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Celebrate HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. SHAKESPEARE! With A Free Public AXIS Event


Celebrate HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. SHAKESPEARE! With A Free Public AXIS Event

The Old Globe invites people of all ages from San Diego and beyond to join us once again in celebrating our resident playwright William Shakespeare with Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare! on Saturday, April 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the Globe's campus in Balboa Park. The Bard's birthday-his 455th!-is a fitting and festive reason to recognize his countless contributions to arts and culture around the world. This exciting day for the whole family will include birthday games and activities, hosted by Globe Arts Engagement Programs Associate and Teaching Artist Damon J. Shearer.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare! is open to the public, part of the Globe's free AXIS event series, which is committed to making theatre matter to more people as a public good.

The celebration will include NEA BIG READ: Traveling Symphony's Shakespeare in Exile, presented by Write Out Loud featuring a traveling troupe-style presentation from Station Eleven; followed by a Romeo and Juliet masquerade-ball dance demonstration and workshop, choreographed and instructed by Matt Carny from San Diego Ballet; a safe sword-fighting demonstration and workshop instructed by Ben Cole from North Coast Repertory Theatre; and a sonnet-writing competition presentation by The Old Globe/USD Shiley M.F.A.s Carlos Angel Barajas, Yadira Correa, and Morgan Taylor. The lucky winner will get a pair of tickets to one of our great productions in the 2019 Summer Shakespeare Festival!

There will also be craft stations that will feature cookie-decorating, ruff-making with Globe Master Teaching Artist Lisel Gorell-Getz, face painting, and a sonnet-writing competition station, along with lawn games and Elizabethan props for photo opportunities! Explore a Globe theatre open house from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., featuring a Shakespeare-inspired costume display by Globe Resident Costume Design Associate Charlotte DeVaux Shields.

"'It is my birthday,' says Cleopatra in Act III of the great play Shakespeare wrote about her, and though the line may not be one of the Bard's most famous, it's still fitting for this particular day," said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. "Shakespeare is the lifeblood of The Old Globe, and the Globe is central to San Diego. We've planned a great celebration for his 455th, a day of fun for the whole family with music, costumes, performances, games, and sonnets. I know it's going to be a blast, and I look forward to welcoming everybody to join us."

AXIS is supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Financial support is provided by The City of San Diego.

The Old Globe is located in San Diego's Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park. Guests may also be dropped off in front of the Mingei International Museum. For additional parking information visit For directions and up-to-date information, please visit

One of the ways The Old Globe's Arts Engagement team exemplifies its mission to make theatre matter to more people is through a program called AXIS, where free cultural programs on the Globe's Copley Plaza are led by local artists and craftspeople. 9.5 million visitors pass through Balboa Park each year. The Old Globe strives to engage this population as we transform our non-performance space into a participatory art venue, utilizing the Globe's unique physical location as an opportunity for connectivity and creative placemaking. AXIS is an effort to broaden our concept of audience, extending beyond regular ticket-holders and encompassing diverse, multigenerational constituencies from communities across San Diego County.

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