The Old Globe Announces its 2017 Summer Season

Robert Sean LeonardThe Old Globe has announced its complete 2017 Summer Shakespeare Festival Season which will feature two Shakespeare classics: Richard II and Hamlet, as well as Ken Ludwig’s new comedy Robin Hood! in its world premiere. The season also includes the previously announced Guys and Dolls, directed and choreographed by Josh Rhodes, presented in association with Asolo Repertory Theatre.

Richard II, starring Robert Sean Leonard and directed by Erica Schmidt (A Month in the Country Off Broadway). Convinced of his divine right to rule, King Richard acts recklessly and provides the canny Henry Bolingbroke an opening to seize the crown. Full of magnificent verse and Shakespeare’s characteristic wisdom and insight, Richard II is a deeply moving and insightful portrait of how the forces of history collide and combust to shape a nation’s political landscape. June 11 – July 15, 2017

Following Richard II is Shakespeare’s exhilarating tragedy Hamlet, directed by Old Globe Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein, one of the leading American authorities on the works of Shakespeare. Edelstein will direct a cast that includes some of the nation’s finest classical actors in one of the greatest plays ever written—revenge thriller, ghost story, psychological drama, political epic, family saga, all packed with unforgettable characters, theatrical masterstrokes, and world famous lines. The Prince of Denmark comes home from college to find his father dead, his mother remarried to his uncle, and a spine-chilling apparition roaming the palace grounds. August 6 – September 10, 2017

Tickets to the Globe’s 2017 Summer Season are currently available by subscription online at, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE [234-5623], or by visiting the box office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and younger, seniors, and groups of 10 or more.

2017 Summer Shakespeare Festival Season

June 11 – July 15, 2017 (Opening Night June 18)
Richard II

July 2 – August 13, 2017 (Opening Night July 7)
Guys and Dolls

July 22 – August 27, 2017 (Opening Night July 30)
Ken Ludwig’s Robin Hood!

August 6 – September 10, 2017 (Opening Night August 12)


Photo Flash: MACBETH, opening tonight at The Old Globe

Macbeth, directed by Brian Kulick and starring Jonathan Cake as Macbeth and Marsha Stephanie Blake as Lady Macbeth, now through July 24th at The Old Globe in San Diego. Click HERE for more photos of the production.

Jonathan Cake as Macbeth and Marsha Stephanie Blake stars as Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth, directed by Brian Kulick, running June 19 - July 24, 2016 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

Jonathan Cake and Marsha Stephanie Blake. All photos by Jim Cox.

(foreground from left) Timothy D. Stickney as Banquo and Jonathan Cake as Macbeth with the cast of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, directed by Brian Kulick, running June 19 - July 24, 2016 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

(foreground from left) Timothy D. Stickney as Banquo and Jonathan Cake as Macbeth with the cast of Macbeth.

Marsha Stephanie Blake stars as Lady Macbeth and Jonathan Cake as the title role of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, directed by Brian Kulick, running June 19 - July 24, 2016 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

Marsha Stephanie Blake and Jonathan Cake

Marsha Stephanie Blake stars as Lady Macbeth and Jonathan Cake as the title role of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, directed by Brian Kulick, running June 19 - July 24, 2016 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.

Marsha Stephanie Blake and Jonathan Cake

Brian Kulick to Direct MACBETH at The Old Globe

Marsha Stephanie Blake and Jonathan Cake. Photo by Jim Cox.

Marsha Stephanie Blake and Jonathan Cake. Photo by Jim Cox.

Brian Kulick, Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company and a leading Shakespearean expert, will direct the “Scottish Play” for The Old Globe in San Diego, which runs June 19 – July 24 in the Globe’s outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre.

Tempted by an evil prophecy and encouraged by his wife ever deeper into his own dark ambition, Macbeth murders his way to the throne of Scotland. Shakespeare’s chilling tragedy is filled with ferocious battles, supernatural horrors, famously gorgeous poetry, and some of the Bard’s most vivid characters. A stellar cast, under Kulick’s directions, will electrify the San Diego night in Shakespeare’s classic masterpiece.

In the title role is Jonathan Cake (Cymbeline, Medea, and The Philanthropist on Broadway) with Marsha Stephanie Blake (Orange is the New Black, Broadway’s The Merchant of Venice) as Lady Macbeth. The cast also includes Jerome Preston Bates as Duncan; Clifton Duncan as Macduff; Brian Keane as Ross and 3rd Murderer; John Lavelle as Porter and 1st Murderer; James Joseph O’Neil as Lennox, 2nd Murderer, and Seyton; Mark Pinter as Old Man and Siward; and Timothy D. Stickney as Banquo.

Joining them are actors from The Old Globe and Univ. of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, including Amara James Aja as Bloody Captain and Menteith; Amy Blackman as 2nd Witch; Ally Carey as Lady Macduff; Ajinkya Desai as Fleance; Talley Beth Gale as Gentlewoman; Kevin Hafso-Koppman as Donalbain; Lorenzo Landini as Young Siward; Jake Millgard as Angus; Makha Mthembu as 1st Witch; Christina A. Okolo as Ensemble; Suzelle Palacios as 3rd Witch; Daniel Petzold as Malcolm; and Nathan Whitmer as Doctor.

“I’m excited that Macbeth is kicking off our Festival in this year of Shakespeare celebrations,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “It’s one of my very favorite Shakespeare plays and one of the Bard’s most thrilling plays to watch: suspenseful, epic, and beautiful all at the same time. Brian Kulick possesses one of the great minds in the American theatre, and his production is going to be a memorable one, especially in the hands of this hugely talented company, led by Jonathan Cake and Marsha Stephanie Blake, two actors of striking intensity.”

Additional free events taking place during the run of Macbeth include:

INSIGHTS SEMINAR: Tues, June 21 at 6:30 pm, featuring a panel selected from the artistic company of the current show, preceded by a reception at 6:00 pm.

POST-SHOW FORUMS: Tues, June 28 & July 5, and Wed, June 29, where you may discuss the play with members of the cast and crew following the performance.

SHAKESPEARE IN THE GARDEN: Tues, June 28; Wed, June 29; Thurs, June 30; Fri, July 1; Sat, July 2; all at 7:00 pm. This is a series of informal presentations in the Craig Noel Garden that enhance the theatre-going experience.

Following Macbeth, the Summer Shakespeare Festival will conclude with Love’s Labor’s Lost, directed by three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall, Aug 14 – Sept 18.

Also, from June 4 to July 7, the Globe, in partnership with the San Diego Public Library, will be the California host for First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, one of the world’s most treasured books. Published in 1623, this famous volume is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s 36 plays, half of which would have been lost if not for its publication.

The Folger Shakespeare Library, in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is touring a First Folio across the nation, visiting one location in each of the 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. The volume will be on view in the Art Gallery at the San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common. During the entire month, the Globe, the Library, and their project partners will offer numerous public programs for adults and families before, during, and after the tour visits San Diego. For more information visit First Folio San Diego 2016.

June 19 – July 24, 2016 (Opening night June 25 at 8pm)
The Old Globe
1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park
San Diego, CA
Tickets: (619) 234-5623 or

The Comedy of Errors is up next for The Old Globe

Comedy of Errors - The Old GlobeThe Old Globe has announced its cast and crew for The Comedy of Errors, part of the Globe’s 80th Anniversary festivities during Balboa Park’s Centennial Celebration. With three shows on Broadway this year, Tony and Emmy Award nominee Scott Ellis makes his Globe debut directing one of William Shakespeare’s most delightful confections. Performances begin August 16 and run through September 20, 2015, with opening night on Saturday, August 22 at 8:00 pm.

Laughter will ring out under the stars as Shakespeare’s hilarious tale of mistaken identity takes the outdoor stage. A young man and his servant arrive in town, unaware that each of them has a separated-at-birth identical twin already there. This can’t end well—or maybe it can, but not before the unexpected double vision leads to furious wives, confused mistresses, scandalized family members, and general mayhem.  More

Rebecca Taichman’s Ever-Evolving Relationship with Twelfth Night

An interview by guest writer Evan Henerson

When the subject is Shakespeare’s bittersweet comedy Twelfth Night, the metaphors and analogies come easily to director Rebecca Taichman, who uses words like “epic,” “complex,” “Mozartian” and “perfect.”

“It’s truly bottomless,” she says. “I thought I knew everything about the play, and I just keep unpeeling layers.”

Rebecca Taichman directs The Old Globe's 2015 Summer Shakespeare Festival production of Twelfth Night, June 21 - July 26, 2015. Photo by Jim Cox.

She speaks from the experience of having already de-onioned quite a bit of the shenanigans of Viola, Orsino, Olivia and company. The production that opens this weekend to kick off the Old Globe’s 2015 Summer Shakespeare Festival is Taichman’s second go-round following a 2009 production at Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC which subsequently moved to the McCarter Theatre. Going back even further, Taichman played Viola as an undergraduate in a production at McGill University while still, in her words, “a pup.” Taichman, who had acting aspirations before turning to directing, does not give her rendition of Viola glowing reviews. “My memory of the experience is that I didn’t understand the play at all,” she says.

The 2009 production, on the other hand, took home glowing notices for both its performances and for its visual palate. The Old Globe opportunity came about after she was approached by the company’s Artistic Director Barry Edelstein who had seen the Shakespeare Theatre/McCarter production and inquired if Taichman was up for reimagining it for an outdoor staging at the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre.

Taichman was eager to reexamine and reconnect. “I think there’s a similar heart and it’s told from a similar point of view (as the previous production),” she says, “but it’s also extremely different. The first step was a conversation with the design team on how we could make what we did better and really maximize the outdoor space.”  More

The Old Globe Offers Free Monday Night Film Series

This summer, the Old Globe will include FREE Monday night screenings of four Shakespeare films as part of its 2015 Summer of Shakespeare. The films will relate to Shakespeare through the eras and celebrate both the Balboa Park Centennial and the theatre’s 80th Anniversary. They are: Henry V, directed by Laurence Olivier in 1944; Orson Welles’s 1965 classic Chimes At Midnight; Joss Whedon’s 2012 Much Ado About Nothing; and Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’s groundbreaking 1961 West Side Story. Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Beth Accomando, author of the KPBS blog Cinema Junkie, will alternate introducing the films.

June 29: Henry V (8:15 pm)
Sir Laurence Olivier made his 1944 directorial debut and starred in Henry V, a sparklingly inventive, Oscar-nominated film adaptation of Shakespeare’s epic history play. Olivier brings the Bard’s heroic king to full-blooded life in this breathtaking and passionate cinematic masterpiece.

Chimes at MidnightJuly 13: Chimes at Midnight
(7:00 pm)
Widely considered the greatest film adaptation of Shakespeare ever made, Orson Welles’s acclaimed 1965 masterpiece finds Shakespeare’s most famous supporting character, Sir John Falstaff, taking center stage. Drawing heavily on Henry IV and other histories by the Bard, the film follows the shifting relationship between Prince Hal and his drunken, obese, and altogether charming companion Falstaff (played by Welles himself). This enduring gem, rarely seen on the big screen, delves deep inside one of Shakespeare’s most intriguing players to shine a light on one man’s joys, struggles, and triumphs.


Rutina Wesley to Star in The Old Globe’s TWELFTH NIGHT

Rutina WesletyThe Old Globe has announced the cast and creative team for its upcoming production of Twelfth Night, which stars Rutina Wesley as Viola, directed by Rebecca Taichman. Previews begin on June 21 and the show runs through July 26, 2015, with opening night on Saturday, June 27 at 8:00 pm.

Everything we love about Shakespeare–romance, music, poetry, laughter, swordplay, great characters, and even a girl in pants–is in Twelfth Night. Shipwrecked and alone in foreign Illyria, young Viola masquerades as a boy and becomes the go-between for the lovesick Duke Orsino and the beautiful Countess Olivia. Soon Viola finds herself in the middle of a topsy-turvy love triangle with lunacy on every side.

True Blood’s Rutina Wesley stars as Viola, with Sara Topham as Olivia and LeRoy McClain as Sebastian, Amy Aquino as Maria, Terence Archie as Orsino, Manoel Felciano as Feste, Robert Joy as Malvolio, Patrick Kerr as Andrew Aguecheek, and Tom McGowan as Sir Toby Belch. Joining them are Old Globe/USD Graduate Theatre Program actors Amy Blackman, Lindsay Brill, Charlotte Bydwell, Lowell Byers, Ally Carey, Jamal Douglas, Tyler Kent, Makha Mthembu, Daniel Petzold, Megan M. Storti, Nathan Whitmer, and Patrick Zeller.  More

Catching up on all the Shakespeare News of the Day – Los Angeles/San Diego

On April 21-22, Shakespeare OC will join the Orange County Community Foundation and more than 340 other non-profit organizations in the very first countywide Giving Day. For 30 hours starting at 6:00am April 21, you can visit and donate to SOC and your other favorite local non-profits. Your generosity on Giving Day will also enable SOC to win additional funding awards and prizes from the Foundation Bonus Pool, all of which will help them bring the Arts to an underserved, but culturally rich part of Orange County.

I Heart SOC

A Noise Within is now enrolling students in its Summer With Shakespeare five-week Pasadena summer camp, June 15 – July 17 (Monday-Friday 10am – 4pm) for youth aged 6-18. This conservatory-style program of acting, improvisation, stage diction, text analysis, kinetic exercises, and stage combat is led by classically trained, professional actors, choreographers, and designers. Visit for complete details.  More

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare National Exhibition Comes to California

First Folio

Have you ever seen an original copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio? Well, soon you can when it visits Southern California. The Folger Shakespeare Library, in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is touring a First Folio of Shakespeare in 2016 to all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.

Here in California, The Old Globe and its partner, the San Diego Public Library, have been chosen to host First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, a national traveling exhibition of the Shakespeare First Folio. It is one of the most valuable printed books in the world; a First Folio sold for $6.2 million in 2001 at Christie’s and another one for $5.2 million in 2006 in London. It originally sold for one British pound (20 shillings)—about $200 today.  More

The Old Globe Announces Cast of PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE

Pericles - Old GlobeThe Old Globe has announced the cast and creative team for the Old Globe/University of San Diego Graduate Theatre Program presentation of William Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre, directed by Ray Chambers, running Nov. 15 – 23. (Opening night is Saturday, Nov.15 at 8:00 pm.).

Pericles, Prince of Tyre is a startling epic of the trials, heartbreak, and redemption of a warrior who must navigate the dangerous currents of human corruption and angry fate. Join him as he travels across the treacherous oceans of North Africa, ancient Syria, Turkey, and Greece and is forever changed by the comically exotic and morally vague figures he meets. Love, betrayal, laughter, and adventure unfold in this engrossing, yet seldom produced, Shakespearean gem.  More

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