La Jolla Playhouse's Next 'Without Walls' Production Is EL HENRY, Running 6/14-29
Following its hugely successful Without Walls (WoW) Festival last October, La Jolla Playhouse announces the latest production in its acclaimed site-based theatre series: El Henry, written by and starring Culture Clash's Herbert Siguenza, directed by San Diego REPertory Theatre Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse. Presented in association with San Diego REP, the show will run June 14 - 29 at SILO in downtown San Diego's Makers Quarter. Performances run Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30pm.
"While the central idea of Without Walls is about exploring new theatrical forms by moving beyond the traditional four walls of a theatre, we've found over the past several years that WoW is just as much about collaboration," said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. "Partnering with new theatres, artists and communities has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the program, and we're eager to join with San Diego REP and Makers Quarter to mount Herbert's visceral new site-based piece."
About El Henry: It's the year 2045 in a huge, run-down metropolis called Aztlan City (formerly San Diego), where political apathy and corruption run the city while violent barrio families run the streets. It's a harsh new world where Hispanics, Mexicans and Chicanos rule as the majority in this new society abandoned by Anglo America. When El Hank, the ambitious leader of all the barrios, finds his street kingdom threatened by El Tomas and his hot-headed son El Bravo, he seeks the help of his brave and charismatic son El Henry. But El Hank finds his son wrapped up with a bunch of low-life thieves and drunkards headed by the lazy Fausto. Written in a unique poetic cadence called Calo, which mixes urban Spanish and English slang, this world- premiere adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One explores the universal themes of this classic through the lens of Mexican-American machismo.
"This artistic opportunity represents so much that I cherish: a one-of-a-kind partnership with La Jolla Playhouse; the first-class writer, actor and longtime REP collaborator Herbert Siguenza; and the enlightened folks at Makers Quarter who believe art is essential to build a vibrant community in the East Village," said Woodhouse. "To make a brand new play based on the work of Shakespeare set in the imagined future of my hometown San Diego with some of the major Latino actors on the West Coast is an artistic dream come true."
The production will take place at SILO in the vibrant new East Village neighborhood of Makers Quarter. This emerging live/work/play/learn neighborhood maintains a strong commitment to collaborating with partners to create a dynamic and vital community.
Tickets to El Henry are $25 and will be available to La Jolla Playhouse and San Diego REP subscribers starting on Tuesday, March 18 and to the general public on Saturday, March 22 by calling the Playhouse Patron Services Department at (858) 550-1010 or online at LaJollaPlayhouse.org.
Herbert Siguenza is a founding member of Culture Clash, the country's most prominent Chicano/Latino performance troupe. The group's work has been produced by the nation's leading regional theaters, including La Jolla Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and Goodman Theatre in Chicago, among others. Along with partners Richard Montoya and Ric Salinas, Siguenza has performed and/or co-written: American Night, The Mission, A Bowl of Beings, S.O.S.-Comedy for These Urgent Times, Unplugged, Capra Clash, Radio Mambo: Culture Clash Invades Miami, Bordertown, The Birds, Nuyorican Stories, Anthology, Mission Magic Mystery Tour, Anthems: Culture Clash in the District, Chavez Ravine, Senor Discretion Himself, Culture Clash in AmeriCCa, Zorro in Hell, Water & Power, Peace and Palestine New Mexico. In 2003, Siguenza wrote and starred in Cantinflas! He is currently touring his one man show A Weekend with Pablo Picasso, which was developed at the San Diego Rep. He recently performed Big Daddy in Cat on Hot Tin Roof for the Perseverance Theatre in Alaska.
Sam Woodhouse co-founded San Diego REPertory Theatre with D.W. Jacobs in 1976, and has since served as its Producing and Artistic Director. He has worked as a director, producer or actor on more than 250 REP productions. Mr. Woodhouse has performed as an actor on The REP stages in The Seafarer, in the title role of King Lear, Proof, Hamlet, and with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra in the title role of Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat. His most recent directorial work with The REP includes: Detroit, Venus in Fur, In the Heights, Federal Jazz Project, Clybourne Park, The Who's TOMMY, In the Next Room or the vibrator play, Superior Donuts, Hairspray, boom, The Threepenny Opera and Water & Power. In 2011 he directed American Night: The Ballad of Juan José for the Denver Center Theatre Company. In 2003, he was awarded the Patteì Shiley Award for Lifetime Achievement by KPBS and the prestigious Alonzo Award by the Downtown San Diego Partnership. Mr. Woodhouse is the founder of The REP's Calafia Initiative, a multi-disciplinary artistic initiative that brings together unlikely partners to create new works that speak to the future of our bi-national region. In 2006, he and Jacobs were honored with the Craig Noel Award by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle for 30 years of artistic dedication to downtown and diversity.
Makers Quarter is located in San Diego and is comprised of several blocks, spanning 14th Street to 17th Street, Broadway Avenue to G Street, the five plus block neighborhood in East Village. By creating a centralized live and work community, Makers Quarter will be an economic generator, where jobs, people and commercial activities along with the arts, culture and events thrive together in a self-sustaining community. Makers Quarter embraces - and is implementing - the principles of the I.D.E.A. District, a powerful conceptual framework for East Village. Through community events and gathering venues such as the community garden Smarts Farm and SILO in Makers Quarter, the growth of Makers Quarter will be an incremental progression that will reflect the community goals of a new neighborhood. For more information visit: makersquarter.com.
San Diego REPertory Theatre (San Diego REP) produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre. Founded in 1976, San Diego REPertory Theatre is downtown San Diego's resident theatre, promoting a more inclusive community through work that nourishes progressive political and social values and celebrates the multiple voices of the region. The company produces and hosts over 300 events and performances year-round on its three stages at the Lyceum Theatre. Since moving to the Lyceum, the REP has produced 47 main stage productions by Latino playwrights, and more than 44 world premieres. The company has received more than 200 awards for artistic excellence from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, Patté Theatre Awards, NAACP, Backstage West, Dramalogue, and StageSceneLA. In 2005, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented the REP with the Craig Noel Award "For 30 Years of Artistic Dedication to Downtown and Diversity." San Diego REPertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. To learn more about San Diego REPertory Theatre, to purchase tickets, or make a donation, visit sdrep.org. Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@SanDiegoREP).
Initially funded by a generous grant from The James Irvine Foundation, Without Walls (WoW) is La Jolla Playhouse's acclaimed site-specific theatre program designed to break barriers by moving beyond the boundaries of a traditional four-walled theatre space. Over the past five years, the Playhouse has commissioned and/or presented works by local, national and international theatre artists in locations throughout the San Diego community. Previous WoW productions include Susurrus at the San Diego Botanical Garden in Encinitas; The Car Plays: San Diego in the Playhouse parking lot; Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir at Martini's Above Fourth in Hillcrest; Accomplice: San Diego in Little Italy, as well as the four-day Without Walls Festival in October, 2013 that garnered major national attention and critical acclaim. Underscoring the theatre's mission of providing "unfettered creative opportunities for the leading artists of today and tomorrow," coupled with the idea that the Playhouse is defined by the work it creates, not the space in which it is performed, WoW is designed to offer theatrical experiences that venture beyond the physical confines of the Playhouse's facilities.
The nationally-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is known for its tradition of creating some of the most exciting and adventurous new work in regional theatre. The Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and is considered one of the most well-respected not-for-profit theatres in the country. Numerous Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, including the currently running hit Jersey Boys, as well as Memphis, Big River, The Who's Tommy, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Walk in the Woods, Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Farnsworth Invention, 33 Variations, Bonnie & Clyde, Chaplin, Peter and the Starcatcher and Hands on a Hardbody. Located on the UC San Diego campus, La Jolla Playhouse is made up of three primary performance spaces: the Mandell Weiss Theatre, the Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse, a state-of-the-art theatre complex which features the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre. La Jolla Playhouse is led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg.