La Jolla Playhouse Kicks Off Inaugural WoW Festival Today

October 3
12:30 2013
La Jolla Playhouse Kicks Off Inaugural WoW Festival Today

La Jolla Playhouse, nationally-renowned for its commitment to the development of new work and new theatrical forms, presents its inaugural Without Walls (WoW) Festival of site-based work, running today, October 3 - 6, 2013.

This one-of-a-kind Festival will showcase artists and events occurring simultaneously in and around The Playhouse Theatre District, presented by The Playhouse as well as partner institutions UC San Diego (UCSD) and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD). Tickets (free to $25) and a full schedule for the WoW Festival will be available in August by visiting or by calling (858) 550-1010.

In addition to works announced this past January (below), The Playhouse's WoW Festival will also feature seven new works by faculty and students in the UCSD Departments of Theatre & Dance and Music; three new works commissioned by MCASD by acclaimed performance artists James Luna, Kate Gilmore and Jacolby Satterwhite; a co-production of Counterweight, by Jennifer Barclay, directed by Delicia Turner-Sonnenberg, with Playhouse's 2009 Resident Theatre Company MOXIE Theatre, and renowned installation artist Brian Lobel's Carpe Minuta Prima (recently mounted by The Playhouse at the San Diego Fringe Festival).

"Adding to the already incredible line-up of Festival projects, we now bring to the mix a slew of new works that truly make the Festival a city-wide celebration of local, national and International Artists in an explosion of site-based work across our theatre district," said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley.

The WoW Festival will feature nearly 20 site-specific works, taking place over four days around The Playhouse/UCSD Theatre District and environs. Inspired by Europe's city-wide theatre festivals, the WoW Festival takes theatre outside the confines of four walls and places it in unexpected and exciting locations, shining a national spotlight on San Diego as it brings site-based work never before seen in the States to our community. The Festival will serve as a cultural and artistic hub, featuring a vibrant Festival Village with complimentary artist talks, food trucks, beer garden, live music and free public performances. The Village will be a space where artists and patrons mingle, where people from different parts of the city meet and exchange ideas, the place to break bread and toast to new friends. As the first of what will hopefully be a biennial event, the WoW Festival is a perfect fit for San Diego - an innovative, outdoor artistic event for a burgeoning arts city.

Funded by generous grants from The James Irvine Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the County of San Diego, as well as corporate support provided by DonorNation, Without Walls is a La Jolla Playhouse program designed to break the physical boundaries of traditional theatre. Since 2010, The Playhouse has been commissioning and presenting a series of site-specific productions at locations throughout the San Diego community.

Partner institution UCSD will present the following works by faculty and students:

Cornerstone is a short play by UCSD M.F.A. candidates David Jacobi and Sarah Wansley in which the audience becomes engineers working at The Central Facilities Plant located at the Center of Civilization. Supplying the world's heat, water, electricity and breathable air is a difficult job, so one shouldn't be distracted by those three workers having a heated discussion on their lunch break about labor, sandwich construction and metaphysics.

Hedda'ing, by San Diego-based performer/choreographer and UCSD M.F.A. candidate Sam Mitchell joins Norway-based dance theatre artists Siri Jondtvedt and Snelle Hall in the cross- cultural dance theatre exploration Hedda'ing. Using Henrik Ibsen's play Hedda Gabler as a source, the production investigates the polarities that exist between the role of home as a sanctuary and as a prison, between memory and reality, and between the existential and the spiritual. Hedda'ing is set in and around artist Do Ho Suh's "Fallen Star" sculpture at the Jacobs School of Engineering.

The Myth Project: Altar, by Patricia Rincon, Head of Dance in UCSD's Theatre & Dance Department, is a new work highlighting Che Café, the iconic, youth-driven institution which has been an eatery and center for independence, political radicalism, alternative music and art since the early 1980s. The production takes audiences on a site-specific journey eliciting flashbacks while constructing a contemporary story that spins through our present social political culture, based on interviews with muralist Mario Torero and writings from archives, blogs and articles.

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