Southern Politics and Personalities Collide in Old Globe's Cornelia, Opening May 21

News   Southern Politics and Personalities Collide in Old Globe's Cornelia, Opening May 21
The world premiere of "Big Love" co-creator Mark Victor Olsen's Cornelia, about Alabama governor George Wallace and his beauty-queen wife, starring Robert Foxworth and Melinda Page Hamilton, opens at the Old Globe Theatre May 21 after previews from May 16 in San Diego.
Cornelia stars Melinda Page Hamilton and Beth Grant
Cornelia stars Melinda Page Hamilton and Beth Grant Photo by Craig Schwartz

Performances will continue to June 21. Ethan McSweeny directs the "sweeping, provocative tale of sex, power, and bare-knuckled American politics," according to The Old Globe.


Hamilton was in the Globe's critically acclaimed productions of Bell, Book and Candle and All My Sons. Foxworth is a television veteran known for "Falcon Crest" and HBO's "Six Feet Under." He also appeared in the national tour of Proof and Broadway's August: Osage County.

According to The Old Globe, "From the co-creator of the hit HBO series 'Big Love' comes an epic slice of history centering on 1970s Alabama politics. Beautiful, divorced beauty queen Cornelia Folsom is a force of nature who works her way into the heart of Governor George Wallace. Together they plan to take over the state and then the White House until an assassination attempt halts his presidential campaign. But no obstacle is too great for Cornelia to overcome, as she secretly harbors her own political ambitions amidst a hostile campaign staff, her rarely sober mother, and Southern shenanigans…"

The cast also includes Beth Grant as Ruby, Hollis McCarthy as Marie and T. Ryder Smith as Gerald. The creative team includes John Lee Beatty (scenic design); Tracy Christensen (costume design); Chris Akerlind (lighting design); Paul Peterson (sound design); Leila Knox and Anjee Nero (stage managers).

McSweeny's New York credits include the Broadway production of Gore Vidal's The Best Man (2001 Tony Award nomination, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Best Revival); John Logan's Never the Sinner (Outer Critics Circle Award); Willy Holtzman's Sabina at Primary Stages; and Aeschylus' The Persians (with Roberta Maxwell and Len Cariou) for National Actors Theatre.

Co-creator of HBO's hit series "Big Love," Mark Olsen also wrote HBO's miniseries, "Mary Chestnut's Civil War," based on the private lives of Confederate elite and their slaves in Virginia during the Civil War, as well as the screenplay for HBO Films' "Cabrini USA," about the 40-year rise and fall of the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago. In addition, Olsen has written screenplay adaptations including "The Woman Next Door" (from Francois Truffaut's 1981 film, "La Femme d'a Cote"). He also produced the independent feature "Easter" with his "Big Love" co-creator Will Scheffer. Olsen is also an attorney and member of the New York Bar.

For more information call (619) 23-GLOBE or visit


The Old Globe won the Tony Award for Regional Theatre.

T. Ryder Smith and Robert Foxworth in <i>Cornelia</i>
T. Ryder Smith and Robert Foxworth in Cornelia Photo by Craig Schwartz
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