The Old Globe rules the day

“I cannot tell what the dickens his name is,” Mistress Page said in Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” That’s how some San Diego theatergoers may feel, as their city’s most prominent theater troupe has changed its name for the second time since 2001.

Previously, the company was called the Old Globe Theatre. Then the moniker was changed to the Globe Theatres. Now it’s the Old Globe. Sound familiar?

It was out with the “Old” two years ago to remove the misconception that the company did only old plays or Shakespeare. “Theatres” was added to make it clear that the group operates out of three venues.

Besides, artistic director Jack O’Brien told The Times in 2001, “the organization has been casually referred to as ‘the Globe’ for years.”


But apparently not within earshot of Louis G. Spisto, who arrived six months ago as the new executive director.

San Diegans, he said, always refer to his employer as the “Old Globe” -- despite the name change.

As for any connotations of decrepitude, Spisto said, “Being true to our roots does not hamper our being modern.” Might young people avoid something “old”? “You can reference Old Navy clothing,” Spisto replied.

-- Don Shirley