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Press Release


The Theatre Center is Comprised of the Landmark Old Globe Theatre and the Newly Constructed Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center, Hattox Hall, Viterbi Family Lobby, Lady Carolyn’s Pub and Donald and Darlene Shiley Terrace

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 11, 2009)—Executive Producer Lou Spisto today announced a month-long series of events celebrating the opening of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. The Theatre Center incorporates the flagship Old Globe Theatre and a newly-constructed four-level facility housing the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center, Hattox Hall, Viterbi Family Lobby, Lady Carolyn’s Pub and Donald and Darlene Shiley Terrace.

For nearly 75 years, the Tony Award-winning Old Globe has played an integral part on the cultural stage of San Diego, helping to shape the city’s heritage and serving as a prominent Southern California landmark. The new building and completely redesigned Copley Plaza complement the Elizabethan architectural style of the Old Globe campus while blending seamlessly with the historic structures of Balboa Park. Since its 1935 debut during the California Pacific International Exposition, the Globe has become the sixth largest theater in the United States.

In March 2006, The Old Globe publicly launched a five-year $75 million “Securing a San Diego Landmark” Capital and Endowment Campaign to be completed prior to the Globe’s 75th Anniversary in June 2010. The goal of this campaign is to ensure the Theatre’s unparalleled level of artistic quality and secure its long-term stability through an increased endowment, new facilities and enhanced funding for annual programs.

With an extraordinary leadership gift toward the endowment and artistic fund components of the campaign, Donald and Darlene Shiley made a $20 million pledge, and in recognition the stage of the Old Globe Theatre was named the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage. Additionally, the Donald and Darlene Shiley Terrace on the new Education Center is a continuation of recognition for prior gifts from Mr. and Mrs. Shiley during their more than 20 years of consistent and generous support of The Old Globe.

Included in the larger $75 million campaign is $22 million designated for construction, of which Mr. Prebys contributed $10.4 million. The new theater is named for Sheryl and Harvey White in recognition of their $6 million gift, the Education Center for Karen and Donald Cohn in recognition of their $5.35 million commitment, Hattox Hall for Kathryn Hattox in recognition of her $5 million commitment and the new theater’s lobby for Erna and Andrew Viterbi in recognition of their $2 million gift.

“The completion of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center and Copley Plaza marks a significant milestone in the history of The Old Globe,” said Lou Spisto. “Education has played a significant role in the Globe’s mission and the Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center provides a dedicated area to accommodate new educational programs with new technical resources. Our previous second stage had many physical limitations and, after more than 40 years, was technically outdated. The new Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre is a modern arena stage where we can continue to reexamine the classics, present plays from the canon and commission and develop exciting new works.

“The completely renovated Copley Plaza provides an outdoor lobby and gathering space for the hundreds of thousands of San Diegan’s and tourists who visit the Globe on a yearly basis. The stunning plaza, with its new landscaping and circular patterned stone work, integrates our three theaters while providing a location for special events, a space to catch a bite to eat before a show, or a delightful spot to simply sit and enjoy the beauty of Balboa Park.

“‘I thank our generous donors, the architectural team and our wonderful staff for helping to make this project a reality. This extraordinary transformation of The Old Globe campus will help to ensure the cultural relevance and vitality of this beloved institution for many years to come.”

The intimate 250-seat arena-style Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre features a fully-trapped stage, state-of-the-art acoustics, two stage level entrances, plush seating and complete access for patrons with disabilities. The facility also includes dressing rooms and a green room for the Globe’s three theaters. The inaugural production in the White Theatre is Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Lost in Yonkers, which will run Jan. 23 – Feb. 28, 2010.

The 6,200-square-foot Karen and Donald Education Center provides a permanent home for the Globe’s many education programs serving both children and adults. The Globe began pioneering theater education and community programs in 1947 and today offers an extensive series of activities from creative writing, reading and literacy programs to performances for and by young students, and The Old Globe/University of San Diego Master of Fine Arts actor training program. Located on the second floor of the complex is Hattox Hall. The 2,000-square-foot multi-purpose space will be used for theater classes, guest lectures and student rehearsals. The Hall will also host play development readings, special events and musical performances by Globe artists in a cabaret setting. An additional 600-square-foot classroom is equipped with the latest technology for instructional presentations. Adjacent to the hall is the Donald and Darlene Shiley Terrace, offering spectacular views of the Globe campus and Balboa Park.

The newly designed Lady Carolyn’s Pub, named for longtime Globe Board member and donor Carolyn Yorston-Wellcome, is situated on the ground floor of the Theatre Center. The pub features a full bar and an expanded menu of seasonal and show-specific fare. The adjacent 144-seat outdoor pavilion provides a comfortable place for plaza dining and people watching for Globe patrons.

As the gathering space and outdoor lobby for all Globe venues, the 13,000-square-foot Copley Plaza has become a showplace of its own with a graceful circular design of newly-installed inlaid bricks and personalized granite pavers. The plaza also features new landscaping, benches, an outdoor dining pavilion and historically accurate light posts reflecting the Globe’s roots in the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. The plaza provides a space for a variety of public functions, including pre-performance lectures, “Nights at the Globe” receptions, the Grinch Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and the Globe’s annual open house event. The Copley Plaza was named in recognition of a gift from the Helen K. and James S. Copley Foundation in 1992.

Five special events will take place in December to celebrate the completion of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center and Copley Plaza.

A Dedication Ceremony for the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center will take place on Monday, Dec. 7 at 5:00 p.m. on Copley Plaza. This festive occasion will feature an unveiling ceremony with remarks by Executive Producer Lou Spisto, Board Chairman Donald Cohn, Conrad Prebys and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.

“Some Enchanted Evening,” the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center Inaugural Gala, begins at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 and includes a reception, dinner and a performance in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre by Kelli O’Hara and Paulo Szot, the stars of Broadway’s South Pacific. The orchestra will be conducted by Ted Sperling. O’Hara and Szot will perform the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, and “In Our House,” a new work commemorating the opening of the Theatre Center created by opera composer Jake Heggie (Dead Man Walking) and lyricist Mark Campbell. The black tie event begins with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the performance at 7:00 p.m. and dinner at 8:30 p.m.

Real-life married couple Paige Davis and Patrick Page star in a special engagement of I Do! I Do! in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre Dec. 11 – Dec. 20. The musical by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks) spans five decades in the life of a married couple – from the nervousness of their wedding day to the wisdom of old age. Previews take place on Dec. 11 at 8:00 p.m. and Dec. 12 at 2:00 p.m. Opening night is Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8:00 p.m. Ticket prices range from $39 to $85 and can be purchased online at, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Globe box office.

The Old Globe will host an Open House for the Theatre Center on Saturday Dec. 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This free event provides the public with an up-close look at the Globe’s new facilities. Guided tours will lead guests through all four levels of the Theatre Center, from beneath the stage to the top floor’s Shiley Terrace. Staff will be available to answer any questions about the new building and other Globe activities.

Grinch Family Day, an innovative family event benefitting the Globe’s education and community programs in the Education Center, will be held on Sunday, Dec. 20 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. A morning of crafts, games, treats and merriment on Copley Plaza is followed by a live performance of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! in the Old Globe Theatre at 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. Grinch Family Day tickets are $75 for children and $100 for adults. VIP tickets are $100 for children and $125 for adults. VIP ticket holders receive premium theater seating. All proceeds support the Globe’s education and community programs for young people. For tickets to Grinch Family Day, contact the Globe Box Office at (619) 23-GLOBE.

Conrad Prebys Theatre Center construction began in June 2008 and was facilitated by Project Management Advisors, Inc. (PMA) in Solana Beach, who serve as the project manager for the facilities plan; LMN Architects of Seattle, WA, who has been recognized for its ability to deliver outstanding design for civic and public buildings; Joshua Dachs of Fisher Dachs Associates, New York, N.Y., who served as the project’s Theatre Consultant; David Reed Landscape Architects, San Diego, CA, for Copley Plaza and the surrounding landscape; David Marshall of Heritage Architecture & Planning, San Diego, California, a consultant on the project who ensured compliance with the historical requirements of Balboa Park; and the project’s General Contractor, DPR Construction, Inc., providing support for cost estimating and construction planning. Additional participants in the construction project include Hope Engineering, serving as the structural engineer; RBF Consultants, serving as civil engineer; Jaffe Holden Acoustics, serving as acoustic and audio-visual consultants; TKG Consulting Engineers, serving as MEP engineer and Horton Lees Brogden consulting on specialty lighting.

The Globe’s year-long 75th Anniversary celebration will begin with the recently announced 2010 Summer Season. Acclaimed director Adrian Noble is the Artistic Director of the 2010 Shakespeare Festival and will direct Shakespeare’s King Lear (June 12 – Sept. 26) and Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III (June 19 – Sept. 24). Presented in repertory, the Shakespeare Festival will also include The Taming of the Shrew (June 16 – Sept. 26). The season also features the World Premiere of the Broadway-bound musical, Robin and the 7 Hoods (July 14 – Aug. 22) directed by Casey Nicholaw with lyrics by Sammy Cahn and music by Jimmy Van Heusen, and the West Coast Premiere of The Last Romance (July 30 – Sept. 5), a romantic comedy by Joe DiPietro starring television icon, Marion Ross. Tickets to the Globe’s 2010 Summer Season are currently available by subscription only.

SEASON SUBSCRIPTIONS offer substantial savings with special subscriber benefits. Subscriptions can be purchased online at, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE [234-5623] or by visiting the box office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Subscriptions to the Globe’s Summer Season range from $75 to $365. Five-play packages range from $146 to $365. Four-play packages (Festival plus musical) range from $117 to $309. Shakespeare Festival packages (3 plays) range from $75 to $225. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and younger, seniors and groups of 10 or more.

LOCATION: The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. There are several free parking lots available throughout the park. Valet parking is also available ($10). For additional parking information visit

CALENDAR: The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Globe/USD Professional Actor Training Program) (11/14-11/22), Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (11/21-12/27), I Do! I Do! (12/11-12/20), Whisper House (1/13-2/21), Lost in Yonkers (1/23-2/28), Street Lights (2/20-2/28), Boeing-Boeing (3/13-4/18).

PHOTO EDITORS: Digital images of The Old Globe’s productions are available at

The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional regional theaters and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for 74 years. Under the direction of Executive Producer Louis G. Spisto, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre, the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre and the 612-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theater's education and community programs. Numerous world premieres such as The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Catered Affair, and the annual holiday musical, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theaters across the country.

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