Photos of Shakespeare celebration in Balboa Park!

Today I headed into Balboa Park to enjoy a special event celebrating Shakespeare’s 455th birthday!

Many activities were centered in sunny Copley Plaza, the hub of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. There was an outdoor performance of Shakespeare in Exile by Grossmont College Theatre Arts students. There was instrumental musical entertainment, a sonnet writing contest, and even an Elizabethan ruff-making station. Inside the lobby of The Old Globe, costumes from some of their past Shakespearean productions were on display.

A bit after noon high school students from all around San Diego gathered on the steps of the Timken Museum of Art. After a welcome speech, a fantastic parade featuring many Elizabethan costumes began along El Prado. Several students were presented with achievement awards at the foot of the Lily Pond as their classmates shouted approval, then the youth fanned out to perform scenes from Shakespeare and other famous plays on several stages along El Prado.

Here are photos that provide a flavor of this truly awesome annual event!

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Day of the Dead celebration at the Old Globe.

Day of the Dead altar created by the Old Globe Theatre contains photos of departed loved ones, roses, candles, and an image of Shakespeare.
Day of the Dead altar created by the Old Globe Theatre contains photos of departed loved ones, roses, candles, and an image of Shakespeare.

For several hours today, visitors to Balboa Park could enjoy traditional Dia de los Muertos activities in Copley Plaza, at the entrance to the Old Globe’s theater complex. The event’s main attraction was two performances of a powerful new play called La Muerte Descansa en Paz (Death Rests in Peace). The first performance was in Spanish, the second mostly in English.

The brief but emotionally stirring play, directed and co-created by Daniel Jáquez, was presented for the very first time on Saturday during the SAY San Diego’s City Heights Day of the Dead Celebration. The production is the result of a collaboration between the Old Globe’s coLAB and AXIS programs and the San Diego community of City Heights.

Here are some photos of today’s event!

Day of the Dead--Dia de los Muertos--was celebrated today in Copley Plaza, outside the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in Balboa Park.
Day of the Dead–Dia de los Muertos–was celebrated today in Copley Plaza, outside the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in Balboa Park.
A Dia de los Muertos altar remembers and celebrates those who've passed out of life. Their spirits are enticed to return among the living.
A Dia de los Muertos altar remembers and celebrates those who’ve passed into the next world. Their spirits are enticed to return among the living.
A loving tribute to loved ones, dearly missed.
A loving tribute to relatives and loved ones, dearly missed.
Kids have their faces painted like sugar skulls for Dia de los Muertos.
Kids have their faces painted like sugar skulls for Dia de los Muertos.
The tools of a face painter.
The tools of a face painter.
At one table creative kids could color Dia de los Muertos skulls.
At one table creative kids could color Dia de los Muertos skulls.
Shakespeare among Dia de los Muertos skulls. Perhaps one belonged to Yorick.
Shakespeare among Dia de los Muertos skulls. Perhaps that one in the center belonged to Yorick.
A performance of La Muerte Descansa en Paz (Death Rests in Peace) begins. The dead enter in front of a living audience.
A performance of La Muerte Descansa en Paz (Death Rests in Peace) begins. The dead enter in front of a living audience.
The character Death takes the stage. Death sees both sides of the river. Death sees life's joy, pain, dreams--and the souls of the departed.
The character Death takes the stage. Death sees both sides of the river. Death sees life’s joy, pain, dreams–and the souls of the departed.
The dead dance. On Dia de los Muertos, when the church bells ring, Death permits the dead to return briefly as spirits among the living.
The dead dance. On Dia de los Muertos, when the church bells ring, Death permits the dead to return briefly as spirits among the living.
A dead poet remembers the richness and brevity of life--the joy, the sorrow.
A dead poet vaguely remembers the richness and brevity of life–the sharp joys and sorrows. Her voice was cut short, but her living words linger.
The dead briefly take the stage. We, the living, experience a glimpse, a whisper, a moment of lost love.
The dead briefly take the stage. We, the living, experience a glimpse, a whisper, a moment of lost love.

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

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

The Journey, fun interactive artwork at the Old Globe!

Something cool has sprung up at the center of Balboa Park's theater complex.
Something cool has sprung up at the center of Balboa Park’s theater complex.

Look what I spied today during my walk through Balboa Park! Some people were milling around an interesting work of interactive art in front of the Old Globe, and I had to check it out. Turns out I had stumbled upon The Journey, some fun outdoor artwork created by Dan Reeves. The Journey is inspired by the Old Globe Theatre’s production of Steve Martin’s play Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

I learned this is a section of a larger torus that will appear at the next Burning Man. The Journey is a mortise and tenon structure made of wood, which produces a unique lighting and audio experience best seen at night. Illuminated with colorful LED lights, people can pose for photographs!

Better check it out soon. The Journey will be on display at the Old Globe until this Sunday, January 19!

The Journey is a small section of a larger torus that will be a brilliant, spectacular work of art at Burning Man.
The Journey is a small section of a larger torus that will be a brilliant, spectacular work of art at Burning Man.
The Journey is on view at the Old Globe Theatre's Copley Plaza through this Sunday, February 19. A cool experience inspired by the Steve Martin play Picasso at the Lapin Agile.
The Journey is on view at the Old Globe Theatre’s Copley Plaza through this Sunday, February 19. A cool experience inspired by the Steve Martin play Picasso at the Lapin Agile.
Pose in this uniquely colorful work of art after dark and you can have a spectacular photo taken!
Pose in this uniquely colorful work of art after dark and you can have a spectacular photo taken!

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

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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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.

Three magic benches in front of the Old Globe!

Three magic benches are visible in this photo. Can you spot them?
Three magic benches are visible in this photo. Can you spot them?

I discovered three magic benches during my walk through Balboa Park this afternoon! All three are situated in front of the Old Globe Theatre, one of San Diego’s great cultural treasures.

How do I know these benches are magic? It’s very easy to see! Just examine the following photos, and read the captions!

The first bench is dedicated to that magical playwright Shakespeare! As you might recall, the Bard is associated with the Globe Theatre, which was in London.
The first bench is dedicated to that magical playwright Shakespeare! As you might recall, the Bard is associated with the original Globe Theatre, which was in London.
The iconic face of William Shakespeare on the side of a fantastic public bench in Balboa Park's Old Globe Courtyard.
The iconic face of William Shakespeare on the side of a fantastic public bench in Balboa Park’s Old Globe Courtyard.  Sit here and be inspired!
A jolly character from the Shakespeare comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor.
A jolly character from the Shakespeare comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor.
A famous scene from Hamlet. Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy...
A famous scene from Hamlet. Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy…
The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego is where you want to see Shakespeare's famous tragedy Julius Caesar.
The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego is where you want to see Shakespeare’s famous plays, including the tragedy Julius Caesar.
Here's the second magic bench. Looks ordinary? Don't be deceived! Sit or lie here, and you might mysteriously be transported far away!
Here’s the second magic bench. Looks ordinary? Don’t be deceived! Sit or lie here, and you might mysteriously be transported far away!
And finally, the magic piano bench. Anybody can sit here and play through January, courtesy of the San Diego Symphony's PLAY ME: Pianos In Public Spaces event.
And finally, the magic piano bench. Anybody can sit here and play music through January, courtesy of the San Diego Symphony’s PLAY ME: Pianos In Public Spaces event!

To learn more about the ten public pianos that have been placed around San Diego, check out my previous blog post!

To experience some magic in wonderful Balboa Park, head over to the courtyard in front of the world famous Old Globe Theatre!
To experience magic in wonderful Balboa Park, head over to the courtyard in front of the world famous Old Globe Theatre!
The Old Globe Theatre has another great lineup for 2016. World-class entertainment in amazing Balboa Park!
The Old Globe has another great lineup for 2016. World-class entertainment in amazing Balboa Park!

Join me for even more fun on Facebook and Twitter!

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

Signs of the holiday season appear in San Diego!

Signs of the holiday season have sprung up around San Diego a week or two before Thanksgiving.
Signs of the holiday season have sprung up around San Diego a week or two before Thanksgiving.

The holidays are almost upon us! Four days until Thanksgiving!

While walking around San Diego this weekend, I noticed some signs of the coming holiday season. So I took pictures!

Ushers file past the Dr. Seuss Grinch Christmas Tree at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park.
Ushers file past the fun Dr. Seuss Grinch Christmas Tree in front of the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park.
Holiday lights are up in the courtyard of Balboa Park's House of Hospitality.
Holiday lights are up in the courtyard of Balboa Park’s House of Hospitality.
Poster in Balboa Park advertises New Direction at the North Pole! Joyful music will fill San Diego during the holiday season.
Poster in Balboa Park advertises New Direction at the North Pole! Joyful music will fill San Diego during the holiday season.
The Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park is almost ready for December Nights, which will be held December 4 and 5 this year.
The Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park is almost ready for December Nights, which will be held December 4 and 5 this year.
Frosty the Snowman painted on a store window in San Diego's sunny East County.
Frosty the Snowman painted on a store window in San Diego’s sunny East County.
The Salvation Army will be serving Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless in Golden Hall at the Civic Center.
The Salvation Army will be serving Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless in Golden Hall at the Civic Center.
White Christmas opens Friday at the Spreckels Theatre.
White Christmas opens Friday at the Spreckels Theatre.
Kansas City Barbeque is offering active military a free Thanksgiving dinner.
Kansas City Barbeque is offering active military a free Thanksgiving dinner.
The San Diego Run For the Hungry takes place Thanksgiving morning.
The San Diego Run For the Hungry takes place Thanksgiving morning.
Traditional holiday garland and colorful ornaments festoon the famous Donut Bar in downtown San Diego.
Traditional holiday garland and colorful ornaments festoon the Donut Bar in downtown San Diego.
One of many beautiful wreaths hung all around the Horton Plaza shopping center in downtown San Diego.
One of many beautiful wreaths hung all around Horton Plaza in San Diego.  Christmas shopping is about to really get started on Black Friday!
Surfing Santa poster in a window of the Seaport Cookie Company.
Surfing Santa poster in a window of the Seaport Cookie Company.
Some shiny Christmas tree ornaments and festive entertainment near the Seaport Village carousel.
Some shiny Christmas tree ornaments and festive entertainment near the Seaport Village carousel.
Jolly old Saint Nick is being hung with care near stockings and candy cane pillars at the front door of a Seaport Village shop.
Jolly old Saint Nick is being hung with care near stockings and candy cane pillars at the front door of a Seaport Village shop.

Join me for more fun sights on Facebook and Twitter!

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