SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Balboa Park's Old Globe theater reopens its outdoor venue Friday for the first time since closing in March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a full lineup of virtual and in-person theater planned over the summer.
"We celebrate our return to live performance by thanking the generous San Diego community, which supported us so fulsomely over the past 14 months, by acknowledging the artists, staff and craftspeople who worked so hard to keep the theater's lights on in a dark time, and by remembering the real pain and loss experienced by so many as the pandemic raged on," said Barry Edelstein, The Old Globe's artistic director.
"Our reopening lineup is characterized by all the richness and vitality that audiences have come to expect from the Globe," Edelstein added. "There's comedy, drama and music, classic work and world premieres, and a wide range of theatrical forms, all created by our country's very finest artists."
The slate of upcoming programming is intended to tell stories ranging across many cultures and is created by a diverse group of writers and playwrights.
Friday's first performance will be the interactive Mad Libs-style collaboration program "Word Up! Live."
Hosted by Laura Z., the event is a word-based collaboration between audience and artists that features a new performing artist every week, as well as special community guests from around San Diego.
It was launched and streamed on The Old Globe's YouTube channel during the pandemic, and for the first time ever, audience members will gather in person to collaborate with the featured guest artists Miki Vale and Ric Scales, as well as with San Diego community guest Lorna De La Cruz, to create stories in the rhythmic and rhyming form of rap with the theme of "what it means to be somebody."
Prior to June 15, seating for all Globe events will be socially distanced regardless of vaccination status. All patrons, whether they are vaccinated or not, must wear a mask at all times while on The Old Globe's plaza or in the venues.
Masks must cover both nose and mouth. Gaiters, bandanas and coverings with exhalation vents are not permitted. A face shield will still require a face mask. For the safety of everyone, guests unable to wear proper face masks will not be admitted onto the plaza or into the Globe's venues.
The theater's two indoor venues are scheduled to be reopened in September.
For performances and events, visit www.TheOldGlobe.org.