The Old Globe regards William Shakespeare as their premiere resident playwright, whose works and universal themes continue to resonate more than 400 years after his plays were written. For many San Diegans, their ability to understand and appreciate the wonders of the Bard during our Summer Shakespeare Festival has increased exponentially since they joined us for Thinking Shakespeare Live! During this unwanted intermission, the Globe’s Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein-assisted by Globe veteran classical actors Grantham Coleman, Megan Ketch, and Richard Thomas-will pivot to offer a free live online version, taking place on Tuesday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m. on The Old Globe’s Facebook page.
During this 90-minute exploration of the language of Shakespeare, Edelstein reveals a performer’s approach to Shakespearean language so audiences may easily understand the poetry of the Bard. Consistently one of our most popular offerings, this special program is based on Edelstein’s book Thinking Shakespeare: A How-To Guide for Student Actors, Directors, and Anyone Else Who Wants to Feel More Comfortable with the Bard. An ideal introduction to Shakespeare for families and young audiences as well as an exciting new look at the playwright for Bardophiles, Edelstein has performed this across the country, including at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. The book was re-released in a 2018 revised edition by Theatre Communications Group.
In addition, Edelstein returns with further free online editions of Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets! on Tuesdays, May 12 and May 26 at 6:30 p.m. Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, each only 14 lines long, contain some of his most beautiful and moving poetry. This “social-distance” expansion of Thinking Shakespeare Live! introduces the sonnets and delves into one masterpiece of the form, exploring its language and how it works, and how it relates to Shakespeare’s work for the stage. Thousands watched the first three Sonnets!; join on The Old Globe’s Facebook page.
“Doing Thinking Shakespeare Live! as we gear up for our Summer Shakespeare Festival every year is always a joy for me,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “In our current strange circumstances, with our theatres closed, we can’t gather in Balboa Park, but we can meet virtually. And it turns out that Shakespeare translates extremely well to the digital world. This fun hour is a way to keep our Shakespeare chops in good form and keep our love of this writer and his work front and center. Until we reopen, we can listen to and luxuriate in these extraordinary words even as we learn a little about how they work in the rehearsal room, in the hands of experienced actors and directors. I’m really looking forward to sharing a fun and fast-moving program with audiences in San Diego and beyond.”
Barry Edelstein, Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director of The Old Globe, is a stage director, producer, author, and educator. He has directed over half of the Bard’s plays. His Globe directing credits include The Winter’s Tale, Othello, The Twenty-Seventh Man, the world premiere of Rain, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Hamlet, the world premiere of The Wanderers, the American premiere of Life After, and Romeo and Juliet. He also directed All’s Well That Ends Well as the first production of Globe for All, and last January he oversaw the Globe’s inaugural Classical Directing Fellowship program. As Director of the Shakespeare Initiative at The Public Theater (2008-2012), Edelstein oversaw all of the company’s Shakespearean productions and its educational, community outreach, and artist-training programs. He was also Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company (1998-2003). His book Thinking Shakespeare is the standard text on American Shakespearean acting. He is also the author of Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions.
Grantham Coleman starred in the title role of Hamlet at The Old Globe in 2017. He has appeared on Broadway in The Great Society and Off Broadway in Much Ado About Nothing, Buzzer, Choir Boy, One Night, We Are Proud to Present…, and As You Like It. His regional credits include The Tempest, Sweat, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. His film and television credits include Against All Enemies, “The Carmichael Show,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Doubt,” 11.22.63, “Murder in the First,” “The Night Shift,” and “The Americans.” He is a graduate of The Juilliard School (Group 41).
Megan Ketch last appeared at the Globe in Double Indemnity in 2013. She recently starred in the Syfy pilot “Tremors” opposite Kevin Bacon and was nominated for an Ovation Award for Lead Actress in a Play for the West Coast premiere of Cry It Out by Molly Smith Metzler. She starred in the Off Broadway premiere of Bess Wohl’s new play Continuity at Manhattan Theatre Club. Before that she led the summer series “American Gothic” on CBS and recurred on CW’s hit dramedy “Jane the Virgin.” After completing her masters at New York University Graduate Acting, she was cast as the lead in the ABC pilot “Gotham” directed by Francis Lawrence, and made her feature debut in the comedy The Big Wedding. Her film credits include The Incredible Jessica James and Joachim Trier’s Louder Than Bombs. She has played recurring roles on “The Affair,” “Reckless,” “Blue Bloods,” “The Good Wife,” and “Under the Dome,” and most recently she appeared on the CBS breakout drama “Evil” and Netflix’s “Glow.”
Richard Thomas previously starred at The Old Globe as Jimmy Carter in Camp David in 2016 and as Iago in Othello in 2014. He is an Emmy Award-winning actor who has appeared in over 100 films and television series, and a Tony Award-nominated veteran of Broadway, Off Broadway, and regional theatre.
The Old Globe believes that theatre matters, now more than ever, and is determined to continue to serve the public through theatre art. We consider it paramount that we continue to be a leader in programming for our community, and continue to support and maintain valued connections with those hungering for artistic content and continued personal growth. We continue to add free online programs and new dates for existing ones, all part of The Old Globe’s ongoing commitment to serve the public good by providing programs that make theatre matter to more people.
All Globe productions and events have been postponed until further notice; all dates are subject to change. Meantime, the Globe has developed and is presenting a wide array of free online programs to continue reaching out to the San Diego community. These include the World Premiere of Bill Irwin’s In-Zoom, a twice-weekly On Book: The Old Globe’s Shakespeare Reading Group, a free commissioned short plays project Play At Home, and outreach from familiar Globe artists in Act Breaks and Flashbacks. The indefatigable Arts Engagement team has pivoted several community-venue-based projects online, with weekly offerings of Community Voices; Behind the Curtain and its offshoots, the Spanish-language Detrás del Telón and advanced Behind the Curtain: Technical Assistance forum; and Word Up!; as well as our fifth annual Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare! online party, and many other great community-based projects in the development pipeline.
Check out www.TheOldGlobe.org for schedules and updates