Globe of the Great Southwest groundbreaking

March 7th, 1958

On this day in 1958, groundbreaking ceremonies on the campus of Odessa College were held for the Globe of the Great Southwest. This theater is a permanent replica of the original Globe Theater built in 1598 on the Thames River in London, England, for William Shakespeare's acting company. The idea of the reconstruction of a Shakespearean theater in Odessa originated in 1948 in Marjorie Morris's senior English class at Odessa High School. Building the replica was adopted as a project of the Odessa High School Shakespeare Club; donations were solicited, and a local architect, J. Ellsworth Powell, drew the blueprints without remuneration and pledged supervision of the construction. Morris began to teach at Odessa College in 1951. That year the Odessa College regents donated land on the campus on which to build the theater, a nonprofit organization was chartered, and fund-raising began. The Globe was constructed as money could be raised, largely through Morris's personal efforts. The main structure was completed in 1961. The octagonal theater seats 410. Because of its shape and building materials, primarily wood and plaster, it has excellent acoustics. Adjacent to the theater is a replica of Shakespeare's wife's home, which houses a Shakespearean library, archives, a small performance area, and a meeting place.

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Globe of the Great Southwest groundbreaking

March 7th, 1958

On this day in 1958, groundbreaking ceremonies on the campus of Odessa College were held for the Globe of the Great Southwest. This theater is a permanent replica of the original Globe Theater built in 1598 on the Thames River in London, England, for William Shakespeare's acting company. The idea of the reconstruction of a Shakespearean theater in Odessa originated in 1948 in Marjorie Morris's senior English class at Odessa High School. Building the replica was adopted as a project of the Odessa High School Shakespeare Club; donations were solicited, and a local architect, J. Ellsworth Powell, drew the blueprints without remuneration and pledged supervision of the construction. Morris began to teach at Odessa College in 1951. That year the Odessa College regents donated land on the campus on which to build the theater, a nonprofit organization was chartered, and fund-raising began. The Globe was constructed as money could be raised, largely through Morris's personal efforts. The main structure was completed in 1961. The octagonal theater seats 410. Because of its shape and building materials, primarily wood and plaster, it has excellent acoustics. Adjacent to the theater is a replica of Shakespeare's wife's home, which houses a Shakespearean library, archives, a small performance area, and a meeting place.

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Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
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  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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