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2016/2017 SEASON


World-Premiere Play


May/June 2016

Mandell Weiss Theatre

By Joe DiPietro
Directed by Christopher Ashley

In 1922, famed director William Desmond Taylor is found murdered in his home. The celebrity suspects mount as the headlines explode with lurid reports of love triangles, hush money and deception. Enter Will Hays, Hollywood's newly appointed moral watchdog, determined to silence the scandal and purify this increasingly corrupt city. Based on the true story of Taylor’s unsolved murder, Hollywood is a noir thriller set in the Golden Age of movies by Tony Award winner Joe DiPietro.

Joe DiPietro and Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley have enjoyed a long history of collaboration on such acclaimed productions as Memphis (La Jolla Playhouse, Broadway, London) and Chasing the Song.

The Last Tiger in Haiti

World-Premiere Play

The Last Tiger in Haiti

June/July 2016

Mandell Weiss Forum

By Jeff Augustin
Directed by Joshua Kahan Brody

It’s the final night of Kanaval in Haiti, and a group of abandoned children spend it trading fantastic folktales until the line between reality and fiction blurs. At daybreak, the oldest plans to leave for a new life but discovers the story of his future and past are in the hands of someone else. Set in a world that is utterly real and remarkably imaginative, this unforgettable new play from Jeff Augustin weaves Haitian lore into a contemporary narrative of survival and betrayal.

A UC San Diego M.F.A. graduate, Jeff Augustin is a Playwright-in-Residence at New York’s Roundabout Theatre. His work has been at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and others.

Junk: Or the Golden Age of Debt

World-Premiere Play

JUNK: The Golden Age of Debt

July/August 2016

Mandell Weiss Theatre

By Ayad Akhtar
Directed by Doug Hughes

The Deal. The Board Room. The Takeover. This is the battleground where titanic egos collide, where modern day kings are made and unmade. It's a world where debt is an asset and assets are excuses for more debt, a world where finance runs the show. How did we get here? How did the world we once knew change?

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ayad Akhtar takes us back to the hotbed of the ‘80s and offers us an origin story for the world that finance has given us, a sexy and epic thriller about an upstart genius hell-bent on changing all the rules.

Ayad Akhtar wrote the Playhouse’s world-premiere production of The Who & The What. He is the author of the novel American Dervish, and the play Disgraced which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Tiger Style!

New Comedy


September/October 2016

Potiker Theatre

By Mike Lew
Directed by Jaime Castañeda

Star students and squabbling siblings Albert and Jennifer Chen used to represent the pinnacle of adolescent achievement. But when it comes to adulthood, they’re epic failures. Albert’s just been passed up for promotion and Jennifer's been dumped by her loser boyfriend. So they do what any reasonable egghead brother and sister would do and go on an Asian Freedom Tour! Travelling from California to China, Tiger Style! embraces the inner slacker and the outer tiger parent in all of us.

Resident writer for Blue Man Group, La Jolla native Mike Lew’s plays include Bike America, microcrisis, Stockton and People’s Park. He is also co-director of the Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab, the largest collective of Asian-American playwrights in the country. Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Jaime Castañeda directs this searing new comedy.

Miss You Like Hell

World-Premiere Musical

Miss You Like Hell

October/November 2016

Mandell Weiss Theatre

Book and lyrics by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Music and Lyrics by Erin McKeown
Directed by Lear deBessonet

La Jolla Playhouse Commission

When a free-spirited mother convinces her whip-smart teenage daughter to join her on a drive across the country, neither can imagine where it will take them. Chance encounters with a medley of characters along the way brings them closer to understanding what sets them apart — and what connects them forever.This vibrant and affecting new American musical from Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes and renowned rock musician Erin McKeown exudes the joy, love and frustration of being a family in a changing country.

Renowned musician and activist Erin McKeown joins director Lear deBessonet (Public Theatre’s The Winter’s Tale) and Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes (Water by the Spoonful, In the Heights) in launching this new American musical at the Playhouse.

Freaky Friday

New Musical Comedy


February/March 2017

Potiker Theatre

Book by Bridget Carpenter
Music and Lyrics by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey
Based on the novel “Freaky Friday” by Mary Rodgers
and the Walt Disney motion pictures
Directed by Christopher Ashley

When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again before mom’s big wedding. Freaky Friday, a new musical comedy based on the hit Disney films and the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers, is a hilarious, contemporary update of an American classic, in which a mother and daughter really see what it is to be a family, and experience first-hand each other’s lives, if only for a day.

Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winners Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey are the composer and lyricist behind such hit Broadway shows as Next to Normal and If/Then. Librettist Bridget Carpenter is an accomplished playwright and an award-winning writer for television’s acclaimed Parenthood and Friday Night Lights. Directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley, following up on last season’s smash new musical Come From Away.