Happy Birthday Shakespeare

The Old Globe in Balboa Park is celebrating the 452nd birthday of playwright William Shakespeare on Saturday, with a public party and birthday cake.

The celebration takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 23 in the Globe’s Copley Plaza and in the Craig Noel Garden, as well as in the Old Globe and Sheryl and Harvey White Theatres.

Birthday games and activities will run the gamut of eras from Elizabethan to today. Musicians Clinton Davis and Mark Danisovszky will recount the hits of Shakespeare’s day, and guests can try Sonnet Karaoke led by actors.

There will be a life-sized board game, and in the garden, children are welcome to create their own Shakespearean puppets and perform in an interactive puppet show.

The theaters will be open to explore, with a costume exhibit in the Globe lobby, and informative docents on hand to answer questions. Then, at noon, there’s free cake.

“‘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 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 452nd go by without a bang,” Edelstein said. “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.”

The Old Globe is modeled after the theater in Elizabethan London where the famous bard’s plays were performed to large audiences of the day.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.