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BWW Interview: Barry Edelstein and Michael Page from The Old Globe on how the theatre is helping people do their civic duty

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"In a democracy, there's no civic duty more important than voting"

BWW Interview: Barry Edelstein and Michael Page from The Old Globe on how the theatre is helping people do their civic duty

The Old Globe takes serving it's theatre loving community every seriously, and they won't let something like a pandemic slow them down from finding new ways to engage with their audience. Along with their virtual theatre productions, educational classes, and costume coloring opportunities, they now add Civic Partner to the list as an official Mail in Ballot Dropoff Location for the 2020 election. Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein & General Manager Michael Page talk about why they felt it was important for The Globe to help make it easier for people to cast their votes.

Barry Edlestein, Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director explains that just because the lights are currently dimmed on their stages, this is a perfect opportunity for The Globe to be a part of the San Diego, and national election stage.

The Old Globe believes that theatre is a public good. That is, that a theatre company exists to serve the community and provide value in many ways. For sure the Globe is an amazing place to see a play (or, in this moment, a virtual play), but it's so much more. We train future generations of artists; we bring participatory arts engagement programs to neighborhoods around our region; we work with incarcerated populations, homeless populations, senior, veterans, and more; we run lifelong learning and humanities programs that help people understand more about how theatre is made and what it can be.

We're here as a civic institution, a place of civic engagement, as well as a place of entertainment. The opportunity to be a ballot drop-off location is in line with this impulse. This is a way for a theatre to provide a needed and impactful public service, and to act as a gathering place for community. That we are located in Balboa Park, the geographic and cultural heart of San Diego, also encouraged us to open our building for the purpose.

Michael Page, the General Manager of The Old Globe says that once the decision was made he was happy to see how well it all came together with the Registrar of Voters.

It took just a couple of weeks to set up The Globe to be a ballot drop-off location. The Registrar of Voters was very responsive and helpful in getting everything set-up and explaining the rules. I'm quite thrilled that The Globe can be a drop-off location for the election and serve our community in this way

Theatre and democracy share roots in Ancient Greece, so it should be no surprise that theatre today still values and champions the democratic process. Edelstein syas it is an honor to participate in they way they are for the 2020 election.

In a democracy there's no civic duty more important than voting. We are glad and proud that San Diego's election authorities this year significantly expanded the number of drop-off locations so that our neighbors can exercise their franchise in a manner that's thoughtful, convenient, and safe. Theatre's roots are found at the very origin of democracy, when the ancient Greeks created this art as a forum for the consideration of important public questions. So it seems natural that theatre would be at the heart of the democratic process. There's so much at stake in this election, on the local, statewide, and national levels. We are honored to play a small part in making sure that as many people as possible get their vote counted and their voice heard.

The Old Globe is an official Mail Ballot Drop-Off location for the 2020 Presidential General Election and all ballots can be dropped off at The Old Globe Theatre from Tuesday, October 6 through Tuesday, November 3. Hours for ballot drop off are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, hours will be 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Any questions about mail ballot drop off should be directed to the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters: (858) 565-5800 or you can go to www.sdvote.com

For more information The Old Globe's virtual programs, or on their commitment to build Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in their theatre go to www.theoldglobe.org

Photo Credit: Ali Hisserich/ The Old Globe



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