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Globe of the Great Southwest groundbreaking


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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