The Old Globe Celebrates William Shakespeare’s 453rd Birthday With Community Party

Families enjoying Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare! (2016). Photo by Douglas Gates.

SAN DIEGO–The Old Globe will celebrate playwright William Shakespeare’s 453rd birthday with a huge party in Balboa Park in San Diego.

“Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!” recognizes the playwright’s countless contributions to arts and culture around the world. The exciting day of family activities is free and open to the public as part of the Globe’s ongoing commitment to programs that serve all of San Diego county. Don your best doublet and ruff—or come as you are. A birthday cake will be served at 12 noon.

Birthday games and activities, emceed by local artist Nadia Guevara, will run the gamut of eras from Elizabethan to today. The celebration will feature live music from local artist DJ Redlite, backing up sonnet karaoke, led by the illustrious students in The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program.

Challengers welcome—bring your own sonnet or monologue—or choose one from The Old Globe. And the talented Arts Engagement team will be on hand to help out with the fun, as will members of the San Diego Shakespeare Society.

The doors to The Globe’s indoor theatres will be open to the public to explore, with a costume exhibit in the Globe lobby, and informative docents on site to answer questions. Shakespeare-themed activities on Copley Plaza will include a life-sized board game, and in the Craig Noel Garden, children can create their own Shakespearean puppets and perform in an interactive puppet theatre show with the San Diego Guild of Puppetry.

“It is my birthday,’ says Cleopatra in Act III of the great play Shakespeare wrote about her, and though the line may not be one of the Bard’s most famous, it’s still fitting for this particular day,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “Shakespeare is the lifeblood of The Old Globe, and the Globe is central to San Diego, so we couldn’t let his 453rd go by without a bang. We’ve planned a day of fun for the whole family: music, costumes, performances, games, and food. I know it’s going to be a blast, and I look forward to welcoming the whole city to join us.”

“Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!” will be held on April 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the Globe’s campus in Balboa Park.

The event is supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation.

The Old Globe is located in Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way in San Diego. Free parking is available throughout the park. Guests may also be dropped off in front of the Mingei International Museum.

For additional parking information visit For directions and up-to-date information, visit–parking/detailed-directions.

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