Raising the Bard in San Diego!

Our 16th Annual Celebrity Sonnets at the Old Globe Theatre!

The Old Globe Theater

1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

Monday, October 9, 2017 at 7:30 PM

Includes music, dance, poetry and lots of fun.

This is always a Bard-tastic night out!
This event will also celebrate and honor Walter Munk, famed Oceanographer and Honorary Member of the Society. Walter will be 100 in October. Dave Scott of KUSI is the emcee. A host of celebrities, including Jonathan McMurtry, Richard Lederer, Kathy Diamant and her husband Byron LaDue, Prof. William Nericcio of SDSU, students from Leigh Scarritt Productions, the SD Civic Youth Ballet and others will honor Walter who plans to attend.

GET TICKETS NOW! Selling out fast!

Tickets: $20 Non-Members, $10 Members/Senior/Military.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by mail. To purchase tickets by mail, send check payable to SDSS to 7442 Conestoga Way, San Diego, CA 92120, and tell us the number in your party.





                                     TWELFTH NIGHT

BOOKSTAR BARNES AND NOBLE BOOKSTORE located in the historic Point Loma Theater.

3150 Rosecrans Place
San Diego, CA 92110 

6:00 PM Tuesday October 3, 2017


                                         You’re invited!

  • Join us for an informal time with the Bard, starring you! All are welcome. Anyone can read or just listen. Parts are re-assigned before each scene so everyone who wants to can read.

    These popular readings are fun, interactive, creative, and great public speaking and acting practice. They are also a good way to meet other people who are interested in literature and Shakespeare and his work.

    The Director:

    Michael Reynolds will guide the reading. He has extensive experience in theater from college and after college as well. Michael is a dedicated Shakespeare enthusiast.  One summer he read all of Shakespeare’s history plays just for his own enjoyment. He wrote a comedy skit in Shakespeare’s Elizabethan language based on his own family life that was staged at the Upstart Crow Bookstore in  2013.

    The Play:

    “If music be the food of love, Play on.” Twelfth Night is a tale of unrequited love – hilarious and heartbreaking. Twins are separated in a shipwreck, and forced to fend for themselves in a strange land. The first twin, Viola, falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on OIivia, who falls for Viola but is idolized by Malvolio. Enter Sebastian, who is the spitting image of his twin sister.

    This is perhaps the loveliest and most light-hearted of Shakespeare’s romantic comedies.  Come join the fabulous characters Olivia, Viola, Maria, Sebastian, Andrew Aguecheek, Sir Toby Belch, Duke Orsino, Fabian, plus the only character who disapproves of laughter, Malvolio, who becomes a joke himself.

    The Plan:

    Parts are re-assigned before each scene so everyone who wants to can read. Please bring your own copy of the play if possible. We MAY have an extra copy or two. This is the official reading of the San Diego Shakespeare Society. It is a free open reading of the plays of William Shakespeare from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM on the first Tuesday of each month in the Barnes and Noble Bookstar at the historic Loma Theater in Pt. Loma. These popular readings are fun, interactive, creative and great public speaking and acting practice. They are also a great way to meet other people who are interested in literature and Shakespeare and his work.

    The Organization:

    We are a non-profit organization The San Diego Shakespeare Society’s mission is to introduce, educate and encourage the public’s understanding and enjoyment of the works of William Shakespeare.

    We are also on: San Diego Shakespeare Society Meetup.com

bookstar reading

One of our free, join-in open Shakespeare readings in progress at Barnes and Noble Bookstar in Point Loma.


Bookstar at the historic Loma Theater in Point Loma
First Tuesday of every month, 6.00 PM -8:00 PM   Note this new time slot for the readings.
3150 Rosecrans Place
San Diego, CA 92110 

  • Tuesday January 3rd, 2017 –  Richard III - Tom Haine directing
  • Tuesday February 7th, 2017 –  Richard III - Tom Haine directing
  • Tuesday March 7th, 2017 – Merchant of Venice – Charlie Riendeau directing
  • Tuesday April 4th, 2017 – Merchant of Venice – Charlie Riendeau directing
  • Tuesday May 2nd, 2017 – Love’s Labour’s Lost – Patricia Elmore Costa directing
  • Tuesday June 6th, 2017 - Love’s Labour’s Lost - Patricia Elmore Costa directing
  • Wednesday July 5th, 2017 – Henry IV Part 1 – Kim Keeline directing
  • Tuesday August 1st, 2017 –  Henry IV Part 1 – Kim Keeline directing
  • Tuesday September 5th, 2017 – Twelfth Night - Michael Reynolds directing
  • Tuesday October 3rd, 2017 –  Twelfth Night – Michael Reynolds directing
  • Tuesday November 7th, 2017 –  Merry Wives of Windsor – Kim Keeline directing
  • Tuesday December 5th, 2017 – Merry Wives of Windsor – Kim Keeline directing

There’s also a Meetup page for our readings:
>> San Diego Shakespeare Society Meetup

For questions or comments please contact our Director of Readings: Darryl Woodson  ( dtw.3439@gmail.com )


FAQs about the Open Readings

Q:  Do I have to read?
A:  No, absolutely not.  You are welcome to show up and just watch.  We suspect, however, that it will look like too much fun for you to resist for long. A lot of newcomers don’t want to read initially but when they see how fun it is, they join in! But there is no pressure at all if you just want to watch and we have regular attendees who have never read.

Q: Do I have to bring a book?
A:  You don’t need to have a text if you just want to listen, but it can be fun to follow along in a text even if you are not reading. At readings held at libraries, copies are kindly provided by the library. At other readings, if you do want to read it is recommended that you bring your own copy of the text to be read that night, a Complete Works, or at least a smartphone or tablet so you can find the text online.

Q: Can I act as a specific character or be in a particular scene?
A:  That may be possible.  Each evening has an assigned director who has planned what scenes to cover.  If you are really anxious to act in a specific scene, talk to the director at the start and see what can be arranged.  No guarantees, but if the scene is being done that night, it might be possible.  All scenes are cast that night right before they are read, so usually everyone who wants to act has the chance to do at least a small role.

Q: Who can participate?
A:  Everyone!  They are free and open to the public.

Q: I went and it was fun. Are more readings planned in different locations?
A:  Great. We would like to expand to new venues where there may be an audience for this fun event.






**Starring Jonathan McMurtry as Prospero**

Sunday, September 10, 2017   3:00 PM

Thomas Jefferson School of Law Campus
1155 Island Ave, San Diego, CA

View our flyer! Click the image below to enlarge it.

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The Plot:

After the events depicted in The Tempest and after the return to Naples from that uncharted island in the Mediterranean, King Alonso dies suddenly. His son Ferdinand succeeds to the throne but soon falls under the malicious influence of Prospero’s brother, the unrepentant Antonio. He convinces Ferdinand that they were all stranded on the island by the deliberate actions of Prospero and that by sinister means Prospero bewitched King Alonso into reinstating him as Duke of Milan. As this title was gained by trickery, it is null and void. Prospero is thus again deposed, with Antonio again becoming Duke. Criminal charges are brought against Prospero for piracy, witchcraft, and false imprisonment. Under the circumstances, the wedding of Miranda and Ferdinand is off.

The audience gets to vote on whether Prospero is innocent or guilty as charged.


The Cast:

Prospero ~ Jonathan McMurtry
Caliban ~ Mark C. Petrich
Antonio ~ Raymond Lynch
Sidney St. John ~ Susan Benninghoff
Miranda ~ Alexis Park
Ferdinand ~ Thomas Block
Presiding Judge ~ Bryan H. Wildenthal, Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Prosecution Counsel ~ Anne Perry, Esq.
Defense Counsel ~ Sam Bettwy, Adjunct Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Script by Gordon Gidlund, Esq.

Directed by Thomas Haine, Esq.

Admission :

This is a fundraiser for the SDSS. We need your support to help with all our year around activities.

$20 non-members; $10 society members, seniors, students, military.

Doors open at 2:30 PM. The trial will be held in the Moot Courtroom on the 2nd floor.

Tickets may be purchased at the door. www.sandiegoshakespearesociety.org. 

An optional wine and cheese reception will follow the program, cost $15, which should be added to the ticket price when you book, with the number in your party.

Street Parking is limited. We recommend the reasonable parking at the Parkade, one block away from the venue.. Please see this link for address and cost:

We Do Shakespeare All Year ‘Round!

Celebrity Sonnets


William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets in addition to his plays.  He dealt with themes of love, loss, aging, jealousy, and the nature of writing.

Our really fun Celebrity Sonnets event is held twice a year: In North County at the Dove Library in Carlsbad, and at the Old Globe in Balboa Park.

At each Celebrity Sonnets event, we ask actors, local celebrities, musicians, dancers and specially invited guests to perform their choice of Shakespeare’s immortal and mysterious poems of love and passion. They can interpret them in any way, so it is always a unique and creative event.

Our 16th Annual Celebrity Sonnets at the Old Globe Theatre

- MONDAY OCTOBER 9. 2017 at 7:30 pm. Doors open 7.00 pm.
- The Old Globe Theatre, Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, Balboa Park
– Includes music, dance, poetry and lots of fun.
– This is always a Bard-tastic night out!
– Tickets: $20 Non-Members, $10 Members/Senior/Military.
– Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by mail. To purchase tickets by mail, send check payable to SDSS to 7442 Conestoga Way, San Diego, CA 92120, and tell us the number in your party.

Performers at the Old Globe Celebrity Sonnets have included

Vox Nobili Madrigal Ensemble
- Leigh Scarritt Productions Ensemble
San Diego Civic Youth Ballet with Vanessa Dinning
Tangocentric Dance Project
Jonathan McMurtry
and more..

North County Celebrity Sonnets
- Saturday, June 10th, 2017. 2:00 pm. Doors Open at 1:30 pm.
- It’s FREE, donations welcomed. No tickets necessary.
– Headliners this year included Richard Lederer, Kathi Diamant, and Jonathan McMurtry and a host of other celebrities, including some students from the recent Student Shakespeare Festival

- Dove Library’s Schulman Auditorium, City of Carlsbad
– 1775 Dove Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011

>> See the complete program from the 2016 Celebrity Sonnets at the Old Globe

>> Read Richard Lederer’s article about the 2016 Celebrity Sonnets.


Our Celebrity Sonnets events are our main fund raiser to support our Annual Student Shakespeare Festival.


Great picture from the 2015 Celebrity Sonnets at The Old Globe




Recorded at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park, San Diego. October 13th 2014

 The video was recorded and edited for us by Shamus Brown. THANKS SHAMUS!


>> San Diego Union Tribune: Article by Richard Lederer about the 2015 Old Globe Sonnets

>> KPBS: Article including audio of some of our celebrities reading sonnets!



Jonathan McMurtry, Actor and Associate Artist at the Old Globe

Jonathan McMurtry performs at the October 2014 Celebrity Sonnets at the Old Globe

– Zandra Rhodes, internationally famous fashion designer and set designer for opera
– Ross Porter,  KSDS FM
Richard Lederer, Union Tribune Columnist and Noted Author. See his article.
San Diego Civic Youth Ballet
Leigh Scarritt Productions
- Claudia Russell, Program Director, and Jeff Dalrymple, KSDS Jazz88.3 FM
– Catalina Zelles (actress/student)
– Kasey Kay, Concert Pianist
– Des McAnuff, Tony award winning Artistic Director
– Barry Edelstein, OId Globe Artistic Director
Vox Nobili madrigal ensemble
– San Diego Civic Dance Arts
– Miles Anderson
– Cynthia Stokes, SD Opera Director
– Diane Welch, Writer
– Pat Launer, Art Critic
Dr. William A. Nericcio, Professor of Comparative Literature, SDSU
– Michael Morgan, Educator, Conductor & Vocal Director
– Gabe Krut, Student, Actor, award-winner Student Shakespeare Festival
Choral Scholars, USD


The Celebrity Sonnets are brought to you with a generous donation from the County of San Diego, Community Projects Grant and with major funding from a grant from the Commission for Arts and Culture.



Thanks also to the Old Globe Theater in San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park.the Old Globe logo

We also thank all of our other wonderful sponsors and donors. See a list of them.

And our special thanks to Walkers Shortbread for their generous donation of delicious shortbread at Society events.

walkers shortbread small

Thanks also to our performers and you the audience!



Thanks to all who attended, volunteered at, or performed in the Festival on Saturday April 29th in Balboa Park!!

>> Read Beth Accomando’s article on KPBS about this year’s festival.

And here’s Beth’s video she filmed at the Festival:


Hope to see you all again next year!!

>> Visit our Student Festival page