Craig Noel

Executive Director, Old Globe Theatre

Described by Variety as "the eminent grise" of San Diego theatre, Executive Director Noel is one of the few San Diegans to have an entire year (1987) proclaimed in his honor, and to be named one of San Diego's "Living Treasures."

During more than six decades with the Old Globe Theatre, the much honored Noel has staged 225 works of all styles and periods, and produced an additional 360 staged by others. He most recently directed Marion Ross in Joe DiPietro's OVER THE RIVER AND THE THROUGH THE WOODS. Other recent productions include Jeffrey Hatcher's SCOTLAND ROAD, Giles Havergal's adaptation of TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT, a revival of MISTER ROBERTS (which he first directed for the Globe in 1953), and the West Coast premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's TIME OF MY LIFE. He also staged acclaimed production of Brian Friel's WONDERFUL TENNESSEE, and the world premiere of Lillian Garret's THE WHITE ROSE (Selected for production by AT & T Onstage "New Plays for the Nineties")

Noel made his Old Globe Theatre debut as an actor in 1937, and two years later accepted his first directorial assignments. Through his consistent and far-sighted leadership, the fledgling community theatre evolved into the acclaimed, Tony Award-winning resident professional Theatre Company it is today. His contributions to San Diego and to the nation are legion. He has enriched the quality of life in San Diego through dreams that became reality, and in the larger community through the support and encouragement of playwrights, actors, theatre artists and the nurturing of an entire generation of citizens who have today's theatre goers and arts supporters.

Noel established the world-renowned Shakespeare Festival at the Globe in 1949. He guided the theatre's transformation to professional status 1959, establishing it as the oldest, continuing, professional not-for-profit theatre in the state. Noel created an audience for new and innovation works through his early 1960's spring seasons at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art. The response was so enthusiastic that he instituted seasons of such works next to the Globe in the Falstaff Tavern, remodeled in 1969 into the Cassius Carter Center Stage.

To introduce the students of San Diego to great world literature, he instituted Globe educational Tours in 1974, which evolved into the Playguides program, and continues to reach thousands of young people each year. A two year Master of Fine Art/Prosfessional Training Program was established under Noel's membership in conjuction with the University of San Diego in 1987.

To fulfill a vision of a theatre that would extend across the border to benefit and enrich artists and audiences of two cultures, Noel instituted the Globe's bilingual theatre division, Teatro Meta, in 1983. From this foundation he guided the development of the award-winning Teatro Meta In-Schools program, which employs theatre activities to build the confidence and self-esteem of students who might otherwise drop out of school.

Noel is founder of the California Theatre Council and former vice president of the California Confederation of the Arts. His numerous honors encompass inclusion by the San Diego Union in a list of 25 persons who shaped San Diego's history and San Diego Magazine's Fifty San Diegans Who Mattered; the Governor's Award for the Arts; the College of Fellows of the American Theatre; University of Arizona Alumni Association's Outstanding Citizen for his contribution to their fine arts department; San Diego State Univerity's Outstanding Alumnus; honorary Doctorate of Humane Letter, University of San Diego; San Diego's Living Treasure Award; Conservator of American Art Award, American Conservatory Theatre; the San Diego Press Club Headliner Award: the San Diego Gentlemen of Distinction Award; and a combined tribute from the Public Arts Advisory Council and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

[ WIC Main Page | Biographies |