Old Globe Opens New Performance Space
The Old Globe Theatre presents an early holiday gift to the San Diego theatre community with the completion of the The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. The theatre hosts a month-long series of events celebrating the opening of the new performance space, which includes a newly-constructed four-level facility housing the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center, Hattox Hall, Viterbi Family Lobby, Lady Carolyn’s Pub and Donald and Darlene Shiley Terrace.
For nearly 75 years, the Tony Award-winning Old Globe has played an integral part on the cultural stage of San Diego, helping to shape the city’s heritage and serving as a prominent Southern California landmark. The new building and completely redesigned Copley Plaza complement the Elizabethan architectural style of the Old Globe campus while blending seamlessly with the historic structures of Balboa Park. Since its 1935 debut during the California Pacific International Exposition, the Globe has become the sixth largest theater in the United States.
“The completion of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center and Copley Plaza marks a significant milestone in the history of The Old Globe,” said Executive Producer Lou Spisto. “Education has played a significant role in the Globe’s mission and the Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center provides a dedicated area to accommodate new educational programs with new technical resources. Our previous second stage had many physical limitations and, after more than 40 years, was technically outdated. The new Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre is a modern arena stage where we can continue to reexamine the classics, present plays from the canon and commission and develop exciting new works.”
Five special events will take place in December to celebrate the completion of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center and Copley Plaza:
- Dec. 7 – Dedication Ceremony: A Dedication Ceremony for the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center will take place on Monday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. on Copley Plaza. This festive occasion will feature an unveiling ceremony with remarks by Executive Producer Lou Spisto, Board Chairman Donald Cohn, Conrad Prebys and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.
- Dec. 7 – Inaugural Gala: Some Enchanted Evening, the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center Inaugural Gala, begins at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 and includes a reception, dinner and a performance in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre by Kelli O’Hara and Paulo Szot, the stars of Broadway’s South Pacific. The orchestra will be conducted by Ted Sperling. O’Hara and Szot will perform the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, and In Our House, a new work commemorating the opening of the Theatre Center created by opera composer Jake Heggie (Dead Man Walking) and lyricist Mark Campbell. The black tie event begins with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the performance at 7 p.m. and dinner at 8:30 p.m.
- Dec. 11-20 – I Do! I Do!: Real-life married couple Paige Davis and Patrick Page star in a special engagement of I Do! I Do! in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre Dec. 11-20. The musical by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks) spans five decades in the life of a married couple – from the nervousness of their wedding day to the wisdom of old age. Opening night is Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $39 to $85 and can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Globe box office.
- Dec. 12 – Open House: The Old Globe hosts an Open House for the Theatre Center on Saturday Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This free event provides the public with an up-close look at the Globe’s new facilities. Guided tours will lead guests through all four levels of the Theatre Center, from beneath the stage to the top floor’s Shiley Terrace. Staff will be available to answer any questions about the new building and other Globe activities.
- Dec. 20 – Grinch Family Day: Grinch Family Day, an innovative family event benefitting the Globe’s education and community programs in the Education Center, will be held on Sunday, Dec. 20, 10-1 p.m. A morning of crafts, games, treats and merriment on Copley Plaza is followed by a live performance of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! in the Old Globe Theatre at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. Grinch Family Day tickets are $75 for children and $100 for adults. VIP tickets are $100 for children and $125 for adults. VIP ticket holders receive premium theater seating. All proceeds support the Globe’s education and community programs for young people. For tickets to Grinch Family Day, contact the Globe Box Office at (619) 23-GLOBE.
The intimate 250-seat arena-style Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre features a fully-trapped stage, state-of-the-art acoustics, two stage level entrances, plush seating and complete access for patrons with disabilities. The facility also includes dressing rooms and a green room for the Globe’s three theaters. The inaugural production in the White Theatre is Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Lost in Yonkers, which open Jan. 23, 2010.
The 6,200-square-foot Karen and Donald Education Center provides a permanent home for the Globe’s many education programs serving both children and adults. The Globe began pioneering theater education and community programs in 1947 and today offers an extensive series of activities from creative writing, reading and literacy programs to performances for and by young students, and The Old Globe/University of San Diego Master of Fine Arts actor training program. Located on the second floor of the complex is Hattox Hall. The 2,000-square-foot multi-purpose space will be used for theater classes, guest lectures and student rehearsals. The Hall will also host play development readings, special events and musical performances by Globe artists in a cabaret setting. An additional 600-square-foot classroom is equipped with the latest technology for instructional presentations. Adjacent to the hall is the Donald and Darlene Shiley Terrace, offering spectacular views of the Globe campus and Balboa Park.
The newly designed Lady Carolyn’s Pub, named for longtime Globe Board member and donor Carolyn Yorston-Wellcome, is situated on the ground floor of the Theatre Center. The pub features a full bar and an expanded menu of seasonal and show-specific fare. The adjacent 144-seat outdoor pavilion provides a comfortable place for plaza dining and people watching for Globe patrons.
As the gathering space and outdoor lobby for all Globe venues, the 13,000-square-foot Copley Plaza has become a showplace of its own with a graceful circular design of newly-installed inlaid bricks and personalized granite pavers. The plaza also features new landscaping, benches, an outdoor dining pavilion and historically accurate light posts reflecting the Globe’s roots in the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. The plaza provides a space for a variety of public functions, including pre-performance lectures, “Nights at the Globe” receptions, the Grinch Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and the Globe’s annual open house event. The Copley Plaza was named in recognition of a gift from the Helen K. and James S. Copley Foundation in 1992.