• Find our print issues at issuu.com/thebishopstower
  • Have an article idea? Email us at [email protected] to share.
  • Issue 04 is now published both online and in print!
The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

How The Grinch at The Old Globe Saved Christmas

Whether it’s two sizes too small or three times as big, The Grinch is a show for everyone to dig!
Madison Chen
The big tree stands proud with red and white “who-like” decorations in front of the theater for kids to take pictures.

If you’ve walked around Balboa Park around this time of year, the holidays, you may have seen a huge Christmas Tree with bright red and white decorations before. With this huge tree comes How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a show at The Old Globe that has been a long running tradition. 

The Grinch has been at The Old Globe for 26 years already, beginning in 1998. According to Mr. James Vasquez, Director of The Grinch for 21 years, it all started when the original director and former Globe Artistic Director, Jack O’Brien, saw a 40-minute-version of the show in Minneapolis. With the help of Audrey Geisel, Dr. Seuss’s widow, he fleshed out the show and made it the 90-minute performance we see today. 

But why specifically the Globe theater? “The Old Globe has a social justice roadmap we follow, which encourages outreach to all communities in San Diego,” Mr. Vasquez explained, “The Grinch, with its message of kindness and inclusion and community, itself celebrates our social justice road map.”

According to their website, The Old Globe uses shows to teach people about anti-discriminatory practices, increase Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) representation, foster inclusion of all communities, bring greater equity, represent the LGBTQIA+ community, and to hold themselves accountable to all of these goals.

The Grinch is a show about compassion and kindness starring the Grinch, who is notorious for despising Christmas. One year, he tries to prevent it from happening at all. He dresses up as Santa and goes down to Whoville, where he meets Cindy Lou Who. Cindy Lou approaches him without fear and with kindness, which is the turning point of the story. The Grinch decides that he will reflect Cindy’s compassion and the Whoville’s kindness and no longer be inconsiderate, his “heart growing three sizes” that day. 

“Sharing this story and its message about kindness, acceptance, family, love, and growth with each audience is enormously important and impactful,” said Ms. Noelle Marion, Associate Director of The Grinch for three years. With these lessons tightly knitted within a fun story, The Grinch is the perfect show to come back every year for all to enjoy.

The Old Globe itself also puts in a lot of work to make this production successful. Not to mention, the theater is located in one of San Diego’s many treasures, Balboa Park.

 “The Globe’s beautiful outdoor plaza is perfectly adorned for the event with a glittering Dr. Seuss-style tree and Grinch figures,” said Ms. Marion. The perfect word to describe would be “magical!” she exclaimed. These decorations make The Globe a welcoming place for families with kids and individuals who are looking for a fun night out. 

The Grinch peeks at onlookers from the roof of the very Grinchy gift shop. (Madison Chen)

On top of the beautiful decorations, there are also a lot of behind the scenes that make this show amazing. “From the tireless attention to every detail on the sets, costumes, and props, to the dedicated company of people who return year after year to bring it to life, to the twenty plus local children who are cast in the show each year, to the unmatched production value, to the commitment to honestly telling the story, this show is undeniably rare,” Ms. Marion expressed. The backstage crew for the Grinch gives their best and it can definitely be seen on stage.

The set of the Grinch in The Old Globe with its detailed snowy backdrops (Madison Chen)

Due to the production coming back every year during the holidays, The Grinch has become, not only a tradition at the Globe, but a tradition in many San Diegan families. “The Grinch has become a holiday staple for many local families and being a small part of this tradition is something very meaningful to me,” said Ms. Marion, who also has her own reasons for loving this show, “Christmas holds a particularly special place in my heart for a multitude of reasons: tradition, closeness to family, nostalgia, the magical feeling of the holiday season, and not least of which, my birthday is on Christmas day! And yes, that IS why my name is Noelle.”

Ms. Marion is not the only individual who holds the holiday season close to her heart. Mr. Vasquez grew up surrounded by Dr. Seuss and Christmas traditions as well. He said, “I grew up reading the book every year.  I learned to read with Dr. Seuss books. Watching the original cartoon was a holiday tradition for my family. The Grinch has always been a part of my Christmas.”

More specific to the show, he feels that working with the young actors can make him feel nostalgia. He said, “I think the kids in the show really make it a special event. Being in the theater full of kids, you can’t help but start to feel like a kid again yourself. There’s a special energy and joy they bring to the show and the season.” For these individuals, it was amazing to get to be a part of something they have always loved.

This is the sign on top of the Old Globe Theater welcoming guests to the show. (Madison Chen)

Many more families will develop a love for the show and gather around for a cozy, cute night with the Grinch. With the Old Globe being an amazing place for the show to be, The Grinch will remain there for many years to come. So if you feel like you have a heart two sizes too small, come watch the Grinch, where it is fun for all!

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Madison Chen
Madison Chen, Staff Writer
Madison Chen is a freshman who is super excited to be a staff writer for The Tower this year. She was born in San Diego, CA and has a younger brother named Ethan who is 11 years old. Madison’s ideal meal would be sushi followed by a cold matcha frappe. Her favorite subject as of now is History and her favorite Disney/Pixar movie is Turning Red. Madison plays the cello and is looking forward to joining the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra (MMYO).

Comments (0)

The Tower welcomes comments from members of The Bishop's School community on articles published online. The Editors approve comments before publication. Comments may be omitted in order to maintain a respectful environment for discussion. Profanity, violation of privacy, spam and unsolicited advertisements are examples of grounds for omission. The Tower does not approve anonymous comments.
All The Tower Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Tower