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!

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.

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!

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