The Old Globe announces joyful and robust 2024 season of new plays, U.S. premieres and its epic ‘Henry 6’

A scene from The 7 Fingers' "Duel Reality."
A scene from The 7 Fingers’ “Duel Reality,” which will make its U.S. premiere at The Old Globe as part of the Globe’s 2024 season.
(Courtesy of The Old Globe)

Pulitzer Prize-winners ‘Fat Ham’ and ‘English’ join the West Coast premieres of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ and ‘Dracula, a Comedy of Terrors’


The Old Globe unveiled its 2024 season on Thursday morning, featuring a dozen shows that range from upbeat comedies and world premieres to Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, a musical, an eye-popping spectacle and its long-in-development “Henry 6” Shakespeare project.

With the addition of its annual “Grinch” and “Ebenezer Scrooge” holiday plays, and its Globe for All and Old Globe-University of San Diego Shakespeare productions next fall, the Globe’s calendar will be just as packed in 2024 as it was in the years before the pandemic. But Globe artistic director Barry Edelstein said that the Globe has not been immune to the twin challenges that have devastated the theater industry nationwide — shrinking audiences and higher production costs.

The same scenario is playing out nationwide for both theater and opera companies now facing shutdowns, season cancellation, layoffs and shrinking audiences

Aug. 27, 2023

The 2024 season will not have a big-cast summer musical on its main stage, but it will have two productions imported from other cities and a handful of smaller-scale shows with as few as two actors. Edelstein said one of the hardest tasks theater leaders have faced since the pandemic ended is figuring out how to lure past and potential theatergoers away from their televisions and back to live theater again.

“This season represents our best thinking about what people want to see and how theater can really excite audiences to turn off ‘Ted Lasso’ and come back inside,” he said, referring the feel-good Apple TV+ series that became must-watch TV during the pandemic.

Among the shows this past Globe season that did prove to be big audience draws were the 25th annual production of “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,” which set an all-time sales record, the July debut of Montreal’s The 7 Fingers stage spectacle “Passengers” and the two summer Shakespeare comedies on the outdoor stage.

A scene from the Broadway production of "Fat Ham."
A scene from the 2022 Broadway production of “Fat Ham.” The Old Globe will produce the play’s San Diego premiere during its 2024 season.
(Bruce Glikas / Getty Images)

As a result, Edelstein said he has planned a 2024 season “with a very heavy emphasis on joy and themes that are upbeat. There’s been clear and deep thinking about saying our objective is to remind people what’s wonderful about the theater and hope that is what gets them to come back.”

Tickets for the 2024 season are now on sale at Here’s a look at the 2024 schedule in the Globe’s three theaters — the mainstage Old Globe Theatre, the in-the-round Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre and the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre. (This schedule does not include the fall 2024 Shakespeare and holiday shows.)


‘The Age of Innocence’

Playwright Karen Zacarías.
(Courtesy of the Old Globe)

The Globe commissioned playwright Karen Zacarias (“Destiny of Desire,” “Native Gardens”) to adapt for the stage Edith Wharton’s beloved 1920 novel about a love triangle between the scandalous European countess Ellen Olenska, her besotted American cousin Newland Archer and his fiancée May in 1870s New York. Edelstein said this adaptation will tell the story more from the women’s perspective than the novel did. Feb. 8 through March 10, Old Globe Theatre.



Freya Catrin Smith - composer for the musical "Ride."
Freya Catrin Smith is the co-writer of “Ride,” a 2022 London-born musical that will make its U.S. premiere during the Old Globe’s 2024 season.
(Courtesy of The Old Globe)

The Globe presents the U.S. premiere of this London-born 2022 musical by Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams, inspired by the true story of Annie Londonderry, an American woman who became the first woman to bicycle around the world in 1895. The two-character show’s original director, Sarah Meadows, will oversee the Globe production. “It’s a really beguiling story about how we take our destinies in our own hands and conquer obstacles,” Edelstein said. March 30 through April 28. Old Globe Theatre.


‘Fat Ham’

"Fat Ham" playwright James Ijames arrives at the 76th annual Tony Awards on June 11, 2023, in New York City.
“Fat Ham” playwright James Ijames.
(Evan Agostini / Associated Press)

Winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize and a 2022 Tony nominee for Best New Play, James Ijames’ raucous comedy re-sets Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” at a contemporary Black family’s backyard barbecue in the American South. Queer, overweight and directionless Juicy is confronted by his father’s ghost, who demands Juicy avenge his murder. “Hamlet” is a mere stepping-off point for this wildly funny play about love, family, identity and self-worth. Edelstein said of the play “If you know the Shakespeare, there’s a whole second level of enjoyment, yet it really remakes the story for a new generation.” May 25 through June 23. Old Globe Theatre


‘Duel Reality’

A scene from The 7 Fingers' "Duel Reality."
A scene from The 7 Fingers’ “Duel Reality,” which will make its U.S. premiere at The Old Globe as part of the Globe’s 2024 season.
(Courtesy of The Old Globe)

Montreal’s The 7 Fingers, which presented “Passengers” at the Globe in July, returns with the U.S. premiere of “Duel Reality,” which once again incorporates circus acts, theater, music and projections in a stage piece inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” In this version, the warring Capulet and Montague families are competing circus troupes who face off in acts of derring-do, while a secret romantic drama unfolds between Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. The 7 Fingers creator Shana Carroll directs. July 6 through August 4. Old Globe Theatre


‘Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express’

Playwright Ken Ludwig.
(Leslie Cashen)

Adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig, this 1934 Hercule Poirot murder mystery premiered in 2020 at Asolo Repertory Theatre in Florida, the same company that originally produced the Globe’s current staging of “Cabaret.” Edelstein calls director Peter Amster’s visually stunning production “staggering in its creativity and scope” in how he re-creates the 1930s-era European passenger train onstage. This will be the play’s West Coast premiere. Sept. 7 through Oct. 6. Old Globe Theatre



Sanaz Toossi's play "English" will be part of The Old Globe's 2024 season.
Playwright Sanaz Toossi’s 2023 Pulitzer Prize-winning play “English” will be part of The Old Globe’s 2024 season.
(Courtesy of The Old Globe)



Winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Obie Award, this play by Sanaz Toossi is about a group of Iranian students who meet in an English proficiency class in 2008 Tehran as they all prepare to go abroad for different reasons. “It’s a very special piece and very comic but it explores the real existential pain of leaving your home and having to start anew,” Edelstein said. Arya Shahi, of PigPen Theatre Co., will direct. January 27 through Feb. 18. Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre


‘King James’

Playwright Rajiv Joseph.
(Victoria Will / Associated Press)

Playwright Rajiv Joseph, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for his play “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” premiered this two-character play at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre in 2022. It’s the decades-long story of interracial friendship between two friends, Shawn and Matt, who bond and battle over their shared love for the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team and their love-hate relationship with its departed superstar LeBron James. Justin Emeka directs. Edelstein said no basketball knowledge is necessary to appreciate “King James.” “Sports is a metaphor for those values that keep separated Americans talking to each other. This is one of the smartest plays about race that I’ve ever seen,” he said. March 9 through March 31. Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre



Playwright-actor Melinda Lopez.
(The Old Globe)

Playwright-actor Melinda Lopez (star and author of last season’s “Mala”), is collaborating with playwright Joel Perez (“Kiss My Aztec” at La Jolla Playhouse) on this Old Globe world premiere. It’s about two siblings, separated by distance and circumstances, who meet over Zoom to share their mother’s famous recipes. Edelstein said Lopez got the idea for this play during the pandemic, when she spent many hours on Zoom cooking with family members. May 4 through May 26. Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre


‘Ms. Holmes and Ms. Watson — Apt. 2B’

Playwright Kate Hamill.
(Courtesy of The Old Globe)

Playwright Kate Hamill (whose “Little Fellow” makes its world premiere this fall at Cygnet Theatre) has reimagined Arthur Conan Doyle’s Victorian-era detective team as two hipster Gen Z women roommates in contemporary London, who become amateur sleuths. James Vásquez directs the fast-paced 2022 comedy. July 27 through Aug. 18. Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre


‘Dracula, A Comedy of Terrors’

Five actors sing in the Old Globe's "Crime and Punishment, a Comedy."
A scene from Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen’s “Crime and Punishment, a Comedy” at the Old Globe. The duo returns in 2024 with their latest zany play “Dracula, A Comedy of Terrors.”
(Courtesy of Jim Cox)

From the creators of the Globe’s “Crime and Punishment, A Comedy” and “Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show,” this 90-minute play by Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen turns Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror novel into a fast-paced, zany comedy. Sept. 20 through Oct. 13. Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre



Artistic director Barry Edelstein poses in the Old Globe's Festival Theater in Balboa Park.
Artistic director Barry Edelstein poses inside the Old Globe’s outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre in Balboa Park, where Shakespeare plays are presented each summer.
(Eduardo Contreras/The San Diego Union-Tribune)


‘Henry 6’

Over the past 83 years, the Old Globe has produced all of Shakespeare’s plays except “Henry VI, Parts I, II and III.” Among Shakespeare’s earliest works, the “Henry VI” history plays tell the story of the War of the Roses, a decades-long war between England’s York and Lancaster dynasties in the 1400s. Edelstein has condensed the three plays into two and is focusing on the characters’ quest to achieve power at any cost, and how that single-minded purpose can lead to chaos, violence and anarchy. The Globe’s education staff is now meeting with community members citywide to teach about the play and gather feedback. Eventually, a few community members will become part of the “Henry 6” project — some as onstage actors, some in recorded videos that will be projected onstage and some working behind the scenes in the Globe’s design departments. The two plays will be presented in repertory so people can watch them in order on consecutive nights or weeks. Part 1 plays June 30 through Sept. 14; Part 2 plays July 9 through Sept. 15. Lowell Davies Festival Theatre