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Bricolage's Immersive Experience OjO Comes to San Diego

Bricolage Production Company, nationally recognized for unconventional works like STRATA and their recent immersive co-production, SAINTS TOUR, has been invited to bring OjO to La Jolla Playhouse's critically acclaimed Without Walls Festival (WoW).

Renowned for its commitment to new work and theatrical forms, WoW is La Jolla Playhouse's site-specific theatre program designed to break barriers by moving beyond the boundaries of the traditional four-walled theatre space. Over the past five years, La Jolla Playhouse has commissioned or presented works by local, national, and international theatre artists, garnering major national attention.

The San Diego presentation of Bricolage's OjO will mark the first west coast premiere for the Pittsburgh-based company.

Funded by an Investing in Professional Artists award from The Pittsburgh Foundation, OjO was developed in collaboration with theater makers Gab Cody and Sam Turich for the 2014 Three Rivers Arts Festival. The award positioned Bricolage Artistic Director, Jeffrey Carpenter as a resident artist with The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and resulted in the creation of a participatory experience for festival patrons.

Using an array of city buildings and curious alleyways as its natural set, OjO is an immersive urban adventure that leads participants on a 90-minute perspective- altering journey that transports them into the world of the blind. Following critical acclaim for their production of STRATA in 2012, OjO's success helped solidify Bricolage's place as a leader in immersive theatre's renaissance. Their work puts audiences squarely into the storyline and calls on them to be active participants. STRATA and OjO collaborator Gab Cody says, "With Bricolage Production Company we are inventing, deconstructing and repurposing narrative structures so that the participants become the protagonists of our pieces."

OjO evolved from questions surrounding the artist's initial impulse, the artistic process, and an examination into the Three Rivers Arts Festival, which is traditionally a showplace for visual artists. As the creative team began exploring the concept of visual art, their goal was to create a production that captured the vulnerability of the artist facing a blank canvas. The travel-based experience asked participants to confront and cross over barriers by removing their sense of sight. "There was a real synergy between the idea of sight deprivation and the image of the artist entering the deep dark unknown, hoping to emerge with something new," says Carpenter. Sam Turich adds, "Opening people's eyes and changing their perspectives is what we do. After OjO, participants see the world differently."

In its Pittsburgh iteration, OjO was named one of the best productions of 2014 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and by opening no tickets remained for the entirety of its run. Bricolage's previous immersive productions, STRATA and SAINTS TOUR, have enjoyed similar critical success and sold-out statuses. The productions are labor-intensive and require more than one full year of development before they are audience-ready, but for its San Diego premiere, OjO will require Bricolage's creative team to assess the city's landscape and offerings and remount the production in its entirety in only six days. "We've been working towards this moment," says Bricolage Producing Artistic Director, Tami Dixon. "Time is simply a fact, not a barrier. The less of it we have the more creative we become."

Bricolage will share the festival schedule with renowned San Diego theatre and dance companies like San Diego Dance Theatre, San Diego REPertory Theatre and The San Diego Opera. The festival will also present projects from all over the world including San Francisco, Switzerland and Toronto. WoW runs from October 9-11, 2015 in and around The La Jolla Playhouse on the campus of UC San Diego.

For more information about OjO visit bricolagePGH.org. To learn more about La Jolla Playhouse and the Without Walls Festival (WoW) visit lajollaplayhouse.org. The original production of OjO was made possible through generous support from The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Bricolage Mission and Vision Statement - Bricolage envisions theater not as a passive experience, but as a vehicle for heightened involvement for artist and audience alike. By combining different artistic mediums, nourishing local talent, producing provocative work, and facilitating audience engagement, Bricolage seeks to revitalize live performance for a new era.

The word Bricolage means, "making artful use of what is at hand." What excites this company is the connection and interaction between seemingly disparate elements, and the potential for these components to resonate as one cohesive event. "What's at hand" is Pittsburgh's changing landscape, its plentiful human and material resources, and the salient political, cultural and ethical issues they encounter and react to each day.

Their approach encourages artists to take the creative risks necessary to create full-blooded, high-quality theatrical experiences that challenge audiences to engage in new ways, react, and express openly their opinions about our work - to have a stake in the creative discussion.

Jeffrey Carpenter - Jeffrey Carpenter (Artistic Director, Bricolage) founded Bricolage Production Company and is now in his 13th season as Artistic Director. A graduate of NYU's Tisch program, Mr. Carpenter envisions theater not as a passive experience, but as a vehicle for heightened involvement for artist and audience alike. This season, Mr. Carpenter is spearheading the immersive project SAINTS TOUR (May 20-June13), conceived and written by Molly Rice, a walking and bus tour in the town of Braddock, PA-the location of the first and last operational Pittsburgh steel mill. Last year, he received a Visionary Artist award from The Pittsburgh Foundation to create OjO: The Next Generation in Travel, named top 4 productions of 2014 by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and to be featured this Fall in La Jolla Playhouse's 2015 Without Walls Festival in San Diego, CA. In 2012 he led the creation of STRATA, named Top Pittsburgh Production of the Year, and featured on the cover of American Theatre Magazine. He conceived, produced and directed the Bricolage/Pittsburgh Filmmakers multi-media project: In Service: Pittsburgh to Iraq about the lives of local veterans returning from the war. The full-length documentary was nominated for a Mid-Atlantic Emmy. He co- conceived and spearheaded Bricolage's 7-season hit series Midnight Radio, for which he has directed, written and performed; the In The Raw: (R)evolution play festival, and the Midnight Radio Jr. educational curriculum in Washington County Schools expanding to more school districts in 2015. Other site-specific directing credits for Bricolage include Holler, Biedermann and the Firebugs, Peace, Wild Signs and Woyzeck.

Tami Dixon - Tami Dixon is a theatre-maker and social justice advocate in her 10th season as Producing Artistic Director of Bricolage Production Company. She is a recipient of the TCG/Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship, The Frankel Award from City Theatre Company and was named Performer of the Year by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Most recently, Ms. Dixon received the Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Emerging Artist Award from The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation. Her first play, South Side Stories received its world premier and subsequent remount at City Theatre Company to critical and box office acclaim. She is currently working on a new play, 74%: A Working (Woman's) Title, about the wage gap in the non-profit workforce, commissioned by The Bayer Center for Non-Profit Management. As an actress she's been seen in A Streetcar Named Desire with barebones productions. The Clockmaker, Marriage Minuet, The Missionary Position, and The Muckle Man with City Theatre. The Hothouse, Celebration, and Rock n Roll with Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre. The Task and El Paso Blue with Quantum Theatre. The Chicken Snake with The Rep. Metamorphoses with The Pittsburgh Public Theatre. Saints Tour, OJO, Midnight Radio, STRATA, Dutchman, Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, and Key to the Field with Bricolage.

Sam Turich - Sam Turich conceives and directs immersive, devised site-specific projects in Pittsburgh, including STRATA and OJO with Bricolage Production Company and Fat Beckett at Quantum Theatre (all Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Top Ten Productions). In New York, Sam created Off the Top of Our Heads, winner of the Big Apple Improv Festival. With his partner Gab Cody he wrote and directed the feature film Progression and the short "Mombies."

Gab Cody - Gab Cody is a playwright and filmmaker. She creates immersive, devised and site-informed work as well as theater meant to be performed in a theater. Over the last two years Ms. Cody has served as lead writer and co-creator on the immersive urban adventures STRATA and OjO with Bricolage Production Co. Last year Playscripts Inc. published her bilingual Franco-English play Fat Beckett which received its world premiere at Quantum Theatre in 2011. Her recent work also includes Prussia:1866 (The REP) and the Alchemists' Lab (Point Park University). Ms. Cody is the Pittsburgh Regional Rep for the Dramatists Guild.



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