La Jolla favorite: Outdoor Summer Shakespeare Festival returns to The Old Globe Theatre
If you go
■ What: 2013 Shakespeare Festival
• ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ June 2-Sept. 29
• ‘The Merchant of Venice,’ June 9-Sept. 28
• ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,’ June 16-Sept. 26
■ Where: The Old Globe’s Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park, San Diego
■ Tickets: From $29
■ Box Office: (619) 234-5623
■ Website: TheOldGlobe.org
By Diana Saenger
Summer at The Old Globe is one of the most demanding yet dynamic times of the year for both the theatergoers and the creative artists behind the productions. In addition to the plays in The Old Globe and the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatres, comes the 2013 Shakespeare Festival performed under the stars in repertory at The Globe’s Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, June 2-Sept. 29.
This year will be the last under festival artistic director Adrian Noble, who has been at the helm since 2010.
Jay Whittaker, who has appeared off Broadway and in many Shakespearean productions, and who received the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award, will return to the festival in several roles. He said he enjoys Shakespeare because the characters can be played in many different ways.
“You can never proclaim the death of Shakespeare because there’s always some- thing new to discover,” he said. “I just played Angelo in ‘Measure for Measure’ and the character was 100 percent different than when I played him eight years ago. That’s due to a different director and actors, but we begin to see things in a different way because we have more life experience.”
Whittaker will play Oberon and Theseus in the comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” directed by Ian Talbot, and Guildenstern in the farce, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” directed by Noble.
“Oberon is the loose and connected-to-the-Earth King of the Fairies. Theseus is the posh and uptight King of Athens. The two characters complement each other in that they both come in trying to control their women in a misogynistic way. Ian (the director) seems to be adding some contrast to the story with some darker and more tragic elements.”
Whittaker describes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as “two characters who play in ‘Hamlet,’ and what happens to them when they’re not on stage. The play- wright, Tom Stoppard, puts them in this ‘Waiting for Godot’ existential no-man’s land where they’re trying to figure out why they’re there and what they’re doing. Then they get thrust into a theme from ‘Hamlet.’ It’s very quick and very witty.”
Rounding out the festival will be the timeless tale of mercy, justice, generosity and greed, “The Merchant of Venice,” also directed by Noble.
According to co-workers, Noble leaves a wealth of exemplary work and a vast legacy to be remembered and embraced at The Old Globe. “He brought in a style of show and created a company he trained to do his very specific style — and he did it in repertory with all three shows happening at the same time,” Whittaker said. “They all had continuity at the same time because it was the same cast as well.”
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