Cast Of 65 To Premiere HALL PASS, An Immersive Musical Inspired By High Schoolers
23 composers and playwrights have contributed new works to Blindspot Collective's upcoming production of Hall Pass, an immersive musical being presented by La Jolla Playhouse for the 2019 Without Walls Festival. During the performance, audiences will choose where to go and what to watch as 18 distinct plays and musicals unfold across the High Tech High campus in Liberty Station. Inspired in part by research and interviews conducted with high school students in New York, West Virginia, Illinois, Texas, and California, Hall Pass will feature a cast of 37 professional performers joined by students from the theatre department at Canyon Crest Academy.
In working closely with current high school students, the show authentically portrays the trials and triumphs of the class of 2022, with audience members taking on the role of prospective students. When they arrive, audiences receive a class schedule and select a different course for each class period. With 18 different options across four class periods, every audience member's experience will be different as they navigate the halls, classrooms, and even bathrooms of the High Tech High campus where each play or musical is performed. While some of the short plays and musicals in Hall Pass have been seen in previous iterations of the show, the upcoming production features seven world premieres, including a new musical by Ian Brandon devised in collaboration with local high school students. In partnership with the Canyon Crest Academy Theatre department, Ian Brandon and Blake McCarty will adapt student writing into a new work to be performed by the students themselves.
New York University commissioned Blindspot Collective's co-founder, Blake McCarty, to develop Hall Pass in 2015 in conjunction with the Forum on Site-Specific Performance. Subsequently, the show had its first professional production as part of the inaugural Future of Storytelling Festival in New York City in collaboration with Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. The project was developed to offer adult audiences a different perspective on contemporary adolescence while providing challenging, authentic, and appropriate new material to young performers. The project not only showcases its large ensemble, but also highlights the unique voices and talents of playwrights and composers from across the country. "We use stories as a way to make sense of the world around us, and Blindspot Collective continues to provide an inclusive, diverse space to tell those stories through projects like Hall Pass," notes Penny Middleton, whose new play You Can Sit With Us is featured in the production. Other writers include Emily Kaczmarek (2018 Jonathan Larson Grant Recipient), Trevor Bachman (2019 Joe's Pub Residency Artist), Elizabeth Irwin (My Mañana Comes), and local San Diegan poet and musician Gill Sotu.
Playwrights & Composers: Elle Anhorn; Trevor Bachman; Willa Bassen & Nick Robertson; Chad Beckim; John Blaylock, Jonathan Fadner & Marella Martin; Ian Brandon; Miriam Daly; Benny Gammerman & Dylan Hartwell; Melissa Gawlowski; Elizabeth Irwin; Kim Jinhyoung & Marcus Perkins; Emily Kaczmarek; Blake McCarty; Penny Middleton; Gill Sotu; Lily Tholfsen; Jennie Webb; and Wes Zurick
Cast: Natasha Baenisch, Mason Ballard, Cassie Bleher, Marc Caro-Willcox, Adrian Chan, Sarah Chan, Desiree Cuizon, Michael Davis, Jonathan Edzant, Jasmin Haddad, Sonia Halle, Shellina Hefner, Brooke Henderson, Rachel Herrera, Jada Nya Jackson, Hayley Jones, Sydney Joyner, Alyssa Junious, Joe Kao, Imahni King, Sara Lucchini, Sutheshna Mani, Julie Meram, Emily Neifert, Andrew Paiva, Kevin Phan, Hannah Pritchett, Dakota Ringer, BJ Robinson, Ell Rudgers, Claudette Santiago, Marisa Scott, Doniella Sebastian, Steele Severson, Hannah Trujillo, Crys Washington, and David Wornovitzky
Teen Ensemble: Kat Adler, Charlotte Baltzer, Esme Birndorf, Jack Bridges, Rachael Cheverton, Katie Dawson, John Driscoll, Kennedy Garcia, Robbie Glatts, Mathilda Grosse, Moira Hall, Julia Isber, Claire Kerofsky, Kaia Kim-Weigandt, Holden Lay, Matthew Layton, Hanna Lindstrom, Sophie Maretz, Daphne Porras, Isabella Salle, Nick Siljander, Georgia Sims, Abby Tangonan, Benny Vasconcelos, Lily Weiss, Claudia Whitehead, and Eric Xu
Creator & Director: Blake McCarty
Assistant Directors: Lilia Porter & Sofia Zaragoza
Music Director: Ian Brandon
Associate Music Director: William "BJ" Robinson
Choreographer: Wilfred Paloma
Additional Choreography: Anjanette Maraya-Ramey
Production Manager: Rebeca Elliott
Asst. Stage Managers: Elizabeth Blackwell & Diana Nicasio-Lopez
Tickets and information for the WOW Festival are available online at wowfestival.org. All tickets are only $20. Additional information about the company and Hall Pass can be found at www.BlindspotCollective.org.