The Old Globe Announces 2019 Free AXIS Performing Art Series
The Old Globe continues to make theatre matter to more people by welcoming everybody to enjoy a season of free performances, arts, crafts, and workshops on the Globe's Copley Plaza in Balboa Park. Over 16,000 people attended free AXIS events in 2018 that featured music, dance, original plays from the community, mariachi concerts, jazz for kids, and annual sonnet reading to celebrate the birthday of resident playwright, William Shakespeare. The 2018 AXIS season also included the first-ever sensory-friendly AXIS event with music and workshops during Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
"San Diego is filled with diverse artistry and cultural traditions that make our curation dynamic and incredibly fun," shared Director of Arts Engagement Freedome Bradley-Ballentine. "We have so many incredible options to choose from, like our annual Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!, as well as events featuring the traditions of many in our community and the funniest comics in town; making music together; and just having fun dancing with our neighbors. It brings people together. This is a vital way we make theatre matter all year round."
The 2019 AXIS series will once again feature more free and fun-filled activities. Outstanding professional and community partner organizations and personalities will teach, speak, play, perform, choreograph, and inspire on the Globe's Copley Plaza, with many opportunities for the public to participate at each of the events.
On Saturday, February 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (prior to the 2:00 p.m. matinee performance of Danai Gurira's Familiar, directed by Edward Torres), the 2019 AXIS series kicks off with I Love Africa, featuring Zimbabwe-born musician and vocalist Piwai in concert. She will also teach an African-dance workshop, followed by a drumming workshop with Nana Obrafo Yaw Asiedu. This event is for the whole family and will feature artistic activities, games, face painting, and the opportunity to create your own traditional African mask with the support of a Globe Teaching Artist.
In April will be a celebration of the Bard's 455th birthday! The yearly celebration of resident playwright, Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!, will take place on Saturday, April 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It 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, free crafts, and cookie decorating. Expert fight choreographer George Yé will host a sword-fighting demonstration and workshop. Audiences can learn techniques used in Globe Shakespeare productions in a fun and safe event, and enjoy both modern and Elizabethan music and dance by San Diego musicians and performers. This year, the traditional sonnet presentation will come in a reloaded version that will include a sonnet-writing competition-winners will get two free tickets to the Summer Shakespeare Festival season!
May will have you breaking out the bellbottoms for the first-ever evening concert in the Globe's free AXIS series on Thursday, May 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Take a trip back in time to the 1970s and the sound of Manila nightclubs with Manila Disco Fever in Concert. This music genre-inspired by American disco, funk, and pop-has seen resurgence in recent years. The Manila sound mixed Filipino musicality, catchy melodies, and a laid-back style to create what some call the Golden Age of Pinoy music. The dance floor will be open, so get ready to boogie!
June's AXIS event is a celebration of, and inspired by, the world premiere of Ken Ludwig's The Gods of Comedy on Saturday, June 15 at 6:00 p.m., and features a special pre-show event for the closing weekend of this delightful comedy. AXIS will present a free clean comedy show on the plaza featuring some of the best comics in town. A very fun evening for the whole family!
Also in June, Make Music San Diego brings the opportunity to not only play an instrument, but to create one and discover its own rhythm and sound! On June 21 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m., The Old Globe's AXIS program joins forces with You Are Musical Project (Y.A.M.P.) for a free participatory community music-making initiative in San Diego that brings together ancient and modern musical tools to engage everyday people in making music together in public spaces. The creators of Y.A.M.P. believe that every person is musical, and this experiential installation is fun, connecting, and full of discovery for all who come across it!
For the month of July, the Department of Arts Engagement is working on a very exciting sensory-friendly AXIS surround event for Pigpen Theatre Co.'s world premiere musical The Tale of Despereaux. Stay tuned for more exciting information and mark Saturday, July 20 on your calendar.
In September, for the second consecutive year, AXIS will commemorate Mexican Independence Day, also referred to as El Grito, with a free concert! Join us on Saturday, September 14 for Mexican Independence Day Celebration. From 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., this event will be filled with craft making, margaritas, and dancing. The special host will introduce and explain all aspects of this marvelous celebration, both in English and Español!
The Mexican traditions continue in November! The Globe's Copley Plaza will once again celebrate Day of the Dead with an event that will feature unique activities, artistic expression, and the premiere of a community-generated theatre piece developed in a coLAB workshop, a collaborative art-making process between community members and artists, turning stories into theatre and developing both artists and new work. This Day of the Dead celebration on Sunday, November 3 will bring a platform for community participants and local artists to share their community and traditions in this premiere performance, hosted by a professional guest director. There will be music, singing, dancing, a display of community altars, face painting, and sugar-skull decorating. Join us from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
2019 will close with the second consecutive Grinch Sensory-Friendly AXIS event. Date, schedule, and activities to be announced!
AXIS is supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Financial support is provided by The City of San Diego.
Photo: Courtesy of Piwai