Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

THIS IS ALL I NEED, BLOCKBUSTER SEASON and More Set for Mugwumpin's 10th Anniversary

Marking its 10th anniversary this year, San Francisco's adventurous, award-winning theater ensemble Mugwumpin is pleased to announce a series of celebratory performances and special events, including the revival of This is All I Need (2010) and Super:Anti:Reluctant (2006), and the world premiere of Blockbuster Season. Mugwumpin's two remounts will take place at The Costume Shop at A.C.T., June 19 - July 13. Blockbuster Season opens in previews at Intersection for the Arts on September 18. Mugwumpin is also proud to announce Luster, a month-long engagement in August with the Asian Art Museum, which has commissioned the company to create a performance installation in collaboration with photographer Pak Han.

Over the last 10 years Mugwumpin has steadily worked to push the edge of ensemble-based theater, questioning the primacy of text and narrative in a theatrical setting and playfully transgressing received notions of the audience-performer relationship. "Since we first began performing together ten years ago, the field of devised theater has changed a lot," says Managing Director Wolfgang Wachalovsky. "People now know what it is! Together with other ensembles here in the Bay Area, Mugwumpin has successfully made a case for the power of performance that offers the multiple perspectives of the members of the ensemble."

"It's a process of art-making that empowers performers, and also demands that they claim that power," adds Mugwumpin Co-Founder and Artistic Director Christopher W. White. "It's definitely not for the actor who wants to be told where to stand. Ensemble members become deeply invested in work that they've helped create. Audiences feel that heightened investment, and it ripples out to them as well."

Details about Mugwumpin's 10th-anniversary performances at The Costume Shop at A.C.T. in June and July, its performance installation at the Asian Art Museum in August and its premiere at Intersection for the Arts this fall follow below. Additional events include a series of Occurrences, performance experiments for non-theater spaces, and a series of artist workshops covering aspects of design, ideation, performance and direction. For more information, visit

MUGWUMPIN10: Performance Schedule

Directed by Wolfgang Lancelot Wachalovsky
Performed by Madeline H.D. Brown, Caleb Cabrera, Erin Mei-Ling Stuart and
Christopher W. White
Thu-Sun, June 19-22; Wed-Thu, July 2-3; Sat-Sun, July 5-6 at 8pm
Opening night: Fri, June 20 at 8pm
The Costume Shop at A.C.T.
1117 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Mugwumpin digs through closets and cupboards to untangle and retangle the threads connecting our hearts, our anxieties and our stuff. With a fractured approach to storytelling, Mugwumpinexplores these connections from numerous angles, from the ways that our belongings become physical repositories for our most potent memories, to the fine boundaries between collecting and hoarding, to the psychosocial motors driving the contemporary urge to accumulate.

Before embarking upon a successful European tour in 2011,
This Is All I Need was named Best Play by both SF Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. "Mugwumpin's inventive, hilarious and repeatedly surprising new work-captivated and captivating-reminds us that a possession isn't just a thing but also a (colonized) state of being. But there's no manifesto here, so much as a multi-faceted, deftly staged exploration of a theme so central to this bare and incredibly cluttered existence that we hardly even notice it" (Robert Avila, San Francisco Bay Guardian).

Directed by Michelle Talgarow
Performed by Natalie Greene, Rami Margron and Soren Santos
Thu-Sun, June 26-29; Thu-Sun, July 10-13 at 8pm
Opening night: Fri, June 27 at 8pm
The Costume Shop at A.C.T.
1117 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

In 2008 Mugwumpin thrilled international audiences at the Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre with Super:Anti:Reluctant. By shamelessly unmasking our obsession with the American hero, Super:Anti:Reluctant investigates various heroic archetypes and their sway over our culture. Superhero, frontier settler, noir detective - each of them is a bit more than we could ever be. We strive to be better, to strike out alone, to claim our patch of land. And that's how a nation is built. Original and found music, text, gesture and sheer freakishness conjoin to create a stunning visual and physical experience. The parallel universe that's created reveals the myths that live among us.

TEN/TEN/TEN: Ten Years by Ten Artists in Ten Minutes
Featuring special guest artists Velina Brown, Denmo Ibrahim, Sara Kraft, Liz Lisle, Erin Mei-Ling Stuart, Michael Torres, Beth Wilmurt and more!
Mon, July 7 at 8pm
The Costume Shop at A.C.T.
1117 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

A decade is a mouthful, a body-full, a mind-full. In celebration of its tenth birthday, Mugwumpinhas invited ten performing artists from many different disciplines to give their versions of the past ten years in Bay Area performance in ten minutes. Be prepared for the personal, the passionate and the preposterous.

A performance installation created in collaboration with photographer Pak Han
Saturdays in August: 2, 9, 16, and 23
Noon - 4pm
Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

Luster is a performance installation created in collaboration with photographer Pak Han. Commissioned by the Asian Art Museum, Luster explores the idea of beauty through a series of heightened interactions between museum patron, Mugwumpin performer and photographer. The performance moment, alive for only a brief time, will result in a photographic image that becomes part of an ever-growing kaleidoscope of beauty and grit. Luster runs each Saturday in August, from noon to 4pm.

Directed by Susannah Martin
Performed by Mugwumpin founders Joe Estlack and Christopher W. White
Work-in-Progress Showing: Tue-Wed, June 24-25 at 8pm
The Costume Shop at A.C.T.
1117 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Previews: Thu-Sat, September 18-20 at 8pm
Opening night: Sun, September 21 at 8pm
Performances: Thu-Sun through October 12
Intersection for the Arts
925 Mission St #109
San Francisco, CA 94103

Mugwumpin's newest evening-length performance is a furious, darkly hilarious critique of how Hollywood regurgitates an alarmist view of disaster, undermining civil society. Disaster movie clichés of panicking masses and the heroes who bring order serve as raw material, mixed with images of responses to real disasters. Blockbuster Season reveals the subversive strength found in cooperating and trusting our neighbors.

ABOUT MUGWUMPIN: Formed in San Francisco in 2004, Mugwumpin aims to reinvigorate live performance as a communal event. Since its founding, Mugwumpin has created 13 evening-length productions and many smaller scale performances, all of which premiered in the Bay Area. Mugwumpin's first show, Rabbit Causes Dog, was named Best Play at the 2004 SF Fringe Festival. In 2008,Mugwumpin thrilled international audiences at the Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre with its original work Super:Anti:Reluctant. In 2010, This Is All I Need played to packed houses and universal critical acclaim in San Francisco. It was named Best Play by both SF Weeklyand the San Francisco Bay Guardian before embarking upon a successful European tour in 2011. And their most recent productions, Future Motive Power and The Great Big Also, have reaped sold-out houses and critical praise for their "provocative images and ideas" and their "urgent call for us to question our ideals and associations and to cultivate that other, neglected American quality: staunch individualism" (Lily Janiak, SF Weekly). For more information, visit

Pictured: Madeline H.D. Brown and Erin Mei-Ling Stuart in This is All I Need. Photo by Diana Blackwell.

Related Articles View More San Francisco Stories

NOS Dance

More Hot Stories For You