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Old Globe Theatre Records, 1885-2012 | Special Collections & University Archives

By Kira Hall

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Collection Overview

Title: Old Globe Theatre Records, 1885-2012Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1935-2005

Primary Creator: Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, Calif.) (1935-)

Extent: 217.73 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

I. Historical Files, 1934-2008

            1. Organizational Records, 1934-2001

            2. Written Histories, 1957-1986

            3. San Diego Community Theatre Files, 1934-1958

            4. Anniversary Celebrations, 1960-2005

            5. Notable Individuals, 1976-2008

II. Administrative Files, 1938-2005

            1. Board of Directors, 1938-2005

            2. Committee Files, 1954-2002

            3. Personnel Files, 1973-2001

III. Correspondence, 1933-2002

            1. By Author, 1973-2002

            2. By Date, 1933-1990

IV. Financial Files, 1936-1992

            1. Box Office Reports, 1947-1990

            2. Budgets, 1952-1991

            3. Financial Statements and Audit Reports, 1936-1992

            4. Investment Reports, 1977-1989

V. Marketing Files, 1934-2002

            1. Audience Surveys, 1951-1988

            2. Printed Promotional Materials, 1935-1999

            3. Public Relations Plans, 1971-1987

            4. Press Files, 1934-2002

            5. Television and Radio Promotion, 1978-1990

            6. Subscription and Group Sales, 1971-1986

VI. Development Files, 1969-1990

            1. Development Department Office Files, 1979-1988

            2. Fundraising Campaigns, 1978-1990

            3. Fundraising Organizations and Agencies, 1969-1990

            4. Grants and Bonds, 1971-1990

VII. Globe Guilders, 1957-2012

            1. Administrative Files, 1966-1995

            2. Committee Files, 1967-1998

            3. Correspondence, 1969-1998

            4. Membership Files, 1957-2003

            5. Financial Files, 1967-1992

            6. Events and Fundraisers, 1959-2005

            7. Publicity Files, 1974-2003

            8. Guilder Gazette Newsletter, 1961-2002

            9. Scrapbooks, 1965-2012

            10. Photographs, 1977- ca. 1990

VIII. Labor Unions and Professional Associations, 1965-1992

IX. Events, 1948-2007

X. Facilities, 1956-1995

            1. Theatre Additions and Renovations, 1956-1991

            2. Development and Management Plans, 1983-1990

            3. Fires and Rebuilding, 1978-1985

            4. Leases and Outside Bookings, 1958-1995

            5. Proposals, 1975-1991

            6. Maintenance Files, 1971-1991

XI. Productions, 1935- 2010

            1. Old Globe and Cassius Carter Center Stage, 1935-2006

            2. Shakespeare Festival and Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, 1949-2010

            3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, 1998-2006

            4. Visiting Companies, 1940-1991

            5. Limited Engagements and Special Productions, 1937-2003

            6. Unproduced Plays, 1943-1989

            7. Theatre Magazines and Play Programs, 1951-2002

            8. Newsletters, 1950-2003

XII. Community Development Programs, 1975-2004

            1. Play Discovery Program, 1975-1993

            2. Teatro Meta, 1981-2004

XIII. Education Files, 1956-2005

XIV. Scrapbooks, 1885-1995

XV. Audio/Visual Materials, 1950-2008

            1. Productions, 1950-2008

            2. Events and Publicity, 1958-2008

Date Acquired: 01/04/1984. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Balboa Park (San Diego, Calif.)--History--Sources, Davies, Lowell, 1895-1983, Noel, Craig, Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, Calif.), Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, Calif.)--Archives, Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, Calif.)--History--20th century--Sources, Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, Calif.)--History--Sources, San Diego County (Calif.)--Social life and customs--Sources, Theater--California--San Diego--History--20th century--Sources, Theaters--California--San Diego, Theaters--California--San Diego--History

Languages: English, Spanish;Castilian

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Old Globe Theatre Records document the operation, administration, creative history, development, and growth of California’s longest-running not-for-profit regional theatre.  The records contain detailed documentation of numerous productions, correspondence, promotional materials, and organizational and administrative records. The Old Globe Theatre Records are divided into fifteen series: Historical Files, Administrative Files, Correspondence, Financial Files, Marketing Files, Development Files, Globe Guilders, Labor Unions and Professional Associations, Events, Facilities, Productions, Community Development Programs, Education Files, Scrapbooks, and Audio-Visual Materials.

The Historical Files (1934-2008) are divided into five sub-series: Organizational Records, Written Histories, San Diego Community Theatre Files, Anniversary Celebrations, and Notable IndividualsOrganizational Records (1934-2001), arranged chronologically, include bylaws, articles of incorporation, and vision statements.  Written Histories (1957-1986), arranged chronologically, include essays on the past and future of the Old Globe by Craig Noel and Jack O'Brien, a Master's thesis, as well as historical sketches.  San Diego Community Theatre Files (1934-1958), arranged chronologically, document the first twenty years of development of the theatre, until the organization’s name was changed to the Old Globe Theatre in 1958.  Materials include files of the Barn Players, who formed the nucleus of the San Diego Community Theatre's acting and technical company, as well as reconstruction files, newsletters, programs, correspondence, and reports.  Anniversary Celebrations (1960-2005), arranged chronologically, documents notable Old Globe anniversaries and includes promotional materials, planning documents, and newspaper clippings.  Of particular note are records the 50th Anniversary celebration.  The development associate's files on the event include letters from President Ronald Reagan, Governor George Deukmejian, and Mayor Roger Hedgecock.  The file also includes a transcript of the opening ceremony speech by co-chairpersons Christopher Reeve and Lily Tomlin.  Notable Individuals (1976-2008), arranged alphabetically by last name, include biographies, obituaries, and press about some of the individuals significant to the development of the Old Globe Theatre.  Included in this sub-series is documentation of Craig Noel receiving the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence, from President George Bush in 2007.

The Administrative Files (1938-2005) are divided into three sub-series: Board of Directors Files, Committee Files, and Personnel FilesBoard of Directors Files (1938-2005) include minutes, correspondence, and member lists.  Minutes are sparse between 1938-1972, but minutes from 1973-1991 provide a more comprehensive record.  The 1983 Board Orientation packet includes their mission statement, committee structures, and articles of incorporation from 1937 and 1968, bylaws, and amendments.  Committee Files (1954-2002) include minutes, correspondence, reports, and member lists.  They are organized alphabetically by committee name, except for the Executive Committee, whose records begin the sub-series.  Executive Committee minutes are sparse from 1954-1972 and become consistent from 1973-1991.  Personnel Files (1973-2001), arranged chronologically, include policy and procedure manuals and the interoffice newsletter, “News from Around the Globe,” which highlights departmental news, new hires, production information, and a calendar of staff events.

The Correspondence series (1933-2002) includes two sub-series, By Author and By Date. By Author (1973-2002) is arranged alphabetically by last name of author.  Correspondence from Tom Hall, the Managing Director whose involvement with the Old Globe spanned two decades, comprises a large portion of the sub-series.  By Date (1933-1990) is arranged chronologically by year and includes correspondence from a variety of individuals.

The Financial Files (1936-1992) are arranged chronologically and are divided into four sub-series: Box Office Reports, Budgets, Financial Statements and Audit Reports, and Investment ReportsBox Office Reports (1947-1990) comprise the majority of this series, despite minor periodic gaps in dates.  The sub-series includes daily reports of seats sold as well as budgets, primarily for productions on the Old Globe and Cassius Carter stages.  Many files also include a compilation sheet documenting average daily attendance and an overall “profit-versus-expenses” breakdown.  Early box office reports include ticket passes signed by management, including Craig Noel.  Although the earliest Budgets (1952-1991) date from 1952, the records are consistent only from 1969-1985.  Included in this sub-series are budgets and final closing costs for various productions.  Financial Statements and Audit Reports (1936-1992) are materials prepared primarily by an outside auditor.  The records are sporadic until 1980 and become more consistent through 1991.  Notable in this sub-series is a condensed financial statement from the Old Globe's first years of operation, 1936-1938.  The document includes reconstruction expenses and box office figures for the first nine productions.  Investment Reports (1977-1989) is a small sub-series, consisting of five folders.  The files include endowment fund investment reports and a portfolio evaluation.

The Marketing Files (1934-2002) are arranged chronologically and includes six sub-series: Audience Surveys, Printed Promotional Materials, Public Relations Plans, Press Files, Television and Radio Promotion, and Subscription and Group SalesAudience Surveys (1951-1988) is a small sub-series made up of play ballots, requesting patrons to vote on plays they would like to see produced in an upcoming season, as well as demographic surveys of patrons.  Printed Promotional Materials (1935-1999) includes brochures, pamphlets, flyers, invitations, and mailers.  Public Relations Plans (1971-1987) is a small sub-series that includes outside agency market analysis, reports, and plans.  Press Files (1934-2002) is the largest Marketing Files sub-series and includes newspaper and magazine clippings.  Highlights of this series include: 1930s articles on the Exposition, 1940s articles about the closure of the theatre during World War II, and some subject-specific files, such as the 2001 Tony Awards and the short-lived name and logo change in the same year.  Television and Radio Promotion (1978-1990) is a small subseries that includes public service announcements, proposals, and television event coverage.  Noteworthy is the KPBS documentary film file, which includes an outline, formal proposal, and drafts.  Subscription and Group Sales (1971-1986) include promotional materials, outlines, notes, and subscriber lists.  The subscription campaign in 1973-1974 is of particular note because it documents the first full-scale campaign launch.  The group sales files include directories of organizations with sales potential.

The Development Files (1969-1990) contain four sub-series: Development Department Office Files, Fundraising Campaigns, Fundraising Organizations and Agencies, and Grants and BondsDevelopment Department Office Files (1979-1988), organized chronologically, is a small sub-series that consists of reports, financial documents, and correspondence.  Included in this sub-series is Bruce Maza's outline of concerns and recommendations regarding the future of the Old Globe Theatre.  Fundraising Campaigns (1978-1990), organized alphabetically by campaign name, is a large sub-series that documents major fundraising efforts throughout the years, particularly in response to the two fires in 1978 and 1984.  Following the campaign files is documentation of individual fundraising events and donors.  Files include campaign goals, proposals, outlines, reports, promotional materials, financial updates, correspondence, and donor information.  Fundraising Organizations and Agencies (1969-1990) is arranged alphabetically by organization name.  Combined Arts and Education Council of San Diego County (COMBO) files comprise the majority of this sub-series.  COMBO files include: bylaws, budgets, meeting minutes, agreements, correspondence, and press.  Also included in this sub-series are proposals and plans from agencies hired by the Old Globe to orchestrate major fundraising campaigns.  Grants and Bonds (1971-1990), organized alphabetically, includes grant applications, proposals, and correspondence.  The two most substantial organization files represented in this sub-series are the California Arts Council (formerly the California Arts Commission) and the National Endowment for the Arts, both of which have provided funding to the Old Globe over the years.

The Globe Guilders series (1957-2012) is divided into ten sub-series, arranged chronologically: Administrative Files, Committee Files, Correspondence, Membership Files, Financial Files, Events and Fundraisers, Publicity Files, Guilder Gazette Newsletters, Scrapbooks, and Photographs.  The Administrative Files sub-series (1966-1995) is small and includes bylaws, guidelines, and job descriptions.  Committee Files (1967-1998) consists primarily of the minutes of the executive and steering committees.  The majority of the Correspondence sub-series (1969-1998) are corresponding secretary files.  The secretary was charged with all Globe Guilder correspondence, including get well cards, thank you notes, and condolences.  Monthly reports detail all incoming and outgoing correspondence.  The bulk of the Membership Files (1957-2003) consist of membership roster booklets.  Each booklet contains information about membership, objectives, bylaws, officer and staff lists, award recipient lists, and member contact information.  The roster collection is fairly comprehensive, with only one gap between 1960-1963.  The Financial Files (1967-1992) are small and consist of proposed budgets and treasurer's reports.  Events and Fundraisers (1959-2005) contains extensive documentation of Globe Guilder activities, including annual events such as the Fashion Show and Christmas on the Prado.  Files include programs, planning documents, meeting minutes, correspondence, press, and promotional materials. Records of events during the 1990s are substantial and often include notebooks and binders that document every stage of event planning.  Publicity Files (1974-2003) include press releases, newspaper clippings, promotional materials, and correspondence.  The majority of the records range from 1974-1976, when Lois Dechant was press chairman. The Guilder Gazette Newsletters sub-series (1961-2002) is comprised almost entirely of published issues of the Globe Guilder newsletter, the Guilder Gazette.  This sub-series is fairly comprehensive and begins with the first published newsletter in 1961.  Newsletters include a president's message, articles of interest to the Guilders, documentation of events and event calendar, and a new members list.  Most of the Scrapbooks (1965-2012) fall into two categories: Shakespeare Festival and historical albums.  The Shakespeare Festival scrapbooks were compiled by Mary Dugan, who acted as cast party chairman for many years.  These scrapbooks include press clippings, invitations, correspondence, photographs, meeting minutes, reports and notices.  Notable is the scrapbook documenting the Shakespeare Festival's 25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee.  The historical albums include press clippings, photographs, and invitations.  The Photographs sub-series (1977- ca. 1990) is comprised of unbound and primarily unlabeled photographs of fashion shows, the 40th Anniversary celebration, and various other Guilder events.

The Labor Unions and Professional Associations series (1965-1992) is organized alphabetically by union or association name.  The largest portion of the records belong to the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) files, an organization that bargains with labor unions, such as the Actor's Equity association (AEA), the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC), and United Scenic Artists (USA).  Files also include conference proceedings, correspondence, contract negotiations, arbitrations, and strike files.

Events (1948-2007) are organized chronologically by year.  This series contains invitations, press releases, planning papers, programs, itineraries, and correspondence. Prominent in the series is the annual Gala, a fundraising formal social affair with celebrity guests, auctions, and a dinner.  Some Gala files include planning binders, that detail all stages of event preparation.  Also included are the Atlas Awards, the annual event that acknowledges outstanding Old Globe performances.  Other events include the Inaugural Year celebrations and a variety of dinner parties.  There is a gap in the record from 1992-1999.

Facilities (1956-1995), organized chronologically by year, is divided into six sub-series: Theatre Additions and Renovations, Development and Management Plans, Fires and Rebuilding, Leases and Outside Bookings, Proposals, and MaintenanceTheatre Additions and Renovations (1956-1991) includes blueprints, correspondence, specifications, budgets, and estimates relating to additions and changes to the physical structures of the Old Globe Theatre.  The sub-series documents the replacement of Falstaff Tavern with the Cassius Carter Center Stage, Green Room refurbishment, Administration Building renovation, and the construction of Copley Plaza.  Development and Management Plans (1983-1990) is a small sub-series that includes reports, correspondence, and meeting minutes related to Balboa Park.  Fires and Rebuilding (1978-1985) provides extensive documentation of the planning and execution of the rebuilding projects associated with the Old Globe Theatre fire in 1978 as well as the Festival Stage fire in 1984.  Materials include proposals, reports, blueprints, expenses, correspondence, meeting minutes, and press.  A highlight of this sub-series is the 1982 dedication ceremony files, which contain letters of congratulations on the rebuilding of the theatre from celebrity supporters such as Marion Ross, Leonard Nimoy, David Odgen Stiers, Leonard Pennario, Barry Bostwick, and Ronald Reagan.  The Leases and Outside Bookings sub-series (1958-1995) contains lease agreements with the California and Spreckels Theatres following the fire at the Old Globe, as well as outside bookings on non-production nights to generate income for the theatre.  The Proposals sub-series (1975-1991) deals primarily with potential expansion projects, such as second venue proposals and additional theatre prospects.  The small Maintenance Files (1971-1991) include contracts, schedules, correspondence, and forms relating to ongoing maintenance of the theatre complex.

Productions (1935- 2010) is by far the most extensive and substantial series in the Old Globe Theatre Records and is the heart of the collection.  This series is divided into eight sub-series: Old Globe Theatre and Cassius Carter Center Stage, Shakespeare Festival and Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Visiting Companies, Limited Engagements, Unproduced Plays, Theatre Magazines and Play Programs, and Newsletters.

The Old Globe Theatre and Cassius Carter Center Stage (1935-2006), the largest of the Productions sub-series, is organized chronologically and includes documentation of plays produced in the Old Globe Theatre and Cassius Carter Center Stage through 2006.  Early documentation is often limited to programs and promotional materials.  Coverage becomes more expansive in the 1950s, often containing scripts of various types, including prompt scripts used by stage managers with written cues for actor stage direction, lighting, and sound.  Files from the 1960s consist of press releases and advertisements, as well as actor auditions, biographies, agreements, and production reviews.  Documentation further expands in the late 1970s to include production papers and/or production books, which detail the complex processes necessary to stage a production, including: stage manager's reports, prompt scripts, set and prop lists, costumes, nexus, staging, sound and lighting specifications, rehearsal schedules, and casting information.  Extent of coverage peaks in the 1980s, with multiple production files for each play.  Production records lessen in the 1990s and 2000s, with some plays having no documentation and others having only promotional materials, programs, or reviews, via the public relations manager file.  This collection has many highlights, including: California Exposition programs from 1935 and 1936 and the Distaff Side program, which was the first play produced in the Old Globe's first season in 1937; cast-signed programs, such as Firebrand from 1939-1940 and Mousetrap from 1960-1961; extensive documentation of the 1984 musical Kiss Me, Kate, which drew national acclaim and broke attendance records; and abundant reviews of the many plays that originated at the Old Globe and went on to successful runs on Broadway, such as The Full Monty in 2000, Imaginary Friends in 2002, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in 2005.

The Shakespeare Festival and Lowell Davies Festival Theatre sub-series (1949-2010), arranged chronologically, documents the annual tradition of summer Shakespeare productions performed in repertory starting in 1949 and ending in 1984.  After that date, the theatre introduced other play genres in the festival in addition to Shakespeare.  This sub-series includes documentation for these productions, as well as the return of the Shakespeare Festival in 2004 after a twenty-year absence, in conjunction with the University of San Diego Master of Fine Arts program. The sub-series also includes records of the Old Globe touring Shakespeare Festival in Scottsdale, Arizona in conjunction with the Valley Shakespeare Theatre.  Materials contained in this sub-series include: scripts of various types, production papers and books, programs, promotional materials, reviews, correspondence, and box office reports.  There are numerous highlights in this sub-series as well, including: extensive director's notes by Craig Noel in 1968 for King John and by Jack O’Brien in 1969 for Comedy of Errors and in 1972 for Merry Wives of Windsor; early prompt scripts in 1954 and 1957; the 400-year anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth celebration in 1964, with special programming, commemorative programs, and a traveling production at Stanford University; and the Mayor’s “National Shakespeare Week” Proclamations in 1968 and 1969, in honor of outstanding Shakespeare performances at the Old Globe Theatre.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! sub-series (1998-2006), arranged chronologically, documents the annual holiday production of this family musical, adapted from the book by Dr. Seuss.  Materials found in this sub-series include extensive promotional materials, particularly in the public relations files, as well as reviews and event information.  Documentation also includes press relating to the play's two-year Broadway run that began in 2006.

The Visiting Companies sub-series (1940-1991), arranged chronologically, is comprised of production files of various outside arts organizations that staged productions at the Old Globe Theatre.  Materials in this sub-series include programs, promotional materials, correspondence, and agreements.  The largest portion of these records belong to the 1989 Soviet Arts Festival, including the Maly Theatre of Leningrad that staged a highly praised production of Brothers and Sisters during the festival.

The Limited Engagements and Special Productions sub-series (1937-2003), arranged chronologically, contains documentation of a wide assortment of short-run productions, benefit shows, and productions outside of the Old Globe that involve Globe staff.  Materials include: programs, agreements, correspondence, and promotional materials.

Unproduced Plays (1943-1989), is arranged chronologically and primarily comprised of scripts for plays not added to the production schedule.  Many of the scripts include articles on the production history of the play and reviews from other theatres' productions, likely used to evaluate the suitability of the play for Old Globe production.  Some scripts contain actor stage direction cues, an indication that the play was used in some capacity at the Old Globe, such as an educational program.  Many of the plays are not dated.  Of particular note is the California Soul script, co-written by Craig Noel in 1969.

The Theatre Magazines and Play Programs sub-series (1951-2002) contains a variety of magazines, many of which housed the Old Globe's play programs after the migration from a simple folded paper format to a more elaborate published format in the early 1970s. In addition to the play programs, these magazines include articles of interest related to the play and to the theatre community.  Over the years, several publications have contracted with the Old Globe to produce their play magazines, including Applause, Playbill, and Performing Arts.  For the period of time that the Old Globe contracted with those magazines, the runs are fairly comprehensive, with only small periodic gaps.

Newsletters (1950-2003), the last of the productions sub-series, is relatively small, and differs from the rest of the series in that it is arranged alphabetically rather than chronologically. The sub-series includes a variety of newsletters published by the Old Globe Theatre over the years.  These newsletters highlight theatre news, current production information, updates on attendance, staffing and construction, and special programming.  Some newsletter files also contain draft copies of newsletters, particularly in the Herald files.  The draft copies include editing notations and correspondence.  Many of the newsletters contained in this collection have incomplete runs, including The Globe Greeter and Exposition.

The Community Development Programs series (1975-2004) is arranged chronologically and contains two sub-series, the Play Discovery Program and Teatro Meta.  The Play Discovery Program sub-series (1975-1993) begins with a program overview, promotional materials, correspondence, and agreements, followed by the Play Discovery Program play files.  Included are: scripts, programs, ticket sale information, correspondence, actor agreements, production papers, promotional materials, and extensive evaluations of each play, including both audience surveys and Play Discovery Program committee member evaluations.  Some of the Play Discovery Program’s “music stand” script readings feature high profile celebrities, such as John Goodman and Molly Ringwald for the 1989 reading of The Sun Bearing Down.  The Teatro Meta sub-series (1981-2004) includes budgets, correspondence, summary reports, press, committee meeting minutes, background information, proposals, promotional materials, and in-schools program teaching materials.  Also included in this sub-series are production materials, such as scripts, production papers and/ or production books, promotional materials, and reviews.  There is a gap in the record from 1991-2003.

The Education Files series (1956-2005) documents educational programming at the Old Globe Theatre and is arranged alphabetically by the name of the educational program.  The bulk of this series is comprised of the Globe Educational Tour (GET) files.  These files include: schedules, funding, promotional materials, correspondence, production books and reports, scripts, study guides, and letters of appreciation from school children.

The Scrapbooks series (1885-1995) is organized chronologically and housed in oversize boxes. While the majority of the scrapbooks contain materials pertaining to the Old Globe Theatre, the earliest date decades before its founding. These early scrapbooks were most likely used for research purposes. The rest of the scrapbooks primarily record the events of the theatre through news clippings. Many also include photographs, press releases, and programs. The scrapbooks are titled to reflect their contents, which are specific to a certain production or festival in most cases. Information regarding outreach programs, Globe Guilders, the Play Discovery Program, obituaries, and alumni is also included in several scrapbooks.

The Audio-Visual Materials series (1950-2008) is arranged alphabetically by title and is divided into two sub-series, Productions and Events and Publicity.  Formats include: film reels, Betacam, U-Matic, VHS, vinyl records, and audio cassette tapes. These materials will not be available to researchers until they have been transferred to an accessible format.  Productions (1950-2008) include play and backstage footage, interviews, dress rehearsals, soundtracks, and media coverage.  Play footage includes mainstage productions, Shakespeare festivals, and community outreach performances.  Notable in this sub-series is a Caught in the Act soundtrack on vinyl record from the 1950 production, as well as footage from Hamlet and Taming of the Shrew from the 1955 Shakespeare Festival.  The Events and Publicity sub-series (1958-2008) documents Globe-related events and television segments on the Old Globe Theatre.  A highlight of this subseries is a Craig Noel interview on the history of the Old Globe from 1997.  Coverage also includes segments relating to the fires in 1978 and 1984.

Biographical Note

The Old Globe Theatre opened for the California Pacific International Exposition on May 29, 1935, as a temporary structure that featured 50-minute versions of Shakespeare’s plays.  After the success of the Exposition, local citizens raised $10,000 in 1936 to have the theater complex retrofitted as permanent structures.  In February 1937, the State of California chartered the San Diego Community Theatre, a non-profit corporation, to coordinate fundraising and renovation activities for the theatre as well as to create a production company.  The Community Theatre, which changed its name to the Old Globe Theatre in 1958, leased the land and buildings in Balboa Park from the City of San Diego, and continues to do so as of 2014. The renovated Old Globe Theatre opened on December 2, 1937 with John Van Druten's The Distaff Side.  Aside from a six-year occupation by the U.S. Military during World War II, the theatre has operated continuously since its opening.

One of the original Distaff Side cast members was Craig Noel, who continued to act and direct at the Old Globe, eventually becoming its artistic leader in 1947.  Noel’s vision shaped the Old Globe throughout his seventy-year career with the theatre.  Noel and Board of Directors President Lowell Davies played instrumental roles in establishing the world-renowned Shakespeare Festival, which began in 1949 as a cooperative venture with San Diego State University, a partnership that ended after four seasons.  Noel began employing professional Equity actors for the Shakespeare festivals in 1959, shifting the theatre to professional status.  This transformation established the Old Globe as the oldest continuing professional not-for-profit theatre in California. The San Diego National Shakespeare Festival continued as an Old Globe solo venture until 1984.  After a twenty-year hiatus, the theatre re-instituted the festival in 2004 and continues to produce summer Shakespeare productions annually.

Also through Craig Noel's efforts, Falstaff Tavern became a second stage in 1963.  This arrangement proved successful, and in 1969 the Globe remodeled the Tavern and renamed it the Cassius Carter Centre Stage, in honor of the late San Diego arts patron and Shakespeare scholar.  In addition, Noel created Globe Educational Tours, a touring company that introduced the fundamentals of theatre to disadvantaged K-12 students in San Diego schools through live performance and lesson plans; and the Play Discovery Program, which provided new playwrights the opportunity to develop their talents through manuscript evaluations and possible production by the Old Globe Theatre.  Both programs began in 1974.  Seven years later, in collaboration with Dr. Jorge Huerta, Noel established Teatro Meta, a bicultural program aimed at strengthening cultural understanding between Hispanic and Anglo communities through the production of plays written, performed, and directed by the Hispanic community.

Arson destroyed the Old Globe Theatre on March 8, 1978, but the Cassius Carter Centre Stage, offices, dressing rooms, scenery, and costume shops survived.  To meet the need for the summer Shakespeare Festival, the Globe quickly erected an outdoor festival stage in only 52 days.  The actual rebuilding of the Old Globe Theatre required an extensive fundraising effort and several years to complete.  The new Old Globe opened on January 14, 1982.

In 1981, the board of directors established an artistic and administrative triumvirate to efficiently operate the new three-theatre complex.  Craig Noel was named executive producer.  Jack O'Brien, the nationally-acclaimed director who had staged eight productions at the Old Globe, became artistic director.  Thomas Hall, who came to the Old Globe with extensive administrative and production experience, was named managing director.

Also in 1981, the theatre’s board of directors established the Old Globe as a year-round professional company, marking the beginning of an incredible growth period.  In 1983, Jack O’Brien’s production of Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth became the first live theatre telecast on PBS. In 1984, the Old Globe broke the national record for the largest subscription base for any non-profit theatre, topping 40,000 subscriptions.  In that same year, the Old Globe was awarded a Tony for Outstanding Achievement by a Regional Theatre.

The Old Globe’s winning streak ended abruptly in 1984 with the destruction of the festival theatre by another fire.  The outdoor stage was rebuilt in 1985 and named the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre in honor of the Globe's board president from 1945-1976, who had organized the Globe 400, a group of patrons whose donations provided a scholarship fund to assist promising amateur actors.

The board of directors has been the governing body of the Old Globe Theatre since 1938.  It creates institutional policies, establishes committees that shape the direction of the Old Globe, and controls funds. The Executive Committee, a sub-committee of the board of directors, has the power to make decisions on behalf of the board.  Another organization significant to the Old Globe is the Globe Guilders, established in 1957 to raise funds and to promote membership and attendance at Old Globe productions.

The three-theater complex, which includes the Old Globe, the Cassius Carter Centre Stage (remodeled and renamed the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre in 2009) and the Lowell Davies Festival Stage, is collectively named the Simon Edison Centre for the Performing Arts in honor of the late husband of Helen Edison, a generous donor to the Old Globe building fund.  The Centre has a total seating capacity of 1,446, and is unique in that all theater production facilities and administration offices are located within the complex.

As of 2014, the Old Globe produces 15 mainstage productions yearly, incorporating all periods and styles.  The Old Globe continues to honor its commitment to Shakespeare and other classic plays, while nurturing the development and production of new works.  The Old Globe’s 2014 operating budget of approximately $20 million makes the theatre one of San Diego's largest arts institutions.  Over 250,000 people annually attend Globe productions and participate in its educational and outreach services.

Subject/Index Terms

Balboa Park (San Diego, Calif.)--History--Sources
Davies, Lowell, 1895-1983
Noel, Craig
Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, Calif.)
Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, Calif.)--Archives
Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, Calif.)--History--20th century--Sources
Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, Calif.)--History--Sources
San Diego County (Calif.)--Social life and customs--Sources
Theater--California--San Diego--History--20th century--Sources
Theaters--California--San Diego
Theaters--California--San Diego--History

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Accruals: 2007-029, 2008-041, 2008-036, 2006-026, 2009-039, 1984-004, 1992-008, 2002-049, 2004-008, 2004-009, 2004-013, 2005-057

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research, with the exception of the Audio/Visual materials.  Many of the items in the A/V collection require transfer to an accessible format in order to become available for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. Permissions is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish.  Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: Old Globe Theatre; Jane Cowgill (Globe Guilders)

Separated Materials:

1. Gable, Kathleen. Clark Gable: A Personal Portrait. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1961.

2  Jones, Alberta.  By the Lotus Pond: A Chinese Musical Fantasy.  Original Director’s Score, Orchestra Parts and Cues, 1926.

3. Lake, Veronica and Donald Bain. Veronica: The Autobiography of Veronica Lake. New York: Citadel Press, 1971.

4. Robinson, Jay. The Comeback. Lincoln: Chosen Books, 1979.

5. Tatham, Dick and Tony Jasper. Elton John. London: Octopus Books, 1976.

6. Waller, George. Saratoga: Saga of an Impious Era. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1966.

7. Old Globe Scrapbook.  Sherwood Hall. 1961-1962.

Related Materials:

Old Globe Theatre Photograph Collection, 1935-1987

Darlene Gould Davies Collection, 1935-2013

Lowell Davies Papers, 1911-1988

Combined Arts and Education Council of San Diego County (COMBO) Records, 1965-1983

For more information please see http://library.sdsu.edu/exhibits/2010/09/OldGlobe/index.shtml.

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Old Globe Theatre Records, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Historical Files, 1934-2008],
[Series 2: Administrative Files, 1938-2005],
[Series 3: Correspondence, 1933-2002],
[Series 4: Financial Files, 1936-1992],
[Series 5: Marketing Files, 1934-2002],
[Series 6: Development Files, 1969-1990],
[Series 7: Globe Guilders, 1957-2012],
[Series 8: Labor Unions and Professional Associations, 1965-1992],
[Series 9: Events, 1948-2007],
[Series 10: Facilities, 1956-1995],
[Series 11: Productions, 1935-2010],
[Series 12: Community Development Programs, 1975-2004],
[Series 13: Education Files, 1956-2005],
[Series 14: Scrapbooks, 1885-1996],
[Series 15: Audio/Visual Materials, 1950-2008],
[All]

Series 1: Historical Files, 1934-2008Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: Written Histories, 1957-1986Add to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Thesis on the History of the Old Globe Theatre, 1957Add to your cart.
Folder 2: History of the Old Globe Theatre, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1981, 1984Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Newspaper Clippings, 1965, n.d.Add to your cart.
Folder 4: "The Invocation", 1982Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Irene Tedrow: Interview, 1984Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Fact Sheets, 1985, n.d.Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Old Globe History Project Proposal, 1986Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Historical Sketches and Chronologies, n.d.Add to your cart.
Folder 9: The Second Fifty Years Television Program Proposal, n.d.Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 3: San Diego Community Theatre Files, 1934-1958Add to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 10: The Barn Players: Programs, Press, Correspondence, Written History, 1934-1938Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Work Progress Administration Project at Balboa Park, 1936Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Reconstruction Fund, 1936-1937, ca. 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Reconstruction Campaign: Trustees and Advisory Board, 1937Add to your cart.
Folder 14: The Community Player Newsletter, 1937-1938Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Membership Drive, 1938Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Programs, Promotional Materials, Newspaper Clippings, 1938-1939Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Workshop Programs, 1938-1941Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Financial, 1938, 1949Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Facility Renovation, 1940Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Report of the Executive Director, 1941Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Personnel Information, 1941, 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 22: "Globaloney" Interoffice Newsletter, 1944-1947Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Report of the First Director of the Theatre, Luther Kennett, Jr., ca. 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Curtain Call Newsletter, 1947-1948Add to your cart.
Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Little Theatre League One Act Play Tournament, 1947-1948Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1947-1949Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Publicity Files, 1948Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Samuel French Correspondence, 1948-1949Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Vendor Permits, 1949-1956Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Proposal of Public Relations by Dave Thompson, 1958Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Fact Sheet, n.d.Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Blank Certificate of Achievement, n.d.Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 4: Anniversary Celebrations, 1960-2005Add to your cart.
Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 9: 25th Anniversary Jubilee Celebration: Newspaper Clipping, 1960Add to your cart.
Folder 10: 50th Anniversary Jubilee Celebration: Development Associate File, 1985Add to your cart.
Folder 11: 50th Anniversary Jubilee Celebration: Event Fact Sheets and Information Packet, 1985Add to your cart.
Folder 12: 50th Anniversary Jubilee Celebration: Managing Director File, 1985Add to your cart.
Folder 13: 50th Anniversary Jubilee Celebration: Program, Press, 1985Add to your cart.
Folder 14: 50th Anniversary Jubilee Celebration: Public Relations Director File, 1985Add to your cart.
Folder 15: 60th Anniversary Celebration: Programs, 1995Add to your cart.
Folder 16: 65th Anniversary Gala Program, 2000Add to your cart.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Folder 1: 70th Anniversary/Craig Noel's 90th Birthday Celebration: Public Relations Director File, 2005Add to your cart.
Folder 2: 70/90 Celebration: Promotional Materials, Correspondence, Schedule, Press, 2005Add to your cart.
Box OVRSZD 332Add to your cart.
Item 1: County Supervisors’ Proclamation, Commending Old Globe Theatre, September 24, 1974Add to your cart.
Item 2: Mayor’s Proclamation, “Old Globe Theatre Month”, December 29, 1981Add to your cart.
Item 3: Mayor’s Proclamation, “Discover the Globe Week”, August 26, 1983Add to your cart.
Item 4: California Legislature Proclamation, Commending the Old Globe Theatre, May 15, 1985Add to your cart.
Item 5: County Supervisors’ Proclamation, “Old Globe Theatre Day”, May 29, 1985Add to your cart.
Item 6: Mayor’s Proclamation, “Old Globe/Lowell Davies Day”, May 29, 1985Add to your cart.
Item 7: California State Assemblymember’s Proclamation, Commending Old Globe Theatre, February 3, 1987Add to your cart.
Item 8: Congressman’s Proclamation, “Old Globe Charter Day”, February 3, 1987Add to your cart.
Item 9: County Supervisors’ Proclamation, Commending Theatrical Achievements, February 3, 1987Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 5: Notable Individuals, 1976-2008Add to your cart.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Tom Corcoran: Obituary, Correspondence, 1990Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Lowell Davies: Obituary and Lowell Davies Festival Theatre Ground Breaking, 1983, 1985Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Tom Hall: Biography, 1982Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Tom Hall: Departure from Old Globe, 1999Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Craig Noel: Biographies, 75th Birthday Program, Calendar, Correspondence, Press, 1978-1983Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Craig Noel: "The Problems of Amateur Theatre in 1979-1980 and Beyond", 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Craig Noel: Honorary Doctorate from University of San Diego, 1983Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Craig Noel: Image '85 Committee Member, 1985Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Craig Noel: National Medal of Arts NominationAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Craig Noel: Time Capsule Tribute, 1987Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Craig Noel: Awards, 1988-1989Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Craig Noel: 90th Birthday Celebration, Public Relations Director File, 2005Add to your cart.
Box 5Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Craig Noel: National Medal of Arts Award, NEA Packet and Press, 2008Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Jack O' Brien: Biography and Feature Articles, 1982-1985Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Jack O'Brien: Press, 1988-1997, 2001Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Jack O'Brien: "Mr. Abbott" Award, 2002Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Jack O'Brien: First Tony Award Press, 2003Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Jack O'Brien: 25th Anniversary Celebration, 2006Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Valeda Turner: Report, Correspondence, Notes, 1976Add to your cart.
Box OVRSZD 332Add to your cart.
Item 10: Board of Directors’ Proclamation, Honoring Armistead B. Carter, Esq., December 15, 1980Add to your cart.
Item 11: County Supervisors' Proclamation, "Craig Noel Day", 1980Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Historical Files, 1934-2008],
[Series 2: Administrative Files, 1938-2005],
[Series 3: Correspondence, 1933-2002],
[Series 4: Financial Files, 1936-1992],
[Series 5: Marketing Files, 1934-2002],
[Series 6: Development Files, 1969-1990],
[Series 7: Globe Guilders, 1957-2012],
[Series 8: Labor Unions and Professional Associations, 1965-1992],
[Series 9: Events, 1948-2007],
[Series 10: Facilities, 1956-1995],
[Series 11: Productions, 1935-2010],
[Series 12: Community Development Programs, 1975-2004],
[Series 13: Education Files, 1956-2005],
[Series 14: Scrapbooks, 1885-1996],
[Series 15: Audio/Visual Materials, 1950-2008],
[All]


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