Twelfth Night Poster
Twelfth Night poster. Courtesy The Old Globe

The Old Globe is taking Shakespeare to the streets, with 17 free performances of “Twelfth Night” throughout San Diego and the Imperial Valley.

The Globe for All tour begins Tuesday, Oct. 17, with a performance at the Veterans Village of San Diego, and continues through Nov. 18.

Venues include Naval Base San Diego, the San Diego Central Library, the California State Prison in Centinela, Father Joe’s Villages, St. Michael Chaldean Catholic Church in El Cajon and many others. For some engagements, the program will be available in Spanish, for others, Arabic.

The production re-imagines the Balkans province of Illyria as a sunny, modern-day Southern California getaway for the rich and fabulous and their entourages. Crashing onto this luxurious scene is Viola, a Mexican immigrant who comes into the U.S. via the Pacific, but who is tragically separated from her twin brother Sebastian in the process. Determined to start a new life, she disguises herself as a young man and goes to work for Orsino—who is hopelessly in love with the wealthy heiress Olivia—and quickly falls in love with him herself.

As Viola unintentionally gets herself and everyone around her twisted into knots, she addresses the audience in asides and soliloquies in her native tongue, adding a bi-cultural twist to Shakespeare’s great romantic comedy about people divided from their true selves, in one form or another.

More information about the Globe for All tour is available online.

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