Modeled after Shakespeare’s Old Globe in London, the Old Globe Theatre was built in 1935 for the presentation of abridged versions of Shakespeare’s plays as part of the California Pacific International Exposition. At the conclusion of the exposition in 1937, a non-profit producing corporation, the San Diego Community Theatre, leased the theatre and adjacent buildings from the City of San Diego (an arrangement that continues today) and renovated the theatre for ongoing use.
The Old Globe has been home to the most acclaimed national artists, designers, directors, and playwrights in the theatre industry. More than 20 productions produced at The Old Globe have gone on to play Broadway and Off Broadway, garnering 13 Tony Awards and numerous nominations. In 1984 the Globe was the recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre for its contribution to the development of the art form. These awards bring world attention not only to The Old Globe but also to San Diego’s rich cultural landscape.
The Old Globe annually produces 15 mainstage productions from all periods and styles, ranging from Shakespeare to an ongoing emphasis on the development and production of new works, along with the annual family musical Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! With a current operating budget of approximately $20 million, the Globe is one of San Diego’s largest arts institutions, its leading arts employer, and among the nation’s top-ranked regional theatres. More than 250,000 people annually attend Globe productions and participate in the theatre’s arts engagement programs and outreach services.