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Press Release



The Special Discussion Between the Two Celebrated
Shakespeare Experts Will Explore The Merchant of Venice
and Other Topics Related to the Bard

SAN DIEGO (July 15, 2013)—The Old Globe Artistic Director and noted Shakespearean Barry Edelstein will present Barry Edelstein In Conversation with James Shapiro, the internationally renowned Shakespeare scholar, on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 6:00 p.m. This special discussion between the two Shakespeare experts will explore themes in the Bard’s canon, current trends in American Shakespeare and the controversies surrounding the play The Merchant of Venice, which is currently running as part of the Globe’s 2013 Shakespeare Festival. Barry Edelstein In Conversation with James Shapiro will take place in the James S. Copley Auditorium at The San Diego Museum of Art. Tickets are currently available to subscribers only and will go on sale to the public on Friday, July 19 at 12 noon. Tickets are $7 for subscribers and full-time students and $10 for general audiences and can be purchased online at, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.

“Professor James Shapiro is one of the world’s most important Shakespeareans, and it is a high honor to welcome him to The Old Globe and San Diego,” said Edelstein. “The excellence of his scholarly work speaks for itself, but there are two things that I think make Prof. Shapiro unique: he is a deep lover and meaningful supporter of the theater, and he has a rare ability to make complex ideas in Shakespeare accessible and immediate. I cannot wait for the real privilege of being in conversation with him.”

James Shapiro is the Larry Miller Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1985. His books include Rival Playwrights (1991), Shakespeare and the Jews (1996), Oberammergau (2000), 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005) and Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? (2010). In 2012 he coauthored and presented a three-part BBC documentary, Shakespeare: The King’s Man. He is currently at work on a Library of America collection, Shakespeare in America, and a book, Shakespeare in 1606: The Year of Lear. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Folger Shakespeare Library, as well as serving as Shakespeare Scholar in Residence at The Public Theater and Vice President of The Authors Guild. He was recently inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein is a stage director, producer, author and educator. Widely recognized as one of the leading authorities on the works of Shakespeare in the United States, he has directed nearly half of the Bard’s works. As Director of the Shakespeare Initiative at The Public Theater (2008-2012), he oversaw all of the company’s Shakespearean productions, as well as its extensive educational, community outreach and artist-training programs. At The Public, Edelstein staged Julius Caesar starring Jeffrey Wright for Shakespeare in the Park and The Merchant of Venice featuring Ron Leibman’s Obie Award-winning portrayal of Shylock. He was also Associate Producer of The Public’s Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino. From 1998-2003 he was Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company, where he produced and directed some of New York’s most memorable classical productions. Edelstein’s Shakespearean directorial credits include The Winter’s Tale with David Strathairn, Timon of Athens with Richard Thomas, As You Like It with Gwyneth Paltrow and Richard III with John Turturro. His additional credits include the Lucille Lortel Award-winning revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons; the world premiere of Steve Martin’s The Underpants, which he commissioned; Molière’s The Misanthrope starring Uma Thurman in her stage debut; and the world premiere of novelist Nathan Englander’s play The Twenty-Seventh Man. Edelstein has taught Shakespearean acting at The Juilliard School, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program and the University of Southern California. His book Thinking Shakespeare (called by New York magazine “a must-read for actors”) was published in 2007 and is now the standard text on American Shakespearean acting. He is also the author of Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions.

The Merchant of Venice is Shakespeare’s unforgettable tale of mercy and justice, generosity and greed. After years of persecution for his Jewish faith, Shylock finally gets his chance for revenge. The merchant Antonio cannot pay his debt, and Shylock demands his due: a pound of flesh. To save Antonio’s life, the resourceful Portia must triumph in the courtroom—but at what cost? The Merchant of Venice weaves together humor and pathos in a spellbinding, suspenseful drama.

The Merchant of Venice, directed by Adrian Noble,plays in repertory with Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead as part of The Old Globe’s 2013 Shakespeare Festival, which runs through Sept. 29 in the Globe’s outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre. The cast features Craig Noel Award winner Miles Anderson as Shylock, Krystel Lucas as Portia and Donald Carrier as Antonio.

LOCATION: The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park. Valet parking is also available ($10). For additional parking information visit

CALENDAR: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (6/2-9/29), The Merchant of Venice (6/9-9/28), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (6/16-9/26), The Rainmaker (7/13-8/11), Double Indemnity (7/27-8/25), The Last Goodbye (9/20-11/3), The Few (9/28-10/27).

PHOTO EDITORS: Digital images of The Old Globe’s productions are available at

The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional regional theaters and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for over 75 years. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Managing Director Michael G. Murphy, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, both part of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 605-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theater’s education and community programs. The Globe brings world-class theater to its community through innovative initiatives designed to overcome barriers to arts attendance. Numerous world premieres such as Into the Woods, The Full Monty, Nobody Loves You and the annual holiday musical, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theaters across the country.

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