe who turned Shaw's Pygmalion into the musical theatre phenomenon My Fair Lady. The musical opened on Broadway in 1956 with Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews in the leading roles, and it ran until 1962, becoming at that time the longest running musical in history. It was made into a blockbuster film in 1964 with Audrey Hepburn controversially replacing Julie Andrews as Eliza. The film subsequently won eight Academy Awards.

Shaw objected to a musical Pygmalion because he feared it would push his original play to the wayside, taking its place in the imaginations and appetites of theatregoers. These fears were, to some degree, proven correct. For many years, My Fair Lady seemed to diminish interest in Pygmalion — so much so that rumors circulated of a ban on London productions of the play in favor of the musical. In the U.S., after My Fair Lady premiered, Pygmalion disappeared from Broadway stages, and it has seen only two Broadway revivals since the 1940s.

With this 100th Anniversary production, director Nicholas Martin hopes to make Pygmalion new for an audience that might think they already know the story. Says Martin, "I think that My Fair Lady, which is its own kind of masterpiece, has prevented companies from doing Pygmalion. That should never be the case, because it's a whole other animal. But you do have to invent it anew. And by that I don't mean putting it in another period, or making it futuristic — none of that will work. I mean being faithful to the play as written and making it really come alive." Shaw would certainly approve.

The Many Endings of Pygmalion

From Pygmalion's earliest productions, Shaw fought actors, directors and even audiences who wanted a "happy ending," in other words, a romantic union between Higgins and Eliza. For Shaw, Eliza's triumph lay in becoming her own woman and leaving Higgins behind. Shaw even went so far as to write a sequel to the play, describing in great detail what he thought happened after the final curtain: Eliza marries Freddy. Despite what Shaw wanted, actors and directors have grappled with how to resolve this complex and compelling relationship. Even in the original production, directed by Shaw, Herbert Beerbaum Tree, who played Higgins, changed the ending, taking it upon himself to add a romantic gesture right before the curtain fell. (He threw flowers to the departing Eliza.) Tree famously told Shaw, "My ending makes money. You should be grateful." Shaw replied, "Your ending is damnable. You should be shot." The romantic conclusion to the 1938 film was shot in secret and only revealed to Shaw days before its official premiere. And of course, My Fair Lady ends as a traditional romance.

—Danielle Mages Amato

(Top photo: (left to right) Mrs. Patrick Campbell as Eliza Doolittle, Philip Merivale as Henry Higgins, Mrs. Edmund Gurney as Mrs. Eynsford Hill and Olive Wilmut Davies as Miss Eynsford Hill in the 1917 production of Pygmalion at the Liberty Theatre. Middle photo: Wendy Hiller and Leslie Howard in the 1938 film version of Pygmalion. Bottom photo: Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews in the 1956 Broadway production of My Fair Lady.)


PYGMALION HAS A JOLLY GOOD OPENING

(1/23/13) • The cast and creative team of The Old Globe's 100th Anniversary production of Pygmalion had a smashing time at their opening night party on Thursday, Jan. 17. Guests gathered in Hattox Hall for food and fun, and cast members stopped by the red carpet for some photo ops, as well. To see additional photos of Pygmalion opening night, visit our Facebook page!


Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein (center) with cast members (from left) Kandis Chappell, Deborah Taylor,
Don Sparks and Charlotte Parry.


Director and Old Globe Associate Artist Nicholas Martin (center) with (from left) assistant director Jason McDowell-Green, lighting designer Philip S. Rosenberg, associate producer Justin Waldman, sound designer Drew Levy and composer Mark Bennett.


Cast member Robert Sean Leonard.


Old Globe Associate Artist Harry Groener (far right) with Associate Artists and cast members (from left) Paxton Whitehead, Kandis Chappell, Don Sparks and Deborah Taylor.


Pam Fuson and Old Globe Board of Directors Chair
Harold W. Fuson, Jr.


(from left) Cast members Danielle O'Farrell,
Robbie Simpson and Maggie Carney.
(Photos by Henry DiRocco.)


CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM SET FOR THE BROTHERS SIZE

(1/22/13) • The cast and creative team are set for the Southern California premiere of The Brothers Size by award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. Directed by Tea Alagić, The Brothers Size will run Jan. 26 – Feb. 24, 2013 in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Preview performances run Jan. 26 – Jan. 30. 

Infused with the music and rhythms of the South, The Brothers Size blends West African mythology with a modern-day story of the Louisiana bayou. After his release from prison, Oshoosi Size seeks out his brother, Ogun, who is an upright and law-abiding car mechanic. When their family is threatened by the reappearance of Elegba, a figure from Oshoosi’s past, they must learn what it truly means to be brothers. The Brothers Size is part of McCraney’s acclaimed trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays, which also includes In the Red and Brown Water and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet and which garnered McCraney London’s Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright.

The cast features Antwayn Hopper (Elegba), Okieriete Onaodowan (Oshoosi Size) and Joshua Elijah Reese (Ogun Henri Size).

The creative team includes Peter Ksander (Scenic Design), Michelle Hunt Souza (Costume Design), Gina Scherr (Lighting Design), Paul Peterson (Sound Design), Jonathan Melville Pratt (Original Music, Percussionist), Jan Gist (Dialect Coach), Caparelliotis Casting (Casting) and Diana Moser (Stage Manager).

For more information on The Brothers Size, please visit the show’s web page.

(Photo: Director Tea Alagić. Photo by Henry DiRocco.)


PYGMALION DIRECTOR NICHOLAS MARTIN NAMED ASSOCIATED ARTIST

(1/18/13) • The Old Globe today named director Nicholas Martin an Associate Artist of The Old Globe.  He is the 56th artist to receive the prestigious honor recognizing over half a century of his unique contributions to the institution both on and offstage.  After making his acting debut in 1957 as the Fool in King Lear, Martin went on to appear on the Globe stage in 18 additional productions, including The Merry Wives of Windsor (1965), The School for Scandal (1989) and Hamlet (1960 and 1990).  As a director, he helmed the Globe productions of Later Life, Full Gallop, Overtime, Macbeth and The Mask of Moriarty.  The Old Globe is currently celebrating the 100th anniversary of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion with Martin’s production of Shaw’s masterwork, which runs through Feb. 17.  

Michael Murphy and I, along with the entire Globe community, are truly honored to express our gratitude to the multi-talented Nicholas Martin for his contributions to The Old Globe,” said Artistic Director Barry Edelstein.  “Nicky is one of our country's finest stage directors, as his glittering and sensitive production of Pygmalion demonstrates.  His generous wit and warmth bring out the best from the artists in his charge, and he is an enthusiastic mentor to the next generation of theater makers.  We adore him, and we look forward to welcoming him back to the Globe again and again.”

The Globe’s current production of Pygmalion features five Old Globe Associate Artists:  actors Kandis Chappell, Don Sparks, Deborah Taylor and Paxton Whitehead and costume designer Robert Morgan.  Other actors, directors and designers who have received the honor of being named Associate Artists of The Old Globe include Gregg Barnes, Patricia Conolly, Richard Easton, Tovah Feldshuh, Robert Foxworth, Ralph Funicello, Lillian Garett-Groag, Harry Groener, A.R. Gurney, Mark Harelik, Dakin Matthews, Jonathan McMurtry, Marion Ross, Ken Ruta, Seret Scott, David Ogden Stiers and Robert Wojewodski.

For a complete list of the Globe’s 56 Associate Artists, please visit http://www.theoldglobe.org/aboutus/associate-artists.aspx.


MEET THE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM OF PYGMALION




CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM ANNOUNCED FOR PYGMALION

(12/21/12) • The Old Globe today announced the complete cast and creative team of its 100th anniversary production of the George Bernard Shaw classic Pygmalion.  Starring Tony Award winner Robert Sean Leonard (The Invention of Love, Born Yesterday) as Professor Henry Higgins and Charlotte Parry (The Importance of Being Earnest, The Real Thing) as Eliza Doolittle, the production coincides with the 100th anniversary of Pygmalion’s 1913 premiere in Vienna, Austria.  Directed by Nicholas Martin (Butley, Present Laughter), Pygmalion will run on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, Jan. 12 – Feb. 17, 2013.  Preview performances run Jan. 12 – Jan. 16. 

Shaw’s story of a speech professor who makes a bet that he can pass off a common Cockney flower girl as the pinnacle of English society is an enduring one.  In addition to its long life on the stage, the play was adapted by Shaw for the screen in 1938 with Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller.  It was adapted most famously as the beloved musical My Fair Lady starring Rex Harrison with Julie Andrews on Broadway and with Audrey Hepburn on film.

Four Old Globe Associate Artists return to the Globe stage for this lavish new production of Pygmalion:  Kandis Chappell (Mrs. Higgins), Don Sparks (Mr. Doolittle), Deborah Taylor (Mrs. Pearce) and Paxton Whitehead (Colonel Pickering). Rounding out the cast are Maggie Carney (Mrs. Eynsford Hill) and Old Globe/University of San Diego Graduate Theatre Program students Erin Elizabeth Adams (Bystander), Jeremy Fisher (Bystander), Adam Gerber (Bystander, Taxi Man), Allison Layman (Bystander, Parlor Maid), Danielle O’Farrell (Clara) and Robbie Simpson (Freddy Eynsford Hill).

Old Globe Associate Artist Robert Morgan returns to the Globe as costume designer of Pygmalion. The creative team also includes Alexander Dodge (Scenic Design), Philip S. Rosenberg (Lighting Design), Drew Levy (Sound Design), Mark Bennett (Original Music), Jan Gist (Voice and Dialect Coach), Caparelliotis Casting (Casting) and Annette Yé (Stage Manager).

To view additional photos of this year's cast and creative team, visit our Facebook page!


The cast of The Old Globe's 100th anniversary production of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion: (from left) Robbie Simpson, Allison Layman, Maggie Carney, Paxton Whitehead, Charlotte Parry, Robert Sean Leonard, Danielle O'Farrell, Kandis Chappell, Deborah Taylor, Don Sparks, Adam Gerber, Jeremy Fisher and Erin Elizabeth Adams. Pygmalion, directed by Nicholas Martin, runs Jan. 12 - Feb. 17, 2013 at The Old Globe.
Photo by Henry DiRocco.


THE OLD GLOBE NOMINATED FOR 31 CRAIG NOEL AWARDS!

(12/21/12) • The Old Globe today received 31 Craig Noel Award nominations for excellence in San Diego theatre! Allegiance – A New American Musical tied for most nominations for a production with six, including Outstanding New Musical and Outstanding Featured Performance for star Lea Salonga. Also nominated for New Musical is Nobody Loves You, which got four nods, and The Scottsboro Boys received five nominations, including Outstanding Resident Musical. All three of the productions in the 2012 Shakespeare Festival—Richard III, As You Like It and Inherit the Wind—were honored, as were A Room with a View, The Recommendation, Good People and Anna Christie.

The full list of Globe nominations:

Outstanding Resident Musical
The Scottsboro Boys

Outstanding New Musical
Allegiance
Nobody Loves You

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Male
Michael K. Lee, Allegiance

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Female
Lauren Molina, Nobody Loves You
Lea Salonga, Allegiance
Karen Ziemba, A Room with a View

Outstanding Direction of a Musical
Stafford Arima, Allegiance
Susan Stroman, The Scottsboro Boys
Michelle Tattenbaum, Nobody Loves You

Outstanding Musical Direction
Eric Ebbenga, The Scottsboro Boys
Elan McMahan, As You Like It

Outstanding Choreography
Susan Stroman, The Scottsboro Boys

Outstanding New Score
Jeffrey Stock and Marc Acito, A Room with a View
Gaby Alter, Itamar Moses and Gaby Alter, Nobody Loves You

Outstanding Dramatic Production
Inherit the Wind

Outstanding Ensemble
The Scottsboro Boys

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Male
Robert Foxworth, Inherit the Wind
Adrian Sparks, Inherit the Wind

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Female
Dana Green, As You Like It
Eva Kaminsky, Good People

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Female
Dana Green, Richard III

Outstanding New Play
The Recommendation, Jonathan Caren

Outstanding Direction of a Play
Adrian Noble, Inherit the Wind

Outstanding Sound Design
Lindsay Jones, The Recommendation

Outstanding Costume Design
Deirdre Clancy, Inherit the Wind

Outstanding Lighting Design
Howell Binkley, Allegiance
Alan Burrett, As You Like It
David Lander, A Room With a View

Outstanding Scenic Design
Wilson Chin, Anna Christie

Outstanding Projection Design
Darrel Maloney, Allegiance

To view photos of all of the Globe's nominated productions, visit our Facebook page!

(Top photo: The cast of The Scottsboro Boys, nominated for six Craig Noel Awards, including Outstanding Resident Musical and Outstanding Ensemble; second photo: Lea Salonga, nominated for Outstanding Featured Performance for Allegiance – A New American Musical; third photo: the cast of Nobody Loves You, nominated for four awards, including Outstanding New Musical; bottom photo: (foreground, from left) Robert Foxworth and Adrian Noble, both nominated for Outstanding Lead Performance for Inherit the Wind.)


FAMILIES COME TO THE GLOBE FOR AUTISM-FRIENDLY GRINCH

(12/18/12) • Families from all over San Diego gathered at The Old Globe on Dec. 15, 2012 for the autism-friendly performance of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The holiday musical was performed in a friendly and supportive environment for children on the autism spectrum and their families. Slight adjustments were made to the production including fewer loud noises and flashing lights that may be challenging for some audience members, and the theatre featured a quiet area in the lobby and on-site volunteers to assist families as needed. After the show, children received a copy of the Dr. Seuss book as a memento of their trip to The Old Globe.

Below are just a few of the families who attended the autism-friendly performance of The Grinch. To see more photos from the show, check out our Facebook page! (Photos by Doug Gates.)














THE WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL THE HONEYMOONERS WILL OPEN THE 2013-14 SEASON!

(12/6/12) • The Old Globe will open its 2013-14 Season with the world premiere of The Honeymooners, a new musical based on the legendary CBS television series.  2012 Tony Award winner Michael McGrath (Nice Work If You Can Get It) will star as Ralph Kramden, the small-time bus driver with big-time dreams.  Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde) will direct and choreograph the musical comedy, with book by Dusty Kay and Bill Nuss, music by Stephen Weiner and lyrics by Peter Mills.  The complete creative team and casting will be announced at a later date.  The Honeymooners will run on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, Sept. 8 – Oct. 27, 2013.  Preview performances run Sept. 8 – 20. 

Ralph Kramden and his buddy Ed Norton are back with a whole new scheme in this world premiere musical.  The two friends enter a jingle contest, and much to the shock of their long-suffering wives, they actually win!  Soon they are catapulted out of Brooklyn and into the cutthroat world of Madison Avenue, where they find themselves torn between success and friendship.  Bursting with bouncy tunes and showbiz pizzazz, The Honeymooners will send audiences to the moon!

“It’s a real delight to bring this fun and rollicking new musical comedy to San Diego,” said Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein.  “I'm happy to see the brilliant Michael McGrath make his Globe debut, and I’m especially pleased to welcome the hugely talented Jerry Mitchell back to this theatre, where he choreographed The Full Monty, Imaginary Friends and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  As a kid I was a full-blown ‘Honeymooners’ addict, and I ‘bang-zoomed’ away many more hours with the Kramdens and Nortons than I should probably admit.  That's why it's a special joy to see Ralph, Ed, Alice and Trixie come to vivid life on our stage and to introduce these iconic American characters to a new generation.”

For more information, read the press release!

(Photo: Tony Award winner and star of The Honeymooners, Michael McGrath. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.)


THE CRITICS CHEER FOR THE 15TH YEAR OF THE GRINCH!

(12/6/12) • Everyone's favorite holiday meanie is back in the 15th Anniversary production of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Steve Blanchard returns as the cranky green Grinch alongside Caitlin McAuliffe and Lilith Freund, who alternate as sweet Cindy-Lou Who. Critics can't get enough of the charming musical, which runs through Dec. 29.

CRITIC’S CHOICE!
“Fifteen years in, the Globe's Grinch production has lost none of its magic,
nor its ability to draw enthusiastic, all-ages capacity crowds.”
-U-T San Diego

“A LAUGH A MINUTE!
Steve Blanchard brings absolute bustling charisma and comic genius to his Grinch character.”
-East County Gazette

“The show is delivered by a vibrant, pitch-perfect cast that
looks as though it has literally stepped off the page of
Theodor Seuss Geisel’s crazy, wavy illustrations.”
-Southwest Riverside News

To view additional photos from Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, visit our Facebook page!


Caitlin McAuliffe as Cindy-Lou Who and
Steve Blanchard as The Grinch.


(from left) Amanda Naughton as Grandma Who,
Kelsey Venter as Mama Who, Geno Carr as Papa Who
and Phil Johnson as Grandpa Who.


Cindy-Lou Who (Lilith Freund), The Grinch (Steve Blanchard) and all of Whoville celebrate the gift of Christmas in Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The 15th annual production of the holiday musical runs Nov. 17 - Dec. 29, 2012 at The Old Globe.
Photos by Henry DiRocco.


(from left) Steve Blanchard as The Grinch and
Jason Edward Cook as Young Max.


The cast of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!


HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE AUTISM-FRIENDLY PERFORMANCE OF THE GRINCH

(12/6/12) • The Old Globe is getting ready for its autism-friendly performance of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, which will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 10:30 a.m. This performance will feature slight adjustments to the production including fewer loud noises and flashing lights that may be challenging for some audience members. The Globe is providing a few ways for families to prepare for a day at The Grinch.

For those families who are already planning to attend the performance or are considering buying tickets, there will be two "Meet Your Seat" sessions designed to help acquaint playgoers with the theatre and its surroundings. These sessions will take place in the Old Globe Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 9 and Monday, Dec. 10 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. To RSVP for one of these "Meet Your Seat" sessions, email GlobeLearning@TheOldGlobe.org.

An online social story is also available for parents and children to view and print at home that outlines in words and pictures the experience that families will undergo during their trip to see Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! To view and download this social story, click here.

For more information on the autism-friendly performance of The Grinch, click here.

(Photo: Caitlin McAuliffe as Cindy-Lou Who and Steve Blanchard as The Grinch in Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Photo by Henry DiRocco.)


THE SECOND GROUP IN THE OLD GLOBE COMMUNITY VOICES PROGRAM PRESENTS THEIR PLAYS

(12/3/12) • The participants of the second Old Globe Community Voices workshop had their original 10-minute plays performed at the Globe on Tuesday, Nov. 27 in front of an audience of friends and family. The ten writers from The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center took part in the eight-week program, which teaches the fundamentals of playwriting and culminates in a premiere reading of the short plays. Five professional actors performed the works in the Globe's Hattox Hall, and the evening was capped off by red carpet photos and a party.

The Old Globe Community Voices is a series of workshops dedicated to the creation and presentation of short plays by adult residents of San Diego County.  Community Voices is the centerpiece of The Old Globe Residency Project, an artistic initiative funded by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Community Voices introduces non-traditional audiences to theatre arts and supports a dynamic creative process for individuals who have not had opportunities to envision themselves as artists.  Participants explore avenues of theatrical expression and collaboration through their individual and shared experiences and acquire the tools to create their own art upon completion of the program. The program also provides mentoring opportunities with members of the Globe community and free admittance to Old Globe productions. 

Adults 21 years and older in San Diego County are welcome to register for one of the eight-class sessions, which take place throughout 2013. Community groups and individuals can register for upcoming workshops by contacting Community Outreach Coordinator Desiree Nash at (619) 238-0043 x2105 or dnash@TheOldGlobe.org.

To see more photos of the reading and the red carpet, check out our Facebook page!


The second group of participants of The Old Globe Community Voices program from The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center at the reading of their short plays on Nov. 27, 2012. Photo by Doug Gates.


AUDIENCE MEMBERS CELEBRATE THE OPENING OF THE GRINCH

(11/27/12) • Theatregoers had their photos taken on the red carpet in front of The Old Globe’s Christmas Tree before attending the opening night performance of the 15th Anniversary production of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! on Nov. 23, 2012. Some of the show's cast members even made an appearance before heading backstage to play to a sold-out audience of friends and family. The unique tree, designed by Grinch scenic designer John Lee Beatty, is displayed on the Globe’s Copley Plaza in Balboa Park through Dec. 29.

Below are just a few of the photos of the excited audience members who were in attendance. To see more photos from opening night, check out our Facebook page!














MEET THE CAST OF THE GRINCH!




THE OLD GLOBE'S CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY KICKS OFF THE HOLIDAY SEASON!

(11/19/12) • Cierra, age 7, won The Old Globe's "Santa for a Day" contest and helped The Grinch light the Christmas tree at the seventh annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 18. She and her family saw the matinee performance of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and then joined the special ceremony, which took place on the Globe's Copley Plaza in front of an audience of thousands and culminated in a delightful holiday snowfall. Cierra's drawing expressing what the holidays mean to her and her family was randomly selected from over a hundred submissions from children all over San Diego County and beyond.

Designed by Grinch scenic designer John Lee Beatty, the unique tree is located in the center of the Globe Plaza and will remain for the entire run of the show, which plays through Dec. 29. Guests and their friends and families are welcome to take photos with the Grinchy tree all season long!

To view more photos of the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, visit our Facebook page!


"Santa for a Day" winner Cierra with The Grinch (played by Steve Blanchard) at the seventh annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 18, 2012. Photo by J. Katarzyna Woronowicz.


Cierra's drawing of her and her family, which was randomly selected as the winner of the "Santa for a Day" contest.


THE OLD GLOBE COMMUNITY VOICES CELEBRATES ITS FIRST GROUP OF PLAYS

(11/12/12) • The participants of the first Old Globe Community Voices workshop had their original short plays performed in front of an audience at The Old Globe on Thursday, Nov. 8. The ten budding writers from Victory Outreach Church took part in the eight-week program that taught them the basics of playwriting so they could craft their own 10-minute plays. Five professional actors performed the plays in front of friends, family and staff in the Globe's Hattox Hall, followed by a reception and photos on the red carpet.

The Old Globe Community Voices is a series of workshops dedicated to the creation and presentation of short plays by adult residents of San Diego County.  Community Voices is the centerpiece of The Old Globe Residency Project, an artistic initiative funded by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Community Voices introduces non-traditional audiences to theatre arts and supports a dynamic creative process for individuals who have not had opportunities to envision themselves as artists.  Participants explore avenues of theatrical expression and collaboration through their individual and shared experiences and acquire the tools to create their own art upon completion of the program. The program also provides mentoring opportunities with members of the Globe community and free admittance to Old Globe productions. 

Adults 21 years and older in San Diego County are welcome to register for one of the eight-class sessions, which take place throughout 2013. Community groups and individuals can register for upcoming workshops by contacting Community Outreach Coordinator Desiree Nash at (619) 238-0043 x2105 or dnash@TheOldGlobe.org.

To see more photos of the presentation and party, visit our Facebook page!


The first ten participants of The Old Globe Community Voices program following the premiere reading of their short plays on Nov. 8, 2012.
Photo by J. Katarzyna Woronowicz.


TONY AWARD WINNER ROBERT SEAN LEONARD JOINS PYGMALION

(11/8/12) • Stage, television and film star Robert Sean Leonard will star as Henry Higgins in The Old Globe’s 100th anniversary production of George Bernard Shaw’s masterwork, Pygmalion.  The Tony Award-winning actor last appeared on the Old Globe stage as Edgar in Jack O’Brien’s renowned 1993 presentation of King Lear starring Hal Holbrook.  Directed by Nicholas Martin (Broadway’s Butley with Nathan Lane and Present Laughter with Victor Garber), Pygmalion will run on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, Jan. 12 – Feb. 17, 2013.  Preview performances run Jan. 12 – Jan. 16. 

Robert Sean Leonard has performed in the Broadway productions of The Invention of Love (Tony Award), Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Tony nomination), Born Yesterday, The Violet Hour, The Music Man, The Iceman Cometh, Arcadia, Candida (Tony nomination), Philadelphia, Here I Come!, The Speed of Darkness, Breaking the Code and Brighton Beach Memoirs.  His Off Broadway credits include Fifth of July, You Never Can Tell and When She Danced.  He also appeared in the West End production of Our Town.  Born in New Jersey, Leonard began acting at age 14 at The Public Theater in New York.  At 19, he made his film debut in the acclaimed Dead Poets Society.  His film credits include Much Ado About Nothing, The Age of Innocence, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, Swing Kids, Tape, Chelsea Walls and Whit Stillman’s The Last Days of Disco.  He appeared for eight seasons on the Fox medical drama “House.”

For more information on Robert Sean Leonard, visit our Facebook page!


CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM ANNOUNCED FOR THE GRINCH

(11/2/12) • The Old Globe today announced the complete cast and creative team for the Globe’s 15th annual production of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!  The holiday musical will run on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, Nov. 17 – Dec. 29.  Previews run from Nov. 17 – Nov. 23.  

“No Old Globe tradition is more beloved than our annual production of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,” said Managing Director Michael G. Murphy.  “This season’s 15th Anniversary production is a milestone that would not have been possible without the support of Audrey Geisel, a champion of the arts in San Diego.  Thanks to Theodor Geisel’s creativity and Audrey’s vision and friendship, tens of thousands of children have been introduced to the magic of live theatre through The Grinch.”

As previously announced, Steve Blanchard reprises his role as The Grinch, which he played last year in his Globe debut. Alternating in the role of Cindy-Lou Who are Caitlin McAuliffe of Poway and Lilith Freund of University City.  Local favorite Steve Gunderson returns as Old Max and marks his 10th appearance in The Grinch at the Globe. Jason Edward Cook plays Young Max in his Globe debut.

Rounding out the cast of The Grinch are Geno Carr (Papa Who), Kelsey Venter (Mama Who), Phil Johnson (Grandpa Who), Amanda Naughton (Grandma Who), Annie Buckley and Kaitlyn O’Leary (Annie Who), Sydney Rose Horowitz and Madison Pyle (Betty-Lou Who), Dylan Nalbandian and Jordi Bertran (Boo Who) and Aaron Acosta and Liam James Brandt (Danny Who) with Luke Babbitt, Ava Marie Bunn, Jacob Caltrider, Nancy Snow Carr, Kevin Davison, Sophia Dimmick, Randall Dodge, Katrina Heil, Brooke Henderson, Kyle J. Johnson, Gabi Leibowitz, Alison Grace Norwood, Carly Nykanen, Allison Spratt Pearce, Avalon Robbins and Maxine Sutton (Ensemble).

The Grinch is directed by James Vásquez with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason and music by Mel Marvin.  The original production of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was conceived and directed by Jack O’Brien with Additional Lyrics by Theodor S. Geisel, Additional Music by Albert Hague and original choreography by John DeLuca.  This season’s production features Musical Direction by Charlie Reuter, Additional Choreography by Bob Richard and Restaged Choreography by James Vásquez.  The Grinch creative team also includes John Lee Beatty (Scenic Design), Robert Morgan (Costume Design), Pat Collins (Lighting Design), Paul Peterson (Sound Design), Anita Ruth (Orchestrator), Joshua Rosenblum (Vocal Arrangements and Incidental Music), David Krane (Dance Music Arranger) and Leila Knox (Stage Manager).

To view additional photos of this year's cast and creative team, visit our Facebook page!


The cast of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: (from left) Steve Gunderson, Jason Edward Cook, Lilith Freund,
Amanda Naughton, Steve Blanchard, Geno Carr, Caitlin McAuliffe, Kelsey Venter and Phil Johnson.
The annual holiday musical will run Nov. 17 - Dec. 29, 2012 at The Old Globe. Photo by Henry DiRocco.


ENTER THE “SANTA FOR A DAY” CONTEST TO WIN TICKETS TO THE GRINCH!

(10/31/12) • One lucky child will be crowned “Santa for a Day” at the seventh annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at The Old Globe on Nov. 18!  Parents of children aged 3 – 12 may submit their child’s drawing expressing what the holidays mean to them and their family to be entered in the Globe’s “Santa for a Day” contest.  The randomly selected winner will receive a VIP Family Four-Pack to attend the 4:30 p.m. performance of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! on Nov. 18 and, directly after the show, assist the Grinch on stage with the lighting of the tree at the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Globe’s Copley Plaza.

To enter, snap a photo of your child’s drawing with your phone and email it to Contest@TheOldGlobe.org.  Drawings may also be delivered in person to the Globe Box Office or mailed to “Santa for a Day” Contest, P.O. Box 122171, San Diego, CA 92112.  All submissions will be posted online on The Old Globe’s Facebook page.  Contest entries will be accepted through Wednesday, Nov. 14, and the winner will be announced on the Globe’s Facebook page on Thursday, Nov. 15. 

All entries must include the name and age of the child and a parent or guardian’s phone.  One winner will be chosen at random from all entries received by Nov. 14.  Only one entry per child will be accepted.  Families with multiple children may submit multiple drawings.  Submitted drawings will not be returned.

The Grinch and everyone in Whoville can't wait to see your drawings!

To see more photos of last year's Christmas Tree Lighting, visit our Facebook page!

(Photo above: Steve Blanchard as The Grinch greets the audience at the Globe's 2011 Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Photo by J. Katarzyna Woronowicz.)


A RECORD-BREAKING RUN FOR ALLEGIANCE

(10/28/12) • On Sunday, Oct. 28, Allegiance – A New American Musical played its final performance at The Old Globe. While the cast took their final bows to the cheers of the crowd, they also had another accomplishment to celebrate: breaking box office records. Allegiance became the highest-grossing show in Old Gobe history, beating out such past favorites as Avenue Q and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

In addition, over 32,000 patrons saw this moving musical during its run at the Globe. The cast, crew and staff are thankful for all of the support that the audiences showed night after night!

To see more photos of the final curtain call of Allegiance, visit our Facebook page!

(Photo above: George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung during the curtain call at the final performance of Allegiance. Photo by Jeffrey Weiser.)


BARRY EDELSTEIN NAMED ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE OLD GLOBE

(10/16/12) • The Board of Directors of The Old Globe today announced the appointment of Barry Edelstein as Artistic Director.  A nationally-recognized director, producer, author and educator, Edelstein will work together with Managing Director Michael G. Murphy to lead San Diego’s flagship arts institution.  Currently the Director of The Public Theater’s Shakespeare Initiative in New York City, Edelstein will assume the artistic directorship of The Old Globe on Nov. 1 and will reside full-time in San Diego in January 2013.

“I am deeply honored and beyond thrilled to be appointed Artistic Director of one of this country’s greatest theaters,” said Edelstein.  “The Old Globe’s history is one of unparalleled excellence, and it will be my privilege to work alongside Michael Murphy to build on that history and guide the theater into a new period of excitement and achievement.  I believe that a thriving theater is vital to the life of a vibrant city, and I am delighted that this opportunity will bring me and my family to one of the most spectacular cities in America.  I am grateful to the Board and Search Committee for selecting me, and I cannot wait to get to work.”

Edelstein is widely recognized as one of the leading authorities on the works of William Shakespeare in the United States, having directed nearly half of the Bard’s works.  He is the author of Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions and Thinking Shakespeare, which New York magazine called “a must-read for actors” and is now considered the standard text on American Shakespearean acting.  As Director of the Shakespeare Initiative at The Public Theater, he oversees all of the company’s Shakespearean productions, 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.

Prior to his work with The Public, Edelstein was the Artistic Director of the Classic Stage Company in New York City.  There Edelstein produced and directed some of New York’s most memorable classical productions.  Under his leadership, the Off Broadway theater doubled in size and was recognized with every major theater award, including six Obie Awards and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work. 

Edelstein’s Shakespearean directorial credits include productions of The Winter’s Tale with David Strathairn, Timon of Athens with Richard Thomas, As You Like It with Gwyneth Paltrow, Julius Caesar with Jeffrey Wright and The Merchant of Venice featuring Ron Leibman’s Obie Award-winning performance as Shylock.  His additional credits include the Lucille Lortel Award-winning revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons; 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.  He is currently rehearsing the world premiere of The Twenty-Seventh Man by renowned fiction writer Nathan Englander, which he developed with the author and which will begin performances at The Public Theater on Nov. 7.

“Our staff and artists are elated that Barry is joining The Old Globe,” said Managing Director Michael G. Murphy.  “His extraordinary background in contemporary plays, classics and Shakespeare, in addition to his commitment to the creation and development of new works, is a perfect match with the Globe’s history of theatrical tradition and artistic innovation.  Barry’s energy and intense love of theater are infectious, and I look forward to welcoming him and his family to San Diego.”

To learn more about Barry Edelstein, click here.

(Photo above: Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. Photo below: (from left) Old Globe Managing Director and Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. Photos by Doug Gates.)



THE GLOBE ANNOUNCES ITS 2013 SUMMER SEASON

(8/19/12) • The Old Globe today announced the five shows that will comprise the 2013 Summer Season!  

Adrian Noble will return for his fourth season as the Artistic Director of the Globe’s Shakespeare Festival, which will include:

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (June 2 – Sept. 29)
    Filled with magic, humor, music and spectacle, Shakespeare’s most joyful and popular comedy unfolds in an enchanted forest where fairies play tricks on unsuspecting lovers and bumbling actors are transformed beyond their wildest dreams.
  • The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (June 9 – Sept. 28)
    Renowned actor Miles Anderson returns to the Festival stage as Shylock in Shakespeare’s unforgettable tale of mercy and justice, generosity and greed.  Anderson has previously appeared at the Globe as Leonardo da Vinci in the West Coast Premiere of Divine Rivalry, Prospero in The Tempest, Antonio Salieri in Amadeus and as King George in The Madness of George III, whichwon him the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award.  Adrian Noble directs.
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard (June 16 – Sept. 26)
    Fast-paced and irresistibly funny, Tom Stoppard’s classic farce turns Shakespeare’s Hamlet inside out.  As the story of Hamlet plays out all around them, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern struggle to figure out what it all means and whether they can escape their ultimate fate.  Adrian Noble directs Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning play.

In addition to the Shakespeare Festival, the 2013 Summer Season will include:

  • The Rainmaker by N. Richard Nash (July 13 – Aug. 11)
    N. Richard Nash’s romantic comedy is set against the sweeping landscape of the American West.  On her family’s drought-ridden ranch, Lizzie’s hopes and dreams have run as dry as the barren fields.  When the irresistible Starbuck arrives in town, selling the promise of rain, Lizzie must decide: is he a con man, or does he hold the key to everything she desires?
  • Double Indemnity by James M. Cain, adapted for the stage by David Pichette and R. Hamilton Wright (July 26 – Aug. 25)
    When a small-time insurance agent falls under the spell of a gorgeous femme fatale, the two conspire to murder her husband for the insurance money.  It seems like the perfect crime – until it all starts to unravel.  Reimagined for the stage, the classic crime novel and film noir masterpiece is sexy, fun and wildly theatrical.

To learn more about the 2013 Summer Season, click here!

(Photo: Adrian Noble, Artistic Director of The Old Globe's 2013 Shakespeare Festival. Photo by Ken Howard.)


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