Site-Inspired Pieces from the UK, NY, LA, Tijuana and More Set for WOW Festival at La Jolla Playhouse

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Site-Inspired Pieces from the UK, NY, LA, Tijuana and More Set for WOW Festival at La Jolla Playhouse

La Jolla Playhouse announces complete programming for its acclaimed biennial Without Walls (WOW) Festival taking place October 19 - 22. Tickets, ranging from free to $35, are now on sale and are available at or at (858) 550-1010.

Joining the WOW Festival line-up will be productions of Shasta Geaux Pop, by New York-based artists Ayesha Jordan and Charlotte Brathwaite, 4x4 TJ Night, from the Tijuana-based Lux Boreal Dance Company, Waking La Llorona, by Optika Moderna/David Israel Reynoso, And Then You Wait, by UC San Diego M.F.A. candidates Dylan Key and Lily Padilla, OSLO, by San Diego-based artist Max Robert Daily and CVRTAIN, by Los Angeles-based artist Yehuda Duenyas, all of which will take place at Logan Heights' Bread & Salt, with the latter piece hosted by the Athenaeum Arts Center space inside the venue; The Quiet Volume, by UK-based artists Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells, taking place at the San Diego Public Library; and Among Us, by Los Angeles-based Dutch director Marike Splint, a walking piece that begins at Horton Plaza Park.

Additionally, the WOW Festival will include a piece by award-winning puppetry artist and 2017 Playhouse Artist-in-Residence Basil Twist (2013 WOW Festival's Seafoam Sleepwalk, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots) entitled FAETOPIA: A Faerie Flash Mob, presented in partnership with The New Children's Museum. Joining Twist will be puppeteers from the San Diego Guild of Puppetry and the UC San Diego percussion ensemble red fish blue fish in a whimsical new 10-minute piece that will run multiple times a day at The New Children's Museum on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22 as part of WOW Festival Family Days.

These productions join six previously-announced WOW Festival projects: Super Night Shot, by the Berlin-based Gob Squad Arts Collective, at the San Diego Public Library; the performative installation Model Home by Tony Award winner Mimi Lien at Horton Plaza Park; So Say We All's Incoming: Sex, Drugs and Copenhagen at Border X Brewing; The Quest 3.0, at The New Children's Museum; Sledgehammer Theatre's Under Construction: An American Masque at Bread & Salt; and Trisha Brown Dance Company's In Plain Site, presented by ArtPower.

"Festival Director Meiyin Wang has brought on board even more extraordinary artists from around the globe who will offer WOW audiences a series of intriguing and transformative theatre experiences throughout the four-day Festival," said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. "Basil Twist has been part of the Playhouse family for years, and it brings me great joy to welcome him back for the 2017 WOW Festival as our Artist-in-Residence."

In addition to FAETOPIA: A Faerie Flash Mob, WOW Festival Family Days will feature a host of art-making activities and creation stations presented by the Timken Museum of Art, the Mingei International Museum and Museum of Photographic Arts. These activities will take place at Museum Park, across from The New Children's Museum, on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22.

The WOW Festival will also offer several special events, including the WOW Festival Club, a fun, after-hours dance party where audiences and artists can mingle. The Festival Club will take place immediately following each Shasta Geaux Pop performance at Bread & Salt. Additionally, numerous artist panels will be offered throughout the weekend, as well as a free Gob Squad Arts Collective Workshop that will provide an insight into the strategies employed by Gob Squad when creating new works. Participants will create and present written text, spoken word, improvisational dance and experimental performance structures in order to develop material around the personal, the autobiographical and the political.

The WOW Festival is made possible in part through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the County of San Diego, the Wallace Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, Delta Air Lines: Official Airline of La Jolla Playhouse, KIND Snacks, San Diego Gas & Electric, UC San Diego Extension - Urban Campus and Westfield.

Since its inception in 2009, Without Walls (WOW) has become one of San Diego's most popular and acclaimed performance programs. This signature La Jolla Playhouse initiative is designed to break the barriers of traditional theatre, offering immersive and site-inspired works that venture beyond the physical confines of the Playhouse facilities. Over the last eight years, the Playhouse has commissioned and presented a series of immersive and site-based productions at locations throughout the San Diego community, including Susurrus (2010), The Car Plays: San Diego (2011), Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir (2012), Accomplice: San Diego (2013), El Henry (2014), The Grift at the Lafayette Hotel (2015), The Bitter Game (2016), as well as the 2013 and 2015 WOW Festivals.

The Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is internationally-renowned for creating some of the most exciting and adventurous work in American theatre, through its new play development initiatives, its innovative Without Walls series, artist commissions and residencies. Currently led by Artistic Director and 2017 Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, the Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and reborn in 1983 under the artistic leadership of Des McAnuff. La Jolla Playhouse has had 28 productions transfer to Broadway, garnering 38 Tony Awards, among them the currently-running, Tony Award-nominated hit Come From Away, along with Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Who's Tommy, Big River, as well as Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays and the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, both fostered as part of the Playhouse's Page To Stage Program.

La Jolla Playhouse's WOW Festival 2017 Projects:

Partner: The New Children's Museum, 200 W. Island Avenue

FAETOPIA: A Faerie Flash Mob

Directed and Designed by Basil Twist, presented in partnership with The New Children's Museum

Tickets: Children - Free; Adults - $13 for museum admission (11am performance free; viewable from outside museum); Performances: Sat/Sun: 11am; 12pm; 1pm; 2pm; 3pm

Faetopia will delight children and adults alike as it celebrates the art of Marionette puppetry in a spontaneous, 10-minute faerie flash mob that takes center stage at the museum at the top of each hour, from 11am to 3pm. Twist will be joined by puppeteers from the San Diego Guild of Puppetry and the UC San Diego percussion ensemble red fish blue fish in this whimsical, immersive new piece.

The Quest 3.0

Developed by La Jolla Playhouse in partnership with The New Children's Museum

Tickets: Children - Free; Adults - $13 for museum admission;

Performances: Sat/Sun: starts every 45 minutes, 10am - 4:00pm

An interactive family adventure that challenges participants to join the Society of Creative Thinkers as they embark on a great journey - exploring artifacts, gathering clues and solving peculiar puzzles - in order to discover a surprising truth.

Family Days Activities

Mingei International Museum; Museum of Photographic Arts;

Timken Museum of Art

Tickets: Free; Sat/Sun from 10am to 4pm: ongoing interactive art-making activities and creation stations at Museum Park across from The New Children's Museum.

Partner: San Diego Public Library, 330 Park Boulevard

Super Night Shot

Gob Squad Arts Collective

Tickets: $29; Performances: Thu/Fri/Sat at 7:30pm

Super Night Shot is a magical journey through the night-time streets of San Diego. Full of unexpected surprises, the public become co-stars in a movie that celebrates unplanned meetings with strangers, serendipity and chance. Anything can happen, and usually does in Gob Squad's riveting multi-screen piece.

The Quiet Volume

Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells

Tickets: $20; Performances: every 15 minutes, 11am - 4:45pm; Sun 1pm - 5:45pm

Recorded instructions and a stack of carefully selected books direct patrons through this contemplative, self-generated performance for two audience members sitting side by side. Taking cues from words both written and whispered, participants find themselves burrowing an unlikely path through a pile of books, taking a usually deeply personal experience into the surrounding space, exposing the strange magic at the heart of the reading experience.

Partner: Border X Brewing, 2181 Logan Avenue

Incoming: Sex, Drugs, and Copenhagen

So Say We All

Tickets: $10; Performance Times: Fri/Sat/Sun at 7:00pm

True uncensored stories from the lives of America's military, told in their own words, about the private and sometimes illicit escapes sought out by service members during their service and the time that follows as they readjust to the civilian world. Hilarious, surprising and honest to the core - featuring a different cast every night - this newest offering by So Say We All will defy any notions you have about our service members.

Partner: Bread & Salt, 1955 Julian Avenue

Shasta Geaux Pop

Ayesha Jordan and Charlotte Brathwaite

Tickets: $20; Performances: Fri at 9:00pm; Sat at 8:30pm; Sun at 8:30pm

Audiences are invited to celebrate the outrageously hilarious and completely uncensored Shasta Geaux Pop, as she brings her signature brand of basement get-down party to San Diego. Irreverent and uplifting, Shasta keeps it real with her gospel of laughter and free flowing emcee style to get this immersive underground Hip-Hop party jumping.

Under Construction: An American Masque

By Charles Mee; Presented by Sledgehammer Theatre,

in association with UCSD Department of Theatre & Dance

Tickets: $29; Performances: Thu: 8:15pm; Fri: 7:30pm; Sat: 7pm; Sun: 7pm

Set within a pop-up banqueting hall, spectators will be immersed within a collage of America today-scenes and songs and dances inspired by both Norman Rockwell of the 1950s and by installation artist Jason Rhoades. Rockwell and Rhoades juxtaposed side by side-then and now, the red states and the blue states, where we grew up and where we live today, in a piece that is, like America, permanently under construction.

4x4 TJ Night

Curated by Lux Boreal Dance Company

Tickets: $15; Performances: Thu at 7pm; Fri at 6pm

A selection of stunning dance and performance works set for a 4 foot by 4 foot stage. Choreographers from both sides of the border take inspiration from the tiny stage to create work that is intimate and electrifying. Usually performed in bars and non-traditional spaces, 4x4 TJ Night takes dance off the proscenium stage and into the center of the room for a vibrant, immediate experience.

Waking La Llorona

David Israel Reynoso/Optika Moderna

Tickets: $29; Performances: Thu - Sun; times TBD

A multisensory, individual experience inspired by one of Mexico's most legendary tales. Each visitor will encounter the doctor and be guided through a 30-minute experimental immersive exploration of La Llorona.


Yehuda Duenyas

Tickets: Free; Performances: Fri: 5pm - 11pm; Sat: 2pm - 10pm; Sun: 2pm - 10pm

CVRTAIN is a VR experience that puts you center stage in a beautiful theatre for your final curtain call. The piece is played with the gestures of performance, as guests bow, blow kisses, curtsy, and more, in order to get the audience to clap, cheer, and lose their minds with adoration. The experience takes place on a proscenium installation in the Athenaeum Arts Center space where onlookers get to watch the participants, who ultimately perform to audiences, both virtual and real, at the same time.

And Then You Wait

Dylan Key and Lily Padilla

Tickets: Free; Performances: Fri at 5pm - 10pm; Sat at 2pm - 10pm; Sun at 2pm - 10pm

In a perfect fallout shelter, there should be at least nine square feet of room per person. This is far from perfect. A community of survivors gather to wait for the world's end or its rebirth. They teach, grieve, fall in love and remember. A meditation on hope and resilience in the face of uncertainty, And Then You Wait is an immersive audio installation in a grain silo that will get close and talk to you in the dark.


Max Robert Daily

Tickets: Free; Performances: Ongoing Fri: 5pm - 6pm and 9pm - 12am;

Sat/Sun: 4pm - 7pm and 8:30pm - 11:30pm

The proprietor of Oslo's Sardine Bar was shipwrecked years earlier, when his Danish-flagged freighter, the crew, the Radio Free band, and the cargo of the finest sardines were all presumed lost. Until October 20 - 22. If enough people come dine, he may be able to get a life raft, a flare gun, or, may just get more beer and decide to stay. Come for the freshly canned fish and stay for the artworks and spontaneous performances.

WOW Festival Club

Tickets: Free; Open Fri/Sat: 10:30pm - 12am; Sun: 10pm - 12am

This pop-up after-hours dance club is the perfect place to hang out with artists, audience members and visitors. Grab a post-show drink, delicious bites and invigorating conversations with friends. Immediately after Shasta Geaux Pop, the Brick Room in Bread & Salt transforms into an underground, impromptu club with a cash bar and a different DJ every night.

Partner: Horton Plaza Park, 900 Fourth Avenue

Model Home

Created and Designed by Mimi Lien; A La Jolla Playhouse Commission

Tickets: Free; Performances: Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun: continuous from 11am - 7pm

Model Home is an urban intervention/installation situated in downtown San Diego, anchored by a large construction crane hoisting a brightly colored, archetypal house, high up in the air. At once incongruous and familiar, the performative installation reflects the shifting infrastructure of a changing city, and asks, what makes a home?

Among Us

Marike Splint

Tickets: $20; Performances: Fri: 2pm, 5pm; Sat/Sun: 11am, 2pm, 5pm

In Among Us, the audience members are the protagonists, and the city is the stage. This walking piece takes you to places you may have passed many times, but invites you to view them through a different lens. How do you relate to the strangers on the streets? What can you imagine about the lives of the people that brush by? Among Us moves from observation to participation, culminating in a game of choice and affiliation that gradually illuminates the hidden social structures that define us.

Partner: ArtPower, Revelle College near UC San Diego Theatre District

Trisha Brown Dance Company's In Plain Site

Presented by ArtPower

Tickets: $35; Performances: Sat/Sun: 2pm and 5pm

In planning since before Trisha Brown's death earlier this year, ArtPower presents a unique iteration of In Plain Site, a site-specific work created for the UC San Diego campus by Trisha Brown Dance Company. The company adapts Brown's signature works around the campus, honoring her commitment to the presentation of performances in nontraditional venues, a format she helped pioneer.


Director Charlotte Brathwaite (Shasta Geaux Pop) is known for staging classical and unconventional texts, dance, visual/performance art, multi-media, plays, site-specific and music events. Her work is seen in the Americas, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia and ranges in subject matter from the historical past to the distant future illuminating issues of race, sex, power and the complexities of the human condition. Named by Playbill as "one of the "up-and-coming women in theatre to watch", Brathwaite continues to create her own work and has ongoing collaborations with such noted artists as Peter Sellars, Meshell Ndegeochello, Justin Hicks, Abigail DeVille, Ayesha Jordan to name a few.

Max Robert Daily (OSLO) Max Robert Daily is a San Diego artist who works in performance and visual art, using any medium that best expresses the story he is telling. He attended the Cotsen Center for Puppetry at Calarts and performs extensively in puppetry, mime, and clowning, as well as being a published author in children's illustration books. Loves teaching and inspiring when he isn't working his day job as an art preparator for the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego.

Yehuda Duenyas (CVRTAIN) is an artist, Experience Director, and founder of Emmy Award-winning Mindride, an artist drive company specializing in next generation experiential art and entertainment. Cvrtain is created by Yehuda Duenyas, and commissioned by Performance Space 122 with an implementation grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for the Building Demand for the Performing Arts Program.

Tim Etchells (The Quiet Volume) is an artist and a writer based in the UK whose work shifts between performance, visual art and fiction. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as the leader of the world-renowned Sheffield-based performance group Forced Entertainment. Exhibiting and presenting work in significant institutions all over the world, he is currently Professor of Performance & Writing at Lancaster University. Etchells' work has been shown recently at Tate Modern, Cubitt, Hayward Gallery and Bloomberg SPACE in London, at Turner Contemporary, The Grundy and Compton Verney in the UK, at Witte de With, Rotterdam, and MUHKA (Antwerp).

For 20 years, Berlin/Nottingham based Gob Squad Arts Collective (Super Night Shot) has been searching for new ways to combine media and performance, producing stage shows, video installations, radio plays, interactive live films and urban interventions. They try to scratch beneath the shiny, pixelated surface of the 21st century, seeking out the dark corners and hidden desires of contemporary culture. Gob Squad was founded in 1994, whilst its members were still at Nottingham Trent and Giessen universities. Berlin has been the group's creative home since 1999. Core members are Johanna Freiburg, Sean Patten, ShaRon Smith, Berit Stumpf, Sarah Thom, Bastian Trost and Simon Will.

Ant Hampton (The Quiet Volume) is a British artist and performance maker whose work, which began in 1998 under the name Rotozaza, has most often involved guiding people through unrehearsed performance situations. From 2007 this started to include the audience: his Autoteatro series tours widely and includes Etiquette, The Quiet Volume, Cue China, OK OK, This is Not My Voice Speaking and The Extra People. Ant often collaborates with other artists, including Tim Etchells, Christophe Meierhans, Britt Hatzius, Gert-Jan Stam, Ivana Müller and Anna Rispoli.

Ayesha Jordan (Shasta Geaux Pop) is a New York City-based multidisciplinary performer and creator. Shasta Geaux Pop was part of the 2017 Under the Radar Festival and at The Bushwick Starr (Sept 2016). Ayesha was part of the Broadway production of Eclipsed at The John Golden Theatre and returned to her role of "The Girl" at The Curran in San Francisco, March 2017. She has performed abroad in Amsterdam, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, and Japan.

Dylan Key (And Then You Wait) is a director and theatre artist. His work has been seen at Undermain Theatre, the Dallas Museum of Art, Kitchen Dog Theatre, and site-specific work throughout Dallas. He spent five years as the Artistic Associate of Undermain Theatre and cofounded Shakespeare in the Bar and TRIBE, for which he was named a 2016 Dallas Mastermind. He is a second-year M.F.A. Director at UC San Diego where his past credits include (w)holeness (WNPF 2017).

Mimi Lien (Model Home) is a Tony Award-winning designer of sets/environments for theatre, dance and opera. Arriving at set design from a background in architecture, her work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer. She designs performances and installations ranging in scale from the tiniest black box to a 71-acre meadow. Mimi was named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow, and is the first set designer ever to achieve this distinction. Selected work includes Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812, An Octoroon, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, and a building-wide installation for the inaugural Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. She is also a recipient of the Cullman Award for Extraordinary Creativity at Lincoln Center Theater, Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, American Theatre Wing Hewes Design Award, LA Drama Critics Circle Award, and an OBIE Award for sustained excellence.

Founded in 2002, Lux Boreal Dance Company (4x4 TJ Night) is a circle of choreographers and dancers from all over Mexico, converging through dance towards a common language to express their vision of reality through Art. Sponsored by Mexico National Fund for Culture and Arts, Lux Boreal is part of a bi-national artistic movement, reinforcing the bonds between artistic communities and diverse audiences. Lux Boreal has been featured in major dance festivals and venues throughout Mexico, the United States, Chile, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, France, Germany and Ireland. 4x4 was a monthly performance series founded by UC San Diego dance faculty member Liam Clancy that gave artists an opportunity to present new experimental work in a non-traditional setting.

Lily Padilla (And Then You Wait) is a playwright, performer and community builder who has developed work in New York City, New Orleans and San Diego, at venues such as the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, INTAR Theatre and the Lark. She is an M.F.A. Playwright at UC San Diego.

David Israel Reynoso (Waking La Llorona) is the Obie Award-winning costume designer for the Off-Broadway runaway hit Sleep No More (Punchdrunk/Emursive). At La Jolla Playhouse, he designed Liz Lerman's Healing Wars for La Jolla Playhouse's WOW Festival 2015 and The Darrell Hammond Project, directed by Christopher Ashley. His other regional scenic and costume design credits include returning collaborations The Old Globe, American Repertory Theater, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Lyric Stage and Gloucester Stage, among many others. His is the recipient of the Elliot Norton Award in Costume Design and a multiple nominee for the IRNE and BroadwayWorld awards.

Sledgehammer Theatre (Under Construction: An American Masque) has been San Diego's premier alternative theater for over three decades. Known for their flamboyant, muscular, visually dense and provocative style, American Theater magazine observed "their name should be used as a verb, 'to sledgehammer theater.'" They have produced site-specific work throughout San Diego and elsewhere, including New York City for the Whitney Museum of American Art. Their production of Charles L. Mee's Heaven on Earth at the UCSD Powell Structural Engineering Lab was one of the highlights of the 2015 WoW Festival.

So Say We All (Incoming: Sex, Drugs and Copenhagen) is a proud San Diego-based literary arts non-profit whose mission is to help people tell their stories and tell them better. Veterans are one community in particular that has been talked about more than heard from, and the Incoming series strives to provide a forum for that - in print, on radio, and now, on stage.

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