The Old Globe postponed four-show festival to next summer 

 April 26, 2020

Since World War II, for the first time, the summer season of ‘Shakespeare under the stars’ at The ‘Old Globe’ will not be there. There was no opening date in sight due to the corona virus pandemic, for the summer season to begin. The pandemic resulted in a complete shutdown of many activities.

Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein declared that Balboa Park Theater will postpone its whole four-show festival season to summer 2021 because of uncertainties related to the corona virus pandemic across the world. Shows need lots of finances and lead to public gatherings, which are practically impossible at this time.

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This marks the first summer when founding artistic chief Craig Noel was able to get the Globe property after it was requisitioned by the U.S. Navy for medical needs and training after the attack on Pearl Harbor without outdoor Shakespeare at the Globe since 1947. A mix of ticketing options that range from credit toward a future ticket purchase to subscribers, a refund, or converting tickets into tax-deductible donations to the theater is offered by the staff of the Globe box office.

Most of the major theaters in the nation have already quit their summer productions. However, Edelstein said in making their decision, the Globe’s board and management held off as long as possible. But it became impossible to hold out any longer with so many unknowns.

Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, USA
Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, USA

The central plaza area of Balboa Park is still closed to the public. The four-step business reopening strategy of Gov. Gavin Newsom is in the final phase for Live Theaters. The guidelines of Labor unions for actors and design professionals have yet to be released for the working conditions required to protect their members’ safety. Edelstein comments that there’s the unknown of when audiences will feel excellent and comfortable returning to the theater.

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Until mid-2021, some large theaters of the U.S. have announced plans to shut down entirely or maybe until a vaccine for coronavirus is available. But Edelstein confirmed the Globe is taking a smart and measured approach in parts because California is started to reopen, and San Diego has been hit less hard, comparatively, than some other large American cities.

For its fourth annual Final Draft, New Play Festival Submissions are accepted by Carlsbad’s New Village Arts through June 30, scheduled for Jan. 7-10, 2021. Along with 10-minute plays for an evening-long program of the short scripts, full-length and one-act plays and musical scripts can be submitted. The contest is allowed to playwrights in and around San Diego County.

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Edelstein said that unless they absolutely have to, they just don’t see any reason to fold the tent. The Globe has made a decision to not precipitate at the staff and board level, which means nothing will be done really dire until the latest possible moment arrives.

Summer 2021 for the four festival productions will include two outdoor Shakespeare plays, “The Taming of the Shrew” directed by Shana Cooper, and “Henry V” this is directed by Daniel Sullivan, both in Lowell Davies Festival Theatre of the 620-seat.

Old Globe Theatre, San Diego
Old Globe Theatre, San Diego

Also, moving back is an adaptation of Frederick Knott’s mystery “Dial M for Murder” in Jeffrey Hatcher’s world premiere, which is in the 250-seat Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre. And the 1967 counter-culture musical “Hair,” directed by James Vasquez, will be played next summer in the Old Globe Theatre of 580-seat.

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Edelstein said that he holds out hope for the production of the courthouse drama “Faceless” in the Old Globe. However, it still can present its planned show by presenting it in the outdoor theater, weather, and social-distancing as per the permitted measures. And he would love to give the 23rd annual production of “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” including the company’s 2020 Christmas shows. It is impossible to predict far into the future with pandemic news changing so rapidly.

Edelstein said that the only thing observed and analyzed under such a situation is the standard operating procedure by Friday on Monday is inconceivable. We have to adapt to every set of circumstances as the situation is changing so rapidly. The watchwords here are Nimbleness and flexibility.

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Edelstein said in the meantime, the staff with the federal Paycheck Protection Program loan, small donations from viewers, and emergency philanthropic donations of its online programming and Globe is paying its bills. But the collapse of the financial markets will impact the ability of loyal donors to give in the future as the PPP money will run out eventually. Therefore, what everyone can do is the plan for every scenario.

At the Globe, the economic circumstances among donors are challenging, but everybody is grateful for a massive outpouring of support. Everybody is just being prudent and watchful and being as conservative as they can be.

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