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Globe Artistic Director Talks About Launch Of Summer Shakespeare Season

Barry Edelstein on ‘Thinking Shakespeare Live!’ and ‘As You Like It’

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Summer means Shakespeare in San Diego and artistic director Barry Edelstein previews the launch of the Old Globe's season of the Bard.

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Aired: June 4, 2019 | Transcript

Photo credit: Doug Gates

Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein leads "Thinking Shakespeare Live!" in 2013. He will hold another edition of the talk on June 8.

Summer means Shakespeare in San Diego and artistic director Barry Edelstein previews the launch of the Old Globe's season of the Bard.

I have had the pleasure of attending previous editions of Barry Edelstein's "Thinking Shakespeare Live!" and have been enlightened each time. I studied Shakespeare in college, have seen 31 of his 37 plays, and programmed films based on his plays for venues, yet there is always something more to be learned about this brilliant playwright. Edelstein is the perfect person to blow the dust off of the Bard's four-centuries-old plays and make us see them in a new light.

And San Diego is the perfect place to present such a talk because it is a city that loves Shakespeare.

"The Globe's been doing Shakespeare for 85 years, something like that, some enormous amount of time that the Globe's been doing Shakespeare in San Diego. So there's a real audience for Shakespeare here, uniquely so. Very few other places around the United States that have as rich of a Shakespeare audience and they want to know more," Edelstein said. "So we created this program to help people understand a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes, how a director works with actors to bring the language to life. And it's 90 minutes and I have three actors there to help me out. And we demonstrate how the language works in the mouths of an actor in the rehearsal process the technical details through which Shakespeare organizes the language in order to make it energetic and muscular and clear and fun."

As artistic director, Edelstein also oversees the selection of plays for the summer season and this year the Globe will be presenting "As You Like It," directed by Jessica Stone, and "Romeo and Juliet," directed by Edelstein. It will be the first time Edelstein tackles the story of the star-crossed lovers and he looks forward to the challenges.

As for "As You Like It," he said "It is one of those plays that really has everything in it that we celebrate Shakespeare for. Great beautiful poetry... an enchanted forest where crazy things happen, lots of music. It's really got kind of everything that you think of when you think of Shakespeare: that special charm, that special beauty of the language. The other thing about it and this is the thing I love about the play so much it is one of my very favorite lines in all of Shakespeare it which is "much virtue in if" and there's this big long speech about the power of the word if and the way that it activates our imaginations and activates our curiosity and if is the thing that allows human beings to progress in this world because we have an image of the way things might be if only and then we take steps to pursue it."

Tickets for "Thinking Shakespeare Live!" are sold out but people can call the box office on Friday, June 7, to see if any tickets have been returned. Box office number is (619) 234-5623.

"As You Like It" opens June 16 and "Romeo and Juliet," directed by Edelstein, open on Aug. 11.

You can listen to my full interview with Edelstein as well as discussion of the Shakespeare films "All is True" and "Ophelia" on my latest Cinema Junkie Podcast.

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