Costumes from Shakespeare’s plays at Old Globe Theatre!

Costumes used in the production of Shakespearean plays are displayed at the First Folio exhibit in the San Diego Central Library art gallery. To the right is a costume worn by Othello.
Costumes used in the production of Shakespearean plays are displayed at the First Folio exhibit in the San Diego Central Library art gallery. To the right is a costume worn by Othello.

Here are some truly amazing costumes! They’re on display in the ninth floor art gallery at San Diego’s downtown Central Library. But not for much longer! The blockbuster First Folio exhibition, of which they are part, comes to a conclusion on July 7.

This blog post focuses on the world famous Old Globe Theatre’s contribution to this museum quality exhibit. The Old Globe has been a beloved destination in San Diego’s Balboa Park for just over 80 years, and has become one of the leading regional Shakespeare theatres in the United States.

Should you enjoy a visit to the gallery, after looking in person at these Shakespearean costumes, stage props, programs, scripts, artwork, historical photos and other fascinating material, go take a close look at one of 233 First Folios that are known to exist in the world! It’s one of the most important literary works (some would argue THE most important literary achievement) ever produced, containing 36 of Shakespeare’s immortal plays. You might not ever get this chance again!

You can see photos of the actual First Folio and much more from the rest of the exhibit here.

Visitor to First Folio special exhibit examines photos from the history of the Old Globe, one of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the United States. The cloak is from a production of Henry IV, Part 1.
Visitor to First Folio special exhibit examines photos from the history of the Old Globe, one of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the United States. The cloak is from a production of Henry IV, Part 1.
The Old Globe has grown to become the sixth largest regional theatre in the United States. It opened in Balboa Park in 1935 during the California Pacific International Exposition.
The Old Globe has grown to become the sixth largest regional theatre in the United States. It opened in Balboa Park in 1935 during the California Pacific International Exposition. (Click image to enlarge.)
Craig Noel, Founding Director, helped the Old Globe grow from a small community organization into one of America's great regional theatres.
Craig Noel, Founding Director, helped the Old Globe grow from a small community organization into one of America’s great regional theatres.
Props used in Old Globe production of Richard III include a simple crown, scepter and wooden throne.
Props used in Old Globe production of Richard III include a simple crown, scepter and wooden throne.
Newspaper articles cover how the Old Globe Theatre burned down in 1978 due to arson, then was rebuilt. Pages from a script of Hamlet were recovered from the fire.
Newspaper articles recall how the Old Globe Theatre burned down in 1978 due to arson, then was rebuilt. Pages from a script of Hamlet were recovered from the fire.
Bust of William Shakespeare. This Carrier-Belleuse sculpture was rescued from the Old Globe Theatre in 1978 as it was burning. It became a symbol of the Old Globe's survival.
Bust of William Shakespeare. This Carrier-Belleuse sculpture was rescued from the Old Globe Theatre in 1978 as it was burning. It became a symbol of the Old Globe’s survival.
One display case at the First Folio exhibit contains assorted Old Globe programs and publications from 1935 to today.
One display case at the First Folio exhibit contains assorted Old Globe programs and publications from 1935 to today.
Costume designed by Robert Morgan of character Moth, a Faerie, in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Costume designed by Robert Morgan for character Moth, a Faerie, in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Headpiece and photos from Old Globe production of The Winter's Tale.
Headpiece and photos from Old Globe production of The Winter’s Tale.
Costume of Hermione, Queen of Sicilia, in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.
Costume for Hermione, Queen of Sicilia, in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.
Fun costume designed by Lewis Brown for court jester Touchstone, in Shakespeare's As You Like It.
Fun costume designed by Lewis Brown for court jester Touchstone, in Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
Artwork depicts Touchstone, court jester in Shakespeare's As You Like It. (To me he appears both ridiculous . . . and unsettling.)
Artwork depicts Touchstone, court jester in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. (To me he appears both ridiculous . . . and unsettling.)
Costume designed by David Israel Reynoso for Viola, in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
Costume designed by David Israel Reynoso for Viola, in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
One display case contains an assortment of cool props from past Old Globe productions.
One display case contains an assortment of cool props from past Old Globe productions.
Yorick's skull, with pages from a Hamlet script and photo of Lucas Hall in the title role.
Yorick’s skull, with pages from a Hamlet script and photo of Lucas Hall in the title role.
Costume from 2007 Old Globe production of Hamlet worn by the title character.
Costume from 2007 Old Globe production of Hamlet worn by the title character.
Costumes for Claudius and Gertrude, used in Shakespeare's famous tragedy Hamlet.
Costumes for Claudius and Gertrude, used in Shakespeare’s immortal tragedy Hamlet.

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Photos of Shakespeare’s First Folio exhibit in San Diego.

Visitors in the San Diego Library's art gallery crowd around a First Folio by William Shakespeare. Nearby costumes were used though the years for productions by the Old Globe Theatre.
Visitors in the San Diego Library’s art gallery crowd around a First Folio by William Shakespeare. Nearby costumes were used though the years for productions by the Old Globe Theatre.

Yesterday I enjoyed the blockbuster First Folio exhibit at the San Diego Central Library. One of 233 known existing Shakespeare First Folio’s is on display in the ninth floor art gallery, along with other amazing displays, including costumes, props, photos and artwork used over the years by San Diego’s world famous Old Globe Theatre. I will blog about the Old Globe Theatre part of the exhibit later. Right now I will focus on The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare: the First Folio.

This particular First Folio is on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library. The rare book contains 36 plays by William Shakespeare–almost all of his work. It was published in 1623, seven years after the famous playwright’s death. The First Folio in the library’s gallery lies safely beneath glass and is open to Hamlet and the page that contains the famous line “To be or not to be…”

Visitors are engaged in a variety of ways, and are encouraged to visit an incredible Shakespeare art and book exhibit in the Hervey Family Rare Book Room, just steps from the gallery. In addition, other Shakespeare-related displays can be found throughout the downtown library, as you will see in my photographs. If you have a chance to go, do so soon. The awesome event ends July 7.

First Folio! is on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. I was informed they own about one third of the 233 known existing rare books.
First Folio! is on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. I was informed they own about one third of the 233 known existing rare books.
The San Diego Central Library's gift shop is participating in the big event, of course!
The San Diego Central Library’s gift shop is participating in the big event, of course!
One of several displays found on various floors of the downtown public library. This one pays homage to Big Willy and his wide cultural influence.
One of several displays found on various floors of the downtown public library. This one pays homage to Big Willy and his wide cultural influence.
Library patrons are encouraged to take a pic with The Bard and share their personal Shakespeare story on social media.
Library patrons are encouraged to take a pic with The Bard and share their personal Shakespeare story on social media.
Several displays in the Hervey Family Rare Book Room include Imagining Shakespeare, drawings by the Cal State Long Beach Art Department Faculty.
Several displays in the Hervey Family Rare Book Room include Imagining Shakespeare, drawings by the Cal State Long Beach Art Department Faculty.
Othello and Desdemona, by John Lincoln. Graphite.
Othello and Desdemona, by John Lincoln. Graphite.
Rare book illustrations are included in the fine museum quality exhibit.
Rare book illustrations are included in the fine museum quality exhibit.
Visitors entering and leaving the library's art gallery are asked to share how, or in what ways, Shakespeare is or isn't relevant.
Visitors entering and leaving the library’s art gallery are asked to share how, or in what ways, Shakespeare is or isn’t relevant.
Shakespeare teaches us to look honestly at ourselves and motives.
Shakespeare teaches us to look honestly at ourselves and motives.
Shakespeare is awesome! Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
Shakespeare is awesome! Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
He says what's in my heart but that my brain doesn't know how to articulate.
He says what’s in my heart but that my brain doesn’t know how to articulate.
Shakespeare shows us the core of human passion and love is unchanging even as centuries pass by.
Shakespeare shows us the core of human passion and love is unchanging even as centuries pass by.
Our modern language and pop culture landscapes would be barren.
Our modern language and pop culture landscapes would be barren.
On either side of the displayed First Folio are several signs. The first one pictured introduces Shakespeare. His words are your words.
On either side of the displayed First Folio are several signs. The first one pictured introduces Shakespeare. His words are your words. (Click image to enlarge.)
After his death, two of Shakespeare's friends from his acting company put together this history-making book. The First Folio contains 36 of his plays.
After his death, two of Shakespeare’s friends from his acting company put together this history-making book. The First Folio contains 36 of his plays. (Click image to enlarge.)
There are 233 known First Folios of approximately 750 that were originally printed. The Folgers built up a vast collection of Shakespeare art, manuscripts and other books.
There are 233 known First Folios of approximately 750 that were originally printed. The Folgers built up a vast collection of Shakespeare art, manuscripts and other books. (Click image to enlarge.)
Why we turn to Shakespeare. For most people, his appeal has something to do with his brilliant use of language to express subtle, powerful ideas and feelings.
Why we turn to Shakespeare. For most people, his appeal has something to do with his brilliant use of language to express subtle, powerful ideas and feelings. (Click image to enlarge.)
Visitor to art gallery at the downtown San Diego Library looks at a rare Shakespeare First Folio, open to Hamlet. The nearby wall features a mural of 17th century London and the original Globe Theatre.
Visitor to art gallery at the downtown San Diego Library looks at a rare Shakespeare First Folio, open to Hamlet. The nearby wall features a mural of 17th century London and the original Globe Theatre.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

I’m no Shakespeare, but I’ve written some short stories that people seem to enjoy. Many are emotionally powerful. If you’d like to read them, click Short Stories by Richard.

St. Crispin’s Day speech and medieval armor in San Diego!

Performers in medieval chain mail and shining breastplate armor pose inside the main entrance of the San Diego Central Library downtown!
Performers in medieval chain mail and shining breastplate armor pose inside the main entrance of the San Diego Central Library downtown!

Check out a few pics of a certifiably cool event I witnessed at noon today! There was a pop-up performance of the St. Crispin’s Day speech from Shakespeare’s play Henry V! Complete with medieval costumes and shining armor!

The short performance honored the birthday (and death day) of Shakespeare, and was put on in the Central Library’s lobby as part of the San Diego Public Library’s First Folio multi-month extravaganza. Shakespeare’s rousing fictional speech by King Henry V–meant to inspire his English army in 1415 before the Battle of Agincourt, where he faced a vastly larger French army–was recited at several libraries around San Diego.

The enthusiastic performers were all great! And super friendly! I spoke to them and learned about their love for the Age of Chivalry. They make their own armor and other items associated with medieval life. They are deeply interested in the history of the Middle Ages and learning how to craft objects with historical authenticity. According to their website, Chivalry Today, they offer a variety of presentations, workshops and activities to introduce chivalry into your education, business and life. They provide quality historical interpretive programs for schools studying Medieval and Renaissance history.  Click on the above link to check these guys out!

(If I may provide some constructive criticism of the library, which I otherwise love. I arrived early because I wasn’t sure where exactly in downtown’s large Central Library the performance would take place. I asked five different library employees. Not one of them knew. One severe lady at the reference desk after searching for about five minutes on her computer told me there was no such event. Ouch. Worse, it appeared I was the only person to intentionally show up for the performance. The others in the small audience arrived after an announcement over the library public address system. Isn’t a library essentially about maximizing communication?  Hello!  We live in the age of the internet!  Okay, my rant is over.  I love you guys.)

Reciting Shakespeare's rousing speech by King Henry V, urging his English army to bravely fight the French at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
Reciting Shakespeare’s rousing speech by King Henry V, urging his English army to bravely fight the French at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
At the end of the short pop-up performance, banners are raised by the small troupe in the lobby of the San Diego Central Library.
At the end of the short pop-up performance, banners are raised by the small troupe in the lobby of the San Diego Central Library.
Henry V inspires his troops in the Age of Chivalry, while historical commentary is provided in a modern library. The performance was part of an ongoing summer-long First Folio celebration of Shakespeare.
Henry V inspires his troops in the Age of Chivalry, while historical commentary is provided in a modern library. The performance was part of an ongoing summer-long First Folio celebration of Shakespeare.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Do you like to read short pieces of thought-provoking fiction? You might enjoy checking out Short Stories by Richard.

Shakespeare’s First Folio exhibit coming to San Diego!

William Shakespeare

I learned something extraordinary today!

From June 4 to July 7, free to the public, an authentic First Folio of William Shakespeare will be on display at the San Diego Central Library downtown, in their 9th floor art gallery!

Here’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a very rare First Folio, containing some the most important works of English and World Literature ever penned! The book will be opened at Hamlet’s famous line “To be or not to be” — and unquestionably many eyes will read it! In addition, the exhibition will include other material concerning Shakespeare, his history and his work. There will also be interesting items from the world-famous Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park, including Shakespearean props, costumes and photographs of past theatrical productions.

The First Folio is on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. The special exhibition is in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

But that’s not all! Throughout this spring and summer, over the course of several months, the Old Globe Theatre and the San Diego Public Library will be teaming up with various schools and organizations to bring our city a whole slew of exciting activities celebrating William Shakespeare. There are plays, recitations, lectures, reenactments, games, film screenings, teas and a whole bunch more. Many of the activities will be held at different libraries around the city. It’s all too much to detail here. So check out the official website!

This is going to be great fun!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Do you like to read short pieces of thought-provoking fiction? You might enjoy checking out Short Stories by Richard.

Powerful genius at San Diego’s Ion Theatre.

The Aliens, a powerful award-winning play by Annie Baker, is now playing at the Ion Theatre in San Diego.
The Aliens, an award-winning play by Annie Baker, is now playing at the Ion Theatre in San Diego.

Yesterday evening I experienced something completely unexpected. Out of the blue I received a powerful jolt, as if struck to the core by a hammer.

What happened? I went to see The Aliens at the Ion Theatre. The Ion Theatre Company produces cutting edge live theater in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood. The Aliens is a very unusual and surprising play that won the 2010 Obie Award for Best New American Play. It was written by Annie Baker.

I wasn’t expecting such power.

The Aliens is well performed by three great actors: Brian Butler, Tyler Oakley and Reed Willard. The characters they portray are absolutely human–slightly absurd and terribly broken. They are troubled in ways that are disturbing, heart-wrenching. They are frustrated, uncertain, in pain, alienated, almost hopeless.

But they aren’t hopeless.

Each character possesses awkward warmth and connection. And humor.

Then, like a bolt from the blue, at the very end, the emotional hammer strikes. I won’t tell you what happens. You’ll have to find out for yourselves.

Here’s a hint. In everyone there is unique genius. And while some people might not go far in this world, that genius–that yearning outflow from each individual heart–never stops. Life’s path might be unexpectedly short, but genius does not die.

Thoughtful adults should see this play. Check out the Ion Theatre’s website. The Aliens runs through December 12.

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Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? Visit my Short Stories by Richard writing blog!

San Diego Comic-Con trolley wrap: Scream Queens!

A cool San Diego trolley wrap for 2015 Comic-Con promotes Scream Queens on Fox. A killer new series from the creators of Glee and American Horror Story.
A cool San Diego trolley wrap for 2015 Comic-Con promotes Scream Queens on Fox. A killer new series from the creators of Glee and American Horror Story.

I finally got pics of the very first trolley wrap for the upcoming 2015 San Diego Comic-Con. The bold graphics promote Scream Queens, an American horror-comedy television series, which is having its world premiere at Comic-Con. The series will be televised on Fox starting in September.

I spoke to a super friendly trolley driver on Thursday (she always smiles and waves at me!) and I learned that more trolley wraps are in the process of being readied for Comic-Con. What they are, I don’t know. We’ll find out together!  Stay tuned!

Keke Palmer, Diego Boneta and Lea Michele all have scary bloody hands!
Keke Palmer, Diego Boneta and Lea Michele all have scary bloody hands!
Faces of Scream Queens on a San Diego trolley include Ariana Grande, Lucien Laviscount and Nick Jonas.
Faces of Scream Queens on a San Diego trolley include Ariana Grande, Lucien Laviscount and Nick Jonas.
A bloody-handed Jamie Lee Curtis peers between trolley cars at me! Yikes!
A bloody-handed Jamie Lee Curtis peers between trolley cars at me! Yikes!

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The dramatic faces of Ion Theatre’s street mural.

Dramatic faces compose Ion Theatre's complex outdoor mural. The photos are taken from past productions.
Dramatic faces compose Ion Theatre’s complex outdoor mural. The photos are taken from past productions.

I walked past the Ion Theatre in Hillcrest early this afternoon. I’d planned to take some pics of their cool new street mural, which I’d seen several times while heading up Sixth Avenue.

Not only did I get photos of the mural, but I caught some folks setting up for the Ion Theatre Company’s big outdoor I’ll Take Manhattan gala!

The eye-popping black-and-white photomosaic, I was told, is composed of images from Ion’s 72 productions over their 10 years of history. Ion Theatre has become an important cultural presence in San Diego. According to their mission statement, they are dedicated to “forging bold, vital, diverse new work…powerful, provocative new plays from emerging playwrights… (and reimagining) classics using the lens of theatrical innovation…”

Support local artists and check out their website!

A visual mosaic of human stories dazzles the viewer.
This mosaic containing many human stories dazzles the eye.
Ion's parking lot becomes the unique setting for a fundraising gala.
Ion’s parking lot becomes the unique setting for a fundraising event.
I'm told this image is from Ion Theatre's latest play, Kin.
I’m told this image is from Ion Theatre’s most recent play, Kin.
Jumbled emotions seen from the street become more potent when approached.
Jumbled emotions seen from the street become more potent when approached.
Countless expressions on faces that are turned in all directions.
Countless expressions on faces that are turned in all directions.
This is a one very engaging piece of urban art!
This is an extremely engaging piece of urban art!
Ion Theatre and its mural are located in San Diego's Hillcrest neighborhood.
Ion Theatre and its mural are located in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood.
A timeworn face on a city wall that, too, will soon become weathered.
A timeworn face on an ordinary city wall that, too, will soon become weathered.
Setting up for a special gala in the small parking lot.
Setting up for a special gala in the small parking lot.
The Ion Theatre Company provides a cool sight for my camera!
The Ion Theatre Company provides a cool sight for my camera!

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