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The Old Globe

Grant Allows Old Globe to Launch
Community Playwriting Initiative

San Diego's Old Globe has announced the launch of The Old Globe Community Voices, a series of workshops dedicated to the creation and presentation of short plays by adult residents of San Diego County. Community Voices is the centerpiece of The Old Globe Residency Project, an artistic initiative offering avenues of engagement for underserved communities. 

The Old Globe logoFunded by a two-year, $500,000 grant from the James Irvine Foundation, the Residency Project builds upon the Globe's earlier Southeastern San Diego Residency Project by expanding the definition of “community” to include groups defined by shared experience, geography, demographics, identity, profession, or other characteristics. In addition to Community Voices, the Residency Project also provides free admission to Globe productions for underserved communities and paid internships for young adults.

Taught by an Old Globe teaching artist, the workshops comprise eight sessions each and emphasize building skills in playwriting and performance. They result in the writing, rehearsing, and presentation of 10-minute plays. The program also provides mentoring opportunities with members of the Globe community. The sessions conclude with a public performance by the participants with professional actors in Hattox Hall in the Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Upon completion of the program, all Community Voices participants receive a $300 stipend. Adults 21 years and older in San Diego County are welcome to register for one of the eight-class sessions.

“As the county's largest arts organization, we want to invite San Diegans not only to experience and learn about live theater, but also to gain the tools to create theatrical art themselves and to use the arts to enhance their lives and their communities,” Old Globe Managing Director Michael G. Murphy said in a press release.

The Old Globe Community Voices supports a dynamic creative process for individuals who have not had opportunities to envision themselves as artists. Participants explore avenues of theatrical expression and collaboration through their individual and shared experiences and acquire the tools to create their own art upon completion of the Community Voices program. 

The inaugural Community Voices workshops began in September with participants at Victory Outreach Church and The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. The Globe will partner with local organizations, community theaters, the military community, and faith-based groups for the ongoing series of workshops through December 2013. Community groups and individuals can register for upcoming workshops by contacting Community Outreach Coordinator Desiree Nash at 619-238-0043 x2105 or

The Old Globe Residency Project also provides 6,400 free admissions to the theater's productions for members of underserved San Diego communities and paid internship opportunities for young adults at both the Globe's campus in Balboa Park and at The Old Globe Technical Center located in southeastern San Diego. To inquire about internship opportunities, contact Director of Education Robert Wells-Famula at 619-238-0043 x2144 or

The James Irvine Foundation has provided funding to The Old Globe for more than three decades with grants supporting the theater's education and artist programs. The Foundation's Artistic Innovation Fund most recently supported the Globe's three-year Southeastern San Diego Residency Project. Initiated in 2009, the project enabled the development and presentation of the hip-hop musical Kingdom and the West Coast premiere of Welcome to Arroyo's, performed both at the Globe and at Lincoln High School Center for the Arts, and the community extravaganza Odyssey, which featured more than 200 San Diegans in a retelling of Homer's epic tale on the stage of the Globe's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre. The Southeastern San Diego Residency Project also included a series of workshops in Lincoln High classrooms, internships at the Globe's Technical Center, free admission to Globe productions and the development of a play, Emancipated, written by four young San Diegans about their experiences in the foster care system.

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grant-making foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. The Foundation's grants focus on three program areas: Arts, California Democracy, and Youth. Since 1937, the Foundation has provided more than $1.3 billion in grants to over 3,500 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With about $1.6 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $65 million in 2011 for the people of California.

October 15, 2012

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