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La Jolla Playhouse presents Kingdom City, by Sheri Wilner, directed by Jackson Gay

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World Premiere

Kingdom City

September 4 - October 5, 2014

By Sheri Wilner
Directed by Jackson Gay

A 20th CENTURY CLASSIC INCITES A 21st CENTURY SHOWDOWN

When displaced New York director Miriam finds herself in Kingdom City, Missouri, she reluctantly agrees to direct a high school production of The Crucible. As the play unlocks the students’ repressed desires, a local youth minister threatens to cancel the play, creating a firestorm in this small conservative town. A funny and sharp new play inspired by true events.

"I am in awe of how playwright Sheri Wilner explores both sides of a culture war between artistic freedom and religious values with such honesty, humor and intelligence."
- Artistic Director Christopher Ashley


Content warning: strong language, adult situations.

Meet the Creative Team

Sheri Wilner’s plays include Father Joy, Hunger and Bake Off and have been performed at major regional theatres, including the Guthrie and Williamstown Theatre Festival. Her work has won numerous awards and has been published in over a dozen anthologies.

Jackson Gay directed the Playhouse’s 2006 POP Tour production West of the 5. She has directed productions at major theaters across the country, including the Alley Theatre, Yale Rep, Women’s Project, Atlantic Theatre, among others. She teaches at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College and Primary Stages ESPA.

A sampling of articles on recent high school productions that faced censorship

Howard Sherman, arts administrator and producer, discusses a school's recent decision to cancel a production.
» Facts Emerge About School “Spamalot” Struck Out Over Gay Content

Mr. Sherman will be the speaker for Discovery Sunday on September 28.  

Recently Banned and Challenged Plays
» Read More from the Educational Theatre Association

The Culture Wars Shift to School Halls
» Read More from The New York Times

Sanitized for the Drama Club
» Read More from NorthJersey.com

Following Legally Blonde controversy, Speargrove Presents, About Censored High School Musical, Will Play Ohio
» Read More from Playbill

Hillsdale High students prepare counter-rally to anti-gay protest
» Read More from The Mercury News

Missouri School District Bans 'Slaughterhouse-Five' and 'Twenty Boy Summer'
» Read More from HuffPost Arts & Culture

Pennsylvania School District Cancels 'Kismet' After 9/11 Complaints
» Read More from HuffPost Arts & Culture

Show Will Go on: California School Approves 'Rent'
» Read More from The New York Times

Curtain Comes Down in 'Rent' in Rowlett
» Read More from NBC Dallas–Fort Worth




Design Credits for Kingdom City

Scenic Design Robert Brill
Costume Design David Israel Reynoso
Lighting Design Paul Whitaker
Sound Design Nicholas Drashner

Press and Reviews for Kingdom City

The Los Angeles Times raves about Kingdom City
"...anyone who values the power of theater to stimulate meaningful dialogue about significant issues dare not miss it."

» Read more from LA Times


'Kingdom' explores dramatic censorship
Playhouse premiere takes off from school's real-life cancellation of 'Crucible'

» Read more from UT San Diego


‘Kingdom City’ Examines Conflict Between Artistic Freedom And Community Values

» Read more from KPBS


La Jolla Playhouse world premiere explores conflicts over censorship with wit and insight

» Read more from UT San Diego

Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre

Kingdom City Potiker Theatre

The Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre is the third and newest of La Jolla Playhouse's theatres, the 6,500-square-foot Potiker theatre is the centerpiece of the first permanent year-round home for the Playhouse — the $17 million Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center.

"A box within a box, within a box," the theatre is a glass-enclosed black cube that gives the Playhouse performance options; the seating and the stage can be placed wherever the director wishes, enhancing the performer-audience relationship. The performance area – complete with removable seats to allow for as few as two audience members and as many as 450 – has a mostly-removable performance floor with trap doors that lead down to a labyrinth of facilities and backstage areas for casts and crews, including a sound and recording studio which allows live music to be channeled into the theatre. Above the audience's heads sits a wire tension grid; there is also a balcony along the theatre's outer wall for extra seating or performance space.

The Potiker Theatre is a flexible space; therefore seating configurations change for each show.

> Learn more

Foodie Fridays

Foodie Friday

Friday, September 12 starting at 6:00 pm

Join us for Foodie Fridays! Not So Fast and Two for the Road will provide delicious eats. Plus, enjoy a complimentary microbrew tasting!

Foodie Friday

Friday, October 3 starting at 6:00 pm

Theatergoers with a love for beer and delicious eats are invited to attend Foodie Fridays, where a ticket to select Playhouse performances also includes access to some of San Diego’s finest food trucks, plus a complimentary microbrew tasting!

ACCESS Performances

ACCESS performance

ACCESS

Saturday, September 20 at 2:00 pm

During this performance, La Jolla Playhouse provides American Sign Language interpretation for audience members who are deaf or hard of hearing and audio description for patrons who are blind or have low vision.

Open Captioning Performance

Open Captioned Performance

Sunday, September 21 at 2:00 pm

This performance has added open captioning for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

 

ASL Interpreted Performance

Friday, September 26 at 8:00 pm

This performance has added American Sign Language interpretation for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

 

Audience Engagement Events

Talkback Tuesday

Talkback Tuesday

Tuesday, September 16 after the 7:30 pm performance

Participate in a facilitated discussion with actors and artistic staff immediately following the performance. A great way to share your thoughts and learn more about the show!

Talkback Tuesday

Talkback Tuesday

Tuesday, September 23 after the 7:30 pm performance

Participate in a facilitated discussion with actors and artistic staff immediately following the performance. A great way to share your thoughts and learn more about the show!

Discovery Sunday

Discovery Sunday

Sunday, September 28 after the 2:00 pm performance

Special guest speaker Howard Sherman, arts administrator and producer, will engage audience members in a moderated discussion exploring the issues and themes in the play.

Insider Events

Insider Event

Wednesday, October 1 at 6:45 pm

Insider events offer a special pre-performance presentation by members of the Playhouse staff that highlights the history and making of the production you are about to see.

Insider Events

Insider Event

Saturday, October 4 at 1:15 pm

Insider events offer a special pre-performance presentation by members of the Playhouse staff that highlights the history and making of the production you are about to see.

Kingdom City at La Jolla Playhouse