There’s a little bit of England nestled in beautiful Balboa Park, where you’ll find the Old Globe Theatre, originally built in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition and modeled after Shakespeare’s own Globe Theater. However, it’s in the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre where the Old Globe does its three Shakespeare productions under the stars each summer. The other dozen shows that fill out the season (musicals, new plays, older favorites, the annual Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! musical) are done in the 580-seat Old Globe Theatre or the smaller Arena Stage.
To get a preview of what’s on the Old Globe’s stages from the comfort of home, look for the behind-the-scenes series “Backstage at the Globe” airing on UCSD-TV. Some pre-show events offered by the Old Globe include the Wine Lovers Night tasting, the Thank Globe It’s Friday bash with appetizers and live music from a local artist, and the Out At The Globe mixer for GLBT theater fans.
One of the Old Globe’s few, but significant, defects is that its events and shows seem a little out of reach for low-income theatergoers. Tickets start at $56 and if you aren’t a student or senior, the only option is to try for the limited number of $29 tickets sold at each show.
The Old Globe Information
- Public Transportation: Good (take bus 7 to Park Blvd./Presidents Way, where you can catch the free Balboa Park Tram to the Plaza de Panama stop, which is a short walk from the theater)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Performance schedule is Tuesday–Sunday
- Ticket Prices: $56–$64, limited number of $29 tickets available for most performances, discounts available for students, seniors, and military for most performances, discounts available for groups of 15 or more
- Subscriptions: Four-Play $141–$273, Eight-Play $242–$472. Subscription discounts available for full-time students, seniors, and military. Benefits include free ticket exchanges and discounts to the gift shop and area restaurants.