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Press Release



SAN DIEGO (Oct. 16, 2012)—The Board of Directors of The Old Globe today announced the appointment of Barry Edelstein as Artistic Director.  A nationally-recognized director, producer, author and educator, Edelstein will work together with Managing Director Michael G. Murphy to lead San Diego’s flagship arts institution.  Both Edelstein and Murphy will report jointly to the Board of Directors.  Currently the Director of The Public Theater’s Shakespeare Initiative in New York City, Edelstein will assume the artistic directorship of The Old Globe on Nov. 1 and will reside full-time in San Diego in January 2013.

“Barry Edelstein and Michael Murphy will give The Old Globe a world-class theatrical leadership team and open up a future for the Globe that's even brighter than its illustrious heritage,” said Board Chair Harold W. Fuson Jr.  “Barry will be a terrific asset to San Diego, helping secure the city’s cultural reputation in the same way our universities make San Diego the center of cutting-edge research.  Everyone associated with the Globe owes a great debt of gratitude to Elaine Darwin and the Search Committee for bringing us a leader of Barry’s stature.”

Edelstein is widely recognized as one of the leading authorities on the works of William Shakespeare in the United States, having directed nearly half of the Bard’s works.  He is the author of Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions and Thinking Shakespeare, which New York magazine called “a must-read for actors” and is now considered the standard text on American Shakespearean acting.  As Director of the Shakespeare Initiative at The Public Theater, he oversees all of the company’s Shakespearean productions, as well as The Public’s extensive educational, community outreach and artist-training programs.  He was Associate Producer of The Public’s recent Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino.

Prior to his work with The Public, Edelstein was the Artistic Director of the Classic Stage Company in New York City.  There Edelstein produced and directed some of New York’s most memorable classical productions.  Under his leadership, the Off Broadway theater doubled in size and was recognized with every major theater award, including six Obie Awards and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work. 

Edelstein’s Shakespearean directorial credits include productions of The Winter’s Tale with David Strathairn, Timon of Athens with Richard Thomas, As You Like It with Gwyneth Paltrow, Julius Caesar with Jeffrey Wright and The Merchant of Venice featuring Ron Leibman’s Obie Award-winning performance as Shylock.  His additional credits include the Lucille Lortel Award-winning revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons; the world premiere of Steve Martin’s The Underpants, which he commissioned; Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist; and Molière’s The Misanthrope, starring Uma Thurman in her stage debut.  He is currently rehearsing the world premiere of The Twenty-Seventh Man by renowned fiction writer Nathan Englander, which he developed with the author and which will begin performances at The Public Theater on Nov. 7.

“Our staff and artists are elated that Barry is joining The Old Globe,” said Managing Director Michael G. Murphy.  “His extraordinary background in contemporary plays, classics and Shakespeare, in addition to his commitment to the creation and development of new works, is a perfect match with the Globe’s history of theatrical tradition and artistic innovation.  Barry’s energy and intense love of theater are infectious, and I look forward to welcoming him and his family to San Diego.”

“I am deeply honored and beyond thrilled to be appointed Artistic Director of one of this country’s greatest theaters,” said Barry Edelstein.  “The Old Globe’s history is one of unparalleled excellence, and it will be my privilege to work alongside Michael Murphy to build on that history and guide the theater into a new period of excitement and achievement.  I believe that a thriving theater is vital to the life of a vibrant city, and I am delighted that this opportunity will bring me and my family to one of the most spectacular cities in America.  I am grateful to the Board and Search Committee for selecting me, and I cannot wait to get to work.”

The Globe’s Search Committee worked closely with former Old Globe Managing Director Tom Hall (1981 – 2000) of AlbertHall&Associates on the international search for an artistic director to complete the theater’s return to a dual leadership structure.  The Board of Directors named Michael G. Murphy as Managing Director on April 4 of this year.  Chaired by Elaine Bennet Darwin, members of the committee included Board Members Donald L. Cohn, Kathryn Hattox, Evelyn Mack Truitt, Harvey P. White and Vicki L. Zeiger.  Harold W. Fuson Jr., Michael Murphy and Interim Artistic Advisor Richard Seer served as advisors to the committee.

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 over 75 years.  The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, both part of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 605-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.

To learn more about Barry Edelstein, click here.

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Barry Edelstein is the Director of the Shakespeare Initiative at The Public Theater.  In this capacity he oversees all of the company’s Shakespearean productions, as well as The Public’s extensive educational, community outreach and artist-training programs.  He was Associate Producer of The Public’s recent Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino.  Other productions he has supervised include As You Like It directed by Daniel Sullivan; King Lear with Sam Waterston and Bill Irwin; All’s Well That Ends Well directed by Daniel Sullivan; Measure for Measure directed by David Esbjornson; The Winter’s Tale directed by Michael Greif; Twelfth Night with Anne Hathaway; Othello with Philip Seymour Hoffman; and Hamlet with Michael Stuhlbarg.  He supervised the addition of Shakespeare to The Public’s “Public LAB” producing series with his own production of Timon of Athens with Richard Thomas in the title role, and he supervised Love’s Labour’s Lost, Titus Andronicus and the upcoming Troilus and Cressida in that series.  He launched The Public’s “Mobile Unit” tour to prisons, homeless shelters and other underserved audiences with Measure for Measure and Richard III.  His earlier directing work at The Public includes Julius Caesar starring Jeffrey Wright at The Public’s Delacorte Theater in Central Park and The Merchant of Venice featuring Ron Leibman’s Obie Award-winning portrayal of Shylock.  This body of work led NPR to call Edelstein “one of the country’s leading Shakespeareans.”

From 1998-2003 Edelstein was Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company, where he directed Richard III starring John Turturro and Julianna Margulies and The Winter’s Tale starring David Strathairn.  At the Williamstown Theatre Festival, he directed As You Like It starring Gwyneth Paltrow.  His other New York credits include the world premiere of Steve Martin’s The Underpants, which he commissioned; Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist; and Moliere’s The Misanthrope starring Uma Thurman in her stage debut (all during his tenure at Classic Stage Company); Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (Williamstown, then Roundabout Theatre Company; Lucille Lortel Award for Best Revival); and Steve Martin’s Wasp and Other Plays (The Public Theater).  He has directed many contemporary and classic plays at leading regional theaters.  His first film, My Lunch with Larry, starring Lisa Edelstein and Greg Germann, played the festival circuit in 2006 and 2007.  Upcoming: The premiere of novelist Nathan Englander’s first play, The Twenty-Seventh Man, at The Public Theater.

Edelstein’s book Bardisms: Shakespeare for all Occasions (HarperCollins, 2009) “instructs and entertains” (New York Post) and was re-released in paperback by Harper Perennial in 2010.  His book Thinking Shakespeare (called by New York magazine “a must-read for actors”) was published in 2007 and is now the standard text on American Shakespearean acting.

Edelstein has taught at The Juilliard School, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program and USC.  He has lectured on theater around the USA and the world and has written on the subject for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic and American Theatre.  He is a graduate of Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.  He lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with his wife, Hilit, and their children, Tillirose and August.


Michael G. Murphy is the Managing Director of The Old Globe.  He served as General Manager of the Globe from 2003 to 2012, overseeing the Production, Education, Human Resources, Information Technology and Facilities Departments, as well as Front of House operations.  He also managed the construction of the Globe’s new theatre and education facilities.  Prior to the Globe, he was the Managing Director of Austin Lyric Opera in Austin, Texas, Director of Administration of San Diego Opera and General Manager of San Diego Repertory Theatre.  Before relocating to San Diego from New York, he held similar positions at Theatre for a New Audience and the Joyce Theater Foundation’s American Theater Exchange.  He also served as negotiating assistant for the League of Resident Theatres and sales representative for Columbia Artists Theatricals Corporation.  Murphy has served on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Performing Arts League and serves as a Management Trustee for San Diego County Theatrical Trusts, the pension and welfare trust for IATSE stagehands in the San Diego region.  He was also an adjunct faculty member of the Music Department at the University of San Diego.  Murphy earned his B.F.A. degree in Stage Management from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri and his M.F.A. in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.