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WoW 2017 Festival

Without Walls 2017 Festival

October 19-22, 2017

Downtown San Diego

La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls (WOW) is four days of immersive and eclectic theatre for adventurous art lovers, thrill seekers and families. Now in its third outing, the festival lands in downtown San Diego! From the waterfront to Barrio Logan, artists from San Diego to Berlin will create vibrant, interactive experiences that amplify the energy of the city.

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The Bitter Game

A La Jolla Playhouse Without Walls Presentation,
In association with Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation

The Bitter Game

October 4 - 9, 2016

All performances take place at Writerz Blok,
5010 Market Street, San Diego, 92102

Created, written and performed by Keith A. Wallace
Co-created and directed by Deborah Stein

The Bitter Game blends verse, prose and 'shit-talkin' into a stirring commentary that begs the question, what does it mean to survive while Black in America? This solo work, ripe with pain, poetry and laughter, examines the relationship between a young man and his mother as each struggles to protect one another from that which seems inevitable. Commissioned by the Playhouse, The Bitter Game explores the question of police agency and excessive force, the ripple effects of vicarious trauma in the communities of color, and the value of Black lives in this country.

A major hit at the 2015 WoW Festival, The Bitter Game was praised by the San Diego Union-Tribune as “the festival highlight… The searing, well-honed one-man show is a fast-paced five-act drama that is sure to have a future life in other cities.”

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WoW 2015 Festival

A Weekend of Adventurous, Site-Specific and Immersive Experiences

Without Walls 2015 Festival

October 9-11, 2015

Playhouse Theatre District

This one-of-a-kind festival features over 20 performances by leading artists from San Diego and beyond. From shows that take place in unexpected locations like the backseat of a car or a eucalyptus grove overlooking the Pacific Ocean, to shows that put you in the middle of the action in an impromptu dance party – the WoW Festival was created for art pilgrims hungry for what’s new and next.

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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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THE GRIFT at the Lafayette Hotel

A Without Walls presentation

THE GRIFT at the Lafayette Hotel

Produced by Diabolical Muse Productions

January 27 – March 22, 2015

The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows

Conceived, written and directed by Tom Salamon

A New Immersive Experience from the Creator of ACCOMPLICE

The latest presentation in the acclaimed Without Walls (WoW) series, THE GRIFT at the Lafayette Hotel is a world-premiere, immersive theatre piece which takes audiences on a participatory journey through the extraordinary rooms and spaces of this expansive, 1940s-era landmark. They are introduced to Ben, who, under mysterious circumstances, lived his entire life at the hotel. Having found an unlikely mentor in a traveling con-man who was a frequent guest at the hotel, Ben’s last wish is to enlist the audience’s help to execute one final, giant swindle. Like the three-time-extended ACCOMPLICE: San Diego, this thrilling new show is part game, part drama as patrons learn the art of the con in a unique immersive theatrical experience.

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El Henry

La Jolla Playhouse
in association with San Diego Repertory Theatre
presents a Without Walls production

El Henry

June 14 - June 29, 2014

SILO in Makers Quarter, 753 15th Street

By Herbert Siguenza
Directed by Sam Woodhouse


It’s the year 2045 in a huge, run-down metropolis called Aztlan City (formerly San Diego), where political apathy and corruption run the city while violent barrio families run the streets. Written in Calo, a unique poetic cadence that mixes urban Spanish and English slang, and performed outdoors in an urban street environment – this world premiere adaptation is Shakespeare for the 21st Century.

El Henry is a Without Walls production produced in association with San Diego Repertory Theatre. All performances take place at SILO in Maker’s Quarter, East Village San Diego.

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WoW Festival

20 Site-Specific Theatre Performances

Without Walls 2013 Festival

October 3-6, 2013

Playhouse Theatre District

La Jolla Playhouse’s inaugural Without Walls Festival (October 2013) was a four-day explosion of ground-breaking immersive and site-specific theatre, music, art and community. The Festival was a collaborative effort among La Jolla Playhouse, the University of California San Diego, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and The New Children’s Museum. Together the Festival partners presented over 100 local, national and international artists in more than 20 art experiences in and around La Jolla Playhouse’s theatre district.

The WoW Festival drew more than 9,000 attendees in its first year and turned the national spotlight on San Diego’s role for its role in bringing immersive theatre to audiences in experiences TIME Magazine called “Fresh, fun, totally absorbing.” As the first of what will be a biennial event, the WoW Festival is a perfect fit for San Diego — an innovative, outdoor artistic event for a burgeoning arts city.

A Without Walls Presentation

Part Game. Part Theatre. All Taking Place on the City Streets.


EXTENDED: March 26 - July 7, 2013

Written by Tom Salamon and Betsy Salamon-Sufott
Directed by Tom Salamon

ACCOMPLICE: SAN DIEGO offers a completely unique theatrical experience, unlike any found on any stage, taking its audience on an adventure through the city streets. You’ll be sent on a mission, aided by clues and mysterious cast members strewn throughout various locations such as street corners, bars and out-of-the-way spots. Groups of 10 piece together the clues of a meticulously crafted criminal plot and rely on their own street smarts to make it to the end.

Who’s in on it? Who’s not? With San Diego’s hip and historic Little Italy district as its stage, ACCOMPLICE is an experience you won't soon forget.

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Sam Bendrix

Luke Macfarlane in

Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir

September 24 - October 10, 2012

By Keith Bunin
Directed by Mark Rucker
A Without Walls Presentation

Luke Macfarlane (ABC's Brothers and Sisters) transforms Martinis Above Fourth in Hillcrest into a Greenwich Village nightclub in 1958 - a decade before the Stonewall riots. The drinks and music flow as a young singer and his band take the stage for their last performance before leaving New York City for good. Macfarlane and his band showcase a musical score of American song classics that you won't want to miss.

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Moving Arts'

The Car Plays: San Diego

February 23 – March 11, 2012

Conceived By Paul Stein
A Without Walls Presentation

Moving Arts’ The Car Plays: San Diego, offers a series of intimate ten- minute plays, each taking place in a car, where audiences of two move from vehicle to vehicle to experience works by different playwrights. After being ushered to their seats, the car doors close and participants watch the drama, or comedy, unfold just inches away. Ten minutes later, the doors open, a seat in a new car awaits, and a fresh story begins.. In the course of an hour, five evocative stories are revealed. The Los Angeles Times raved, “The Car Plays combines the pleasures ofsite-specific theater and voyeurism — one of the better arguments forcarpooling since the high-occupancy lane. (Critic’s Choice).”

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September 16 - October 23, 2011

By David Leddy
A Without Walls Presentation
Performances at the San Diego Botanical Garden

Susurrus is a fascinating, site-specific piece by internationally-renowned artist David Leddy that will launch the Playhouse’s innovative Without Walls program. Audiences listen to on iPods while following a mapped route through the beautiful San Diego Botanic Garden. Part radio play, part avant-garde sonic art and part stroll in the park.

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