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The Big Bad Bard

It's summer in San Diego, so it must be time for for the annual Old Globe Summer Shakespeare Festival. This year's selection includes the classic comedies All's Well That Ends Well and The Merry Wive

The Big Bad Bard

Tom Fudge: There's an old joke told by and about former President Ronald Reagan. He once attended a stage presentation of Shakespeare's Hamlet. At intermission he stood in the foyer and told a companion, "I'm probably the only guy in this theater who's sticking around to see how this story turns out."

It's true that the people who attend Shakespeare plays probably know how the story turns out. In fact, plot synopses are typically part of the program you get at the beginning of the show. This, of course, is one of the challenges of directing Shakespeare. How do you make a play fresh and meaningful when the plot is no surprise? Shakespearean drama also comes from a time and place where customs, language and costume were very different from today. Do you try to stay true to that, or do you try to be true to the styles and idioms that are most meaningful to the people of today?


Shakespeare remains one of our most favorite playwrights for his mastery of the language and his ability to tell timeless stories. And this summer San Diego's Old Globe Theater is presenting three plays in its Shakespeare Festival:  The Merry Wives of Windsor, All's Well that Ends Well, and Romeo and Juliet.


  • Darko Tresnjak , Old Globe Resident Artistic Director, as well as The Old Globe Artistic Director of the 2008 Shakespeare Festival and the director of All's Well That Ends Well.
  • Paul Mullins , director of The Merry Wives of Windsor.
  • Richard Seer , director of Romeo and Juliet.