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The Old Globe Announces New Initiative WHAT IS THEATRE NOW?


WHAT IS THEATRE NOW? features Justin Emeka, Patricia McGregor, Johanna McKeon, Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, James Vásquez, and Whitney White.

The Old Globe Announces New Initiative WHAT IS THEATRE NOW?

The Old Globe today announced a new initiative in which it has asked six visionary theatre artists this one question: What Is Theatre Now?

As the prolonged closure of The Old Globe's performance spaces enters its sixth month, the Globe has been creating a wide range of digital programs in its Arts Engagement, Humanities, and Artistic Departments, all aimed at bringing the transformative power of theatre to audiences at home. The Globe is carefully planning for the day when it can once again gather the community in its theatres and share the art form beloved by so many. And the Globe is taking steps to become more equitable, inclusive, and just, as it heeds the call of an urgent nationwide appeal for racial equity and social justice.

All of these efforts come together in What Is Theatre Now? These six gifted artists will share their insights with the Globe on themes that are universal, wide-ranging, and especially resonant in this time of upheaval and change. They are imagining forms and technologies that might translate onto digital platforms or live theatre, or might introduce new hybrids that blend live and virtual work. The Globe has asked each of these artists to further develop their ideas, and the theatre stands ready to provide them with resources to help bring their work to deep and rich life. This new initiative will inform the Globe's trajectory moving forward, even as it reshapes and remakes this ancient art form for an extraordinary new era.

The group comprises Justin Emeka, Patricia McGregor, Johanna McKeon, Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, James Vásquez, and Whitney White.

"The day the Globe was forced to close its doors in March, Old Globe Associate Artistic Directors Freedome Bradley-Ballentine and Justin Waldman and our artistic staff began a process of imagining what theatre might look like while audiences shelter at home," said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. "Reinventing a 2,000-year-old art form in a matter of months is not for the faint of heart, so we turned to the most visionary artists in our orbit, knowing that their bright imaginations would guide our inquiry. The six remarkable theatremakers in this cohort have real and authentic ties to the Globe, sincere affection for San Diego and its audiences, a huge range of interests, talents, and insights, and a wide diversity of backgrounds. Our conversations have already been inspiring and beautiful. From this collaboration, exciting new works will emerge that will fill the Globe's digital platforms-and soon, we hope, its stages-with thrilling theatre in many forms. We look forward to sharing the fruits of their answers to the question 'What Is Theatre Now' as they develop in the time ahead."

Note: All in-person Globe productions and events have been postponed until further notice; all dates are subject to change. In the meantime, the Globe develops and presents a wide array of free online programs to continue reaching the San Diego community. These currently include a free commissioned short-plays project Play At Home and The Old Globe Coloring Book. Current arts engagement programs include the exploration of modern poetry The Poet's Tree; at-home theatre program The Living Room Play Workshop; Voces de la Comunidad, the Spanish-language version of Community Voices, our popular playwriting program; collaborative Mad Libs-style program Word Up!; and Creative Youth Studio, a series of professional development opportunities for youth and high-school theatre enthusiasts. Coming soon are new middle school and high school Globe to Go focused resources, a part of School in the Park, which offers free downloadable K-5 resources for teaching; season 2 of Reflecting Shakespeare TV, a digital version of the transformative initiative offered at prisons; Behind the Curtain: Art of Protest; Community Voices: Comedy Writing; and the sixth annual AXIS event Day of the Dead/Día de Muertos.

Programs and videos archived on our website at and on our YouTube channel, available for viewing at any time from the comfort of your home, including the world premiere of Bill Irwin's In-Zoom; On Book: The Old Globe's Shakespeare Reading Group; outreach from familiar Globe artists in Act Breaks and Flashbacks; Soap It Up with students from The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program; and Barry Edelstein's hit presentation Thinking Shakespeare Live! and his series Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets! Archived arts engagement programs include the Community Voices playwriting workshop; Behind the Curtain and its offshoots, the Spanish-language Detrás del Telón and Behind the Curtain: Technical Assistance forum; check-in program with Globe-commissioned playwrights Playwrights Unstuck; and season 1 of Reflecting Shakespeare TV.

The Tony Award-winning The Old Globe is one of the country's leading professional not-for-profit regional theatres. Now in its 85th year, the Globe is San Diego's flagship performing arts institution, and it serves a vibrant community with theatre as a public good. Under the leadership of Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Audrey S. Geisel Managing Director Timothy J. Shields, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 16 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages, including its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people annually attend Globe productions and participate in the theatre's artistic and arts engagement programs. Its nationally prominent Arts Engagement Department provides an array of participatory programs that make theatre matter to more people in neighborhoods throughout the region. Humanities programs at the Globe and around the city broaden the community's understanding of theatre art in all its forms. The Globe also boasts a range of new play development programs with professional and community-based writers, as well as the renowned The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. Numerous world premieres-such as 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Bright Star, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas!-have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.

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