The Old Globe

Old Globe Theatre in San Diego
Stefanie Seskin/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

Because of its name and origins, many associate The Old Globe with Shakespeare plays only, but it produces much more, including launching productions that go on to national acclaim.

Past performances included Othello starring Blair Underwood, Kristen Connelly (House of Cards) and Richard Thomas (The Americans, The Waltons)

Likes and Dislikes

We rate The Old Globe 4.5 out of 5 for the performances we have attended. They won a Tony Award for Regional Theatre in 1984.

We like the variety of plays they produce and their cadre of repertory players is excellent. If you're looking for a theatrical night out while you're in San Diego, the Old Globe should be on your list of schedules to check.

TripAdvisor Reviewers say: "the venue is small and well designed so that all seats are "good" seats. What a wonderful place to see a play" and "the Old Globe's location, history and continued successes make it an excellent choice for an evening of theater."

Yelp Reviewers say: "The parking can be a bit tricky, but the performances and production make it an overall worthwhile experience."

The Venue and Crowd Factor

The Old Globe performs in three venues - all in close proximity to Balboa Park - which are described below.

Theatres by their nature are limited to the number of people they can seat and can't get too overcrowded.

However, the Globe's Balboa Park location is popular with both San Diegans and visitors. You can find several parking lots near the theatre, but during busy times, finding an open space may be harder. Parking attendants are on duty to assist you before every show. Valet parking (small fee) is also available nightly in front of the Prado Restaurant at the House of Hospitality.

The Old Globe Tips

  • Doors open 30 minutes before the performance. You can picnic outside before the show, but no food is allowed inside.
  • Sadly, the nearby Prado restaurant, once a before-show ritual has declined in quality and we can't recommend it. Instead, look for restaurants in the nearby Hillcrest neighborhood.
  • Children under age 5 are not permitted, except for the Christmas show.
  • It can get chilly in the outdoor theatres, even in summer. Bring a jacket or blanket - and something to cover your legs will feel nice, too.
  • Backstage tours are given selected Saturdays and Sundays. Call 619-231-1941, ext 2145 for more info.

The Old Globe Seating

  • Old Globe: A 580-seat, outdoor theatre modeled after Shakespeare's original venue.
  • Lowell Davies Festival Theatre: A 615-seat, outdoor theatre, it operates during the summer season.
  • Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre: A wonderfully intimate (250-seat) indoor theatre in an arena style, where no seat is more than 5 rows away from the action.

The Old Globe Tickets and Reservations

Ticket prices vary by venue, production and day of the week, starting as low as $29 for mid-week shows in the Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre, but easily twice that for a weekend performance of a popular production. Younger folks get a break with the $20 UNDER 30 TICKETS, available for most performances (one ticket per person with valid I.D. showing proof of age).

Buy early online, by phone at 619-234-5623, or in person at Ticket Services, which opens daily at noon.

The Old Globe Basics

  • Address: 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park, San Diego
  • The Old Globe summer Shakespeare season runs from mid-June through July
  • Other productions are staged year-round
  • The Old Globe website
  • Admission is charged and reservations are recommended. See below for more details

How to Get to The Old Globe

Directions depend on where you're coming from. The Old Globe website has them all.

As is common in the travel industry, the author received complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review. It has not influenced the outcome. However, Tripsavvy.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.