For the introductory blog post to San Diego’s historical landmarks, click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.
Behind the California Tower and the Museum of Man is the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center:
Conrad Prebys is one of the top two philanthropists living in San Diego today, the other being Irwin Jacobs, a co-founder of Qualcomm and the current Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Salk Institute.
Other facilities that I am aware of having benefitted because of Conrad’s financial generosity are:
Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge at the San Diego Zoo
Conrad Prebys Elephant Care Center at the San Diego Zoo
Conrad Prebys Australia Outback at the San Diego Zoo (opening May 24)
Africa Rocks! at the San Diego Zoo (renovation to be completed in 2016)
Conrad Prebys Music Center at the University of California San Diego
Prebys Cardiovascular Institute at Scripps Health
Salk Institute ($2 million for an Endowed Professorship in Vision Research)
San Diego Opera ($1 million).
The Chronicle of Philanthropy lists Conrad Prebys at #24 in its Philanthropy 50 list. We are fortunate to have such a philanthropist with a wide variety of interests living amongst us.
The Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in Balboa Park comprises the Simon Edison Centre for the Performing Arts, itself comprising three theatres: Old Globe (600 seats), Lowell Davies Festival Theatre (615 seat outdoor theatre), and the Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre (250 seat theatre in the round).
The Old Globe was built in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition, San Diego’s second World’s Fair, and presented Shakespeare plays on a daily basis during the Exposition run. It is a copy of Shakespeare’s Old Globe in London, England. The Old Globe was destroyed by an arson fire in March 1978, rebuilt and reopened in 1981. Another arson fire destroyed the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre in 1984.
The Old Globe was led by Craig Noel for more than sixty years, fostering the careers of many people, but a couple of people you definitely should know: Marion Ross and Kelsey Grammer.
The Old Globe has been home to some of the most acclaimed artists, designers, directors, and playwrights in the Theatre industry. More than twenty productions produced at The Old Globe have gone on to play on Broadway and off-Broadway, such as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2005), and The Full Monty (10 Tony Award nominations for its successful Broadway run in 2000). The Old Globe’s annual production of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! should not be missed, especially if you have children.
The Old Globe is one of San Diego’s largest arts institutions, its leading arts employer, and among the nation’s top-ranked regional theatres. More than 250,000 people annually attend Globe productions and participate in the theater’s education programs and outreach services.
I have had the privilege of performing on stage at the Old Globe while a member of the Gay Men’s Chorus of San Diego. I sang there three times.
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