Old Globe Theatre San Diego

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1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego, CA 122171
Experience the performances crafted at Shakespeare’s Old Globe Theatre! From classic stories, to new voices, to the best of the Bard - it’s all here!
Amanda Rosa
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means if you make purchases through them, I may be compensated at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
Old Globe Theatre San Diego
Experience the Old Globe
3 Stages for Performances
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Tickets & Admission
Planning Your Visit
Tips For Your Globe Visit
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Experience the Wonders of the Old Globe Theatre!

Walkway to the Old Globe TheatreBalboa Park Towers from the Old Globe

Nestled in the corner of Balboa Park, off of Balboa Drive in San Diego, is the Old Globe Theatre.

It’s the best of American theater at the highest professional standards. The Globe is San Diego’s largest theatrical organization and is proud of its continued commitment to the community.

The home to diverse productions, contemporary and classic themes, and of course, the Bard in San Diego. Surrounded by museums, restaurants, beautiful gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo - it’s the perfect place to see a performance in San Diego.

California Tower As Seen from the Old Globe
California Tower As Seen from the Old Globe

A Brief History of The Old Globe Theatre

Constructed in 1935 to replicate Shakespeare’s Old Globe in London, The Old Globe Theatre San Diego began humbly, producing curtailed versions of Shakespeare’s plays.

Eventually, the theater expanded its horizons to include other world-renowned classic performances.

On March 8th of 1978, this beautifully built theater experienced a tragic fire caused by arson. However, from an unfortunate tragedy came an amazing addition, an award-winning theater outdoors!

Since a good portion of The Globe had to be rebuilt, they designed the Festival Stage for production space.Unfortunately, in 1984, another arson fire claimed the Festival Stage.

From there, the Lowell Davies Festival theater was created, providing 620-seats for theater lovers in 1985.

Today, The Old Globe San Diego is proudly home to nationally renowned actors, directors, and playwrights.

It’s home to three regional theaters, making it both California’s oldest professional theater and the largest theater organization in San Diego.

  • The original Old Globe Theatre | The Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage | Conrad Prebys Theatre Center
  • The intimate seat in-the-round Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre | Conrad Prebys Theatre Center
  • The outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre

Past Award-Winning Productions

Over 20 productions that were produced in this very theater have gone on to Broadway to earn a whopping 13 Tony Awards. Including: Into the Woods, Damn Yankees, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.

In 1984, The Globe received a Tony Award for recognition in the development of theater.

The theater has a budget of $30 million per year as one of San Diego’s largest art institutions. It’s a top-ranked theater nationally, as well.

No wonder over 250,000 people visit it annually! In fact, we featured The Old Globe Theatre in our Most Fun Things to do in San Diego article!

Take a tour of The Prado, a popular restaurant in Balboa Park serving all flavors of San Diego dishes. The Prado has maintained its reputation of excellence for years, making it an iconic locale.

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Multiple Stages for Hundreds of Performances

The Old Globe Theatre has 3 stages across San Diego's Balboa Park.

The Donald and Darlene Shiley stage is in the Old Globe Theatre with 580 seats to fill. The Sheryls and Harvey White Theater has an additional 250 seats capacity.

Both of these stages are contained indoors so that you can immerse yourself in the experience come rain or shine.

The third stage, the Tony award-winning Lowell Davies 620-seat festival theater, is located outdoors where the famous summer Shakespeare Festival takes place.

Entrance to the Old Globe Theatre
Entrance to the Old Globe Theatre

The Old Globe Theatre

Since its opening on December 2, 1937, the Old Globe has been an integral part of both the San Diego and theater community.

It’s incredible to think that several famous, Broadway-bound plays made their world premiere debuts in this very theater. Where would the productions of The Full Monty and Into the Woods be without their first successful runs in San Diego?

Jack O’Brien, the Artistic Director Emeritus from 1981 to 2007, said it best, “If theatre in San Diego has a cradle, The Old Globe is it."

The Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre

Built in 2006 and originally known as the Cassius Carter Centre Stage, the theater offers intimate seating that will immerse you directly into the story.

The 250 seat-in-the-round theater offers seats that are no further than 5 rows away from the stage. The immersion goes further when you consider the actors enter the stage from the same steps that the audience takes in order to access their seats.

Our founder Todd raves about the ingenuity of the way performances are put on at the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre. Often there will be just a few actors with no backstage. The way they do things like doorways and change sets is ingenious and just something you have to experience yourself to believe.

Lowell Davies Festival Theatre

You know the saying, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, two Festival Stages were born. The first stage in ‘78 and the second, current stage, in ‘84.

The beautiful Lowell Davies Festival Theatre sits surrounded by eucalyptus trees - and we can’t think of a better location to immerse oneself in Shakespeare’s worlds.

Every summer (July - September) the theater hosts The Old Globe’s Summer Festival, a celebration of Shakespeare’s work. Two plays are produced for audiences that come from near and far.

Main Outside Lobby Area at Dr Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Old Globe
Main Outside Lobby Area at Dr Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Old Globe

Performance Information

Across these three stages combined, the Old Globe features 15 productions and around 600 performances annually.

A couple of 2024 highlights I’m looking forward to include the world premiere adaptation of Henry 6 One: Flowers and France and the West Coast premiere of Dracula, A Comedy of Terrors.

The theater also embraces the holiday by holding an annual performance of, “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”, our #1 pick in our Holiday Season Guide to San Diego Christmas Activities.

If you’re looking for all the specifics on 2024 performance dates, times the Summer Festival and so much more, check out our article with the details to the 2024 season at the Old Globe Theater.

The Old Globe’s Summer Festival

The theater also offers several programs during the festival in order to educate and engage audiences further.

They offer:

  • Pam Farr Summer Shakespeare Studio - a program for high schoolers looking to hone their voice while performing Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare in the Garden - allows the audience a chance to learn more about the production
  • Behind the Scenes Tours - learn how the costumes are made, how the stages are built, and what goes into making the perfect prop
  • Globe For All - a touring company created to bring performances, workshops, and more to communities in San Diego and Tijuana
  • Globe to Go - free classes and workshops designed to introduce the Bard to new audiences directly in their communities
  • School In the Park - a dedicated program that introduces local high schools to free matinee performances, in-classroom workshops, and more
  • Production Guides

Local Tips
Enjoy The Old Globe with Friends
The Old Globe is even more fun when you’re with friends! Groups of 10 or more save money and get early access before single tickets go on sale.

Save BIG with Go City!
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What attractions are included with a Go City San Diego pass?

Attractions that you can visit with a Go City San Diego pass include:

The San Diego Zoo, Birch Aquarium, SeaWorld, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, Harbor Cruise, USS Midway Museum, the NAT Museum, Whaley House, PETCO Park Tour, iFLY San Diego and many, many more!

Want to save more? Use our exclusive discount code GVSD5OFF to save an extra 5%!

Tickets & Admission

You can purchase your tickets by going directly through the Old Globe's San Diego website. You can also call the box office at (619)-23-GLOBE (234-5623).

Use both avenues to check when tickets to certain shows go on sale to ensure you get your ticket!

Multi-show & Season Passes

If you're someone who wants to see several shows, then season packages are available to provide you with a great money-saving option. Purchasing a season package guarantees your seats before the tickets go on sale!

The Current Packages offer:

  • 8-Play Package (includes all Old Globe Theatre, Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, & Lowell Davies Festival Theatre shows)
  • 6-Play Package (includes all Old Globe Theatre & Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre shows)
  • 3-Play Package (includes all Old Globe Theatre shows)
  • 3-Play Package (includes Henry 6 One & Henry 6 Two)

Discounts are also available for groups, students, teachers, active-duty military, their family, and seniors.

As always, prices are subject to change, so be sure to call ahead beforehand, or check the website for up-to-date prices.

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Enjoy the Ultimate Theater Experience

How should you make the most of your theater outing?

Walking into the San Diego Museum of Us
Walking into the San Diego Museum of Us

How to Get There

The Globe can be found in Balboa Park near both the Museum of Us and SDMA. Free parking is available across parking lots in the immediate area.

Keep in mind, since the theater can be accessed via major freeways, you may encounter traffic.

We recommend giving yourself ample time for travel and parking.

Places to Eat Before or After the Show

There are many restaurants to choose from including Old Globe’s very own Lady Carolyn Pub.

It offers a selection of sandwiches and soups, as well as other wonderful treats! You won’t attend a show with an empty belly!

Although, no food or drink is allowed in the theater itself.

Early Morning Hike at Cowles Mountain Summit
Early Morning Hike at Cowles Mountain Summit

How to Make the Most of Your Visit

To quote Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice: The earth has music for those who listen.

In that spirit, there’s only one thing better than seeing Shakespeare outdoors, and that’s a hiking tour.

Go City San Diego’s two-hour San Diego Hiking Tour pairs you and your group with a knowledgeable, expert guide.

Choose from the Mission Trails Regional Park or the Tecolote Canyon Trails options. Both offer beginner and intermediate trails - so it's a perfect addition to any San Diego vacation.

The Lafayette Hotel in University Heights
The Lafayette Hotel in University Heights

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

So, where should you stay during your visit? The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, of course!

A fun mix of classic Hollywood charm and whimsical modern touches, The Lafayette’s newly renovated rooms are perfect for couples and families alike.

A local favorite, you’ll get to hang by the pool (shout out to the curated playlist by Swiss Beatz), eat Quixote’s famous crab corn doughnut, or raise your glass in a toast at the Lobby Bar.

Of course, location is everything and the Lafayette Hotel is just about 10 minutes from Downtown San Diego and approximately 4 miles from the Santa Fe Depot Amtrak Station.

A Few Tips to Make Your Trip A Breeze

EV Charging
EV Charging
Free Parking
Free Parking
Lot Parking
Lot Parking

Here are a few things you should know before you go to bypass any unpleasant surprises:

Hours of Operation

The theater is open Tuesday through Sunday with showtimes beginning at noon, with the last showtime at 6:00 pm. The box office is closed on Mondays.

Always check beforehand, as these hours can change.

Land the Best Seats in the House

The front row seats sell out quickly.

If you prefer to be front and center, keep an eye out for the early bird specials and get your tickets as soon as possible.

Posing in Front of the Christmas Tree at How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Old Globe
Posing in Front of the Christmas Tree at How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Old Globe

When is the Best Time of the Year to Attend a Show

The Old Globe Theatre has shows going on year-round, so there is no 'bad' time to visit this impressive theater.

If you’re a Shakespeare fanatic then the best time for you to visit would be the summer's Shakespeare Festival. If you like to get into the holiday spirit, we’re partial the the annual performance of The Nutcracker in December.

Have Fun!

The most important tip is to enjoy yourself. In our daily lives, we’re constantly on our phones and computers.

Unplug and allow yourself to experience the essence of true theater performance.

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