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2015/2016 SEASON

Come From Away

World-Premiere Musical

Come From Away

EXTENDED AGAIN! May 29 – July 5 July 12, 2015

Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre

Book, music and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein
Directed by Christopher Ashley

Co-production with Seattle Repertory Theatre


Come From Away is an original, rock-inspired world-premiere musical based on the true story of when the isolated town of Gander, Newfoundland played host to the world. What started as an average day in a small town turned in to an international sleepover when 38 planes were diverted to Gander on September 11, 2001. Undaunted by culture clashes and language barriers, the spirited town cheered the stranded travelers with music, an open bar and the recognition that we’re all part of a global family.

Artistic Director Christopher Ashley is the director of the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis, now playing on London’s West End!

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Up Here

World-Premiere Musical Comedy

Up Here

EXTENDED! July 28 – August 30 September 6, 2015

Mandell Weiss Theatre

Book, music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Directed by Alex Timbers


When introverted, 30-something computer repairman Dan finds a potential spark with outgoing t-shirt designer Lindsay, his attempts at a relationship are thwarted by the Technicolor world in his head. This world-premiere musical goes where no musical has gone before, bringing to life the circus of judgmental, neurotic, ever-changing characters that rule an ordinary man’s mind. Up Here is an ambitious, razor-sharp musical comedy about recognizing your place in the universe — and maybe even finding happiness.

Robert Lopez (The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez are the Oscar-winning songwriters behind the sensational Disney animated film Frozen.

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Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin

World Premiere

Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin

September 8 – October 4, 2015

Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre

By Michael Benjamin Washington
Directed by Lucie Tiberghien

Co-production with Kansas City Repertory Theatre


In the sweltering political and racial heat of 1963, Bayard Rustin — the brilliant proponent of non-violent civil disobedience — is assigned to orchestrate an unprecedented march for jobs and freedom. Exiled from the Civil Rights Movement by both internal and external forces, Rustin grapples with his last chance for professional restoration and spiritual redemption.

Blueprints to Freedom was first presented as part of the Playhouse’s DNA New Work Series.

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Healing Wars

Centerpiece of the
2015 Without Walls Festival (Oct 9-11)

Healing Wars

September 29 – October 25, 2015

Mandell Weiss Forum

Conceived, directed and choreographed by Liz Lerman

Made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’
National Dance Project


Healing Wars is a multisensory experience that blends dance, storytelling and multimedia in an exploration of how soldiers and healers cope with the physical and psychological wounds of war. Incorporating narratives from the American Civil War, as well as a remarkable performance from a young Navy veteran, this powerful piece asks how we as a nation recover from what seems like endless battles. Healing Wars anchors the Playhouse’s highly-anticipated second Without Walls Festival.

Director and choreographer Liz Lerman is a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow and founder of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange.

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World-Premiere Play with Music


November 13 – December 10, 2015

Mandell Weiss Theatre

Co-created by Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman
Written by Paula Vogel
Directed by Rebecca Taichman

In association with Yale Repertory Theatre


Indecent is a world-premiere play with music inspired by the true events surrounding the controversial 1922 Broadway debut of God of Vengeance — a work considered by many to be a seminal work of Jewish culture, by others, a work of traitorous libel. Alive with popular songs of the era, this deeply-moving piece charts the history of an incendiary work, the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it, and the evolving identity of the culturally-rich community that inspired its creation.

Paula Vogel is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of How I Learned to Drive and The Long Christmas Ride Home.

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Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

Special Engagement

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

December 16, 2015 – January 3, 2016

Mandell Weiss Theatre

Written and performed by Hershey Felder
Lyrics and music by Irving Berlin
Directed by Trevor Hay

In a virtuoso performance, award-winning showman and San Diego favorite Hershey Felder (George Gershwin Alone, Maestro Bernstein) brings to life the remarkable story of Irving Berlin, long thought of as America’s Composer. From the depths of anti-Semitism in Czarist Russia, to New York’s Lower East Side, and ultimately all of the country and the world, Irving Berlin’s story epitomizes capturing the American Dream. Featuring the composer’s most popular and enduring songs, from “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Always,” “Blue Skies,” “God Bless America,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” to "White Christmas,” and the score of “Annie Get Your Gun,” Felder’s signature creation of character and musical performance will make this evening with Irving Berlin an unforgettable journey in song.

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Guards at the Taj

New Dark Comedy

Guards at the Taj

February 2 – 28, 2016

Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre

By Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Jaime Castañeda


At morning’s first light, a new edifice representing the soaring power of the empire will be unveiled, the glorious Taj Mahal. But for the two hapless guards assigned to protect the palace, morning will set the wheels in motion for a ghoulishly funny existential crisis that will shake their faith in God, the empire and each other. Guards at the Taj is a black comedy about two average men swept up by the beauty, carnage and injustice surrounding one of the most famous wonders of the world.

Written by Rajiv Joseph, the Pulitzer Prize finalist for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. Directed by the Playhouse’s Associate Artistic Director Jaime Castañeda.

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DNA New Work Series

DNA New Work Series 2016

February 18 – 29, 2016

The DNA New Work Series is a period of readings that allows playwrights and directors the opportunity to develop a script by providing rehearsal time, space and resources – all culminating in workshops or readings open to the public. All projects in the DNA Series take place with little or no scenic, costume or staging elements, and actors may have scripts in hand. It’s a rare chance for theatre-lovers to be a part of a new work in its earliest stages of development.

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POP Tour 2016

2016 POP Tour
Alice Chan

Touring San Diego County Schools February 1 - April 1, 2016

Public Performances at the Playhouse March 5 & 6, 2016

Written by Robert Lee and BD Wong
Directed by BD Wong

Just about everyone at Chaffey Hills Elementary School finds Alice Chan super annoying, for a hundred hilarious different reasons... but what happens when the unpopular “Queen of the Science Fair” is cast by her well-meaning teacher as the lead in the Fifth Grade Play over the most talented and well-liked girl in the class? Fifth Grade Armageddon, that's what! ALICE CHAN is a very funny comedy about breaking out of your comfort zone... and being yourself at the very same time.

Ideal for students in grades 2 - 6.

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Learn about the new season here!

All artists and programs subject to change.

For questions, please contact Patron Services at (858) 550-1010.

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