Inspired by William Shakespeare’s original Globe Theater, the Globe of the Great Southwest is a performing arts center located on the Odessa College campus in Odessa, TX. Additionally, this performing arts center includes a replica of Anne Hathaway’s, Shakespeare’s wife’s, cottage. William Shakespeare built his theater for his acting company in London, England on the Thames River in 1598. The Globe of the Great Southwest is known for being the most accurate, authentic, permanent replica of this building. The stage is an exact replication of Shakespeare’s Globe stage and features six acting areas.
The idea behind this reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater was thought of by Majorie Morris’ senior English class in 1948. The actual building of the theater was taken on by the Odessa High School Shakespeare Club and donations began to be solicited. J. Ellsworth Powell, a local architect, provided the draw up of the blueprints for the theater and pledged to supervise the construction of the building free from compensation. In 1951, regents of Odessa College donated land for the construction of the performing arts theater and formed a charter to develop a non-profit organization to begin fund-raising efforts for the project.
Mainly through the personal efforts of Majorie Morris, the Globe of the Great Southwest was constructed as the money was acquired through donations and contributions. On March 7, 1958, groundbreaking ceremonies were held and the theater was built completely in 1961. The Globe of the Great Southwest was finally dedicated in May of 1964 and it began operating as a full time theater in the fall of 1968. Charles David McCally served as the first director of the theater.
This non-profit theater hosts and presents classical and modern plays and theater performances as well as a monthly country-western show called The Brand New Opree. The Globe of the Great Southwest has 410 seats and amazing acoustics due to the materials it was constructed out of, mainly wood and plaster. It has been fireproofed and features modern plumbing so you don’t have to worry about having to use an outhouse to live the whole experience. The theater also has heating, air conditioning, red carpeting, artificial lights, plush red opera chairs, and its court is trimmed with stone from five different Southwestern states.
In August of 1975, the creation of a volunteer organization called the Juliet Society was formed to build interest in the theater and encourage people to volunteer for the theater. The Globe of the Great Southwest has been featured in Life magazine and hosts a broad range of events and performances including the annual Shakespeare Festival, classic and contemporary productions, and a multitude of other cultural events such as chamber music and ballet productions.
The replica of Anne Hathaway’s cottage is more than just something to look at. The cottage houses a library filled with literature, and Shakespearean content and archives. It also possesses a small performance area as well as a meetingplace. It was opened to the public in the fall of 1989.
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