Patron Services: 858.550.1010

In partnership with Ping Chong + Company, La Jolla Playhouse presents South of The 8.

In partnership with Ping Chong + Company,
La Jolla Playhouse presents

South of The 8

Public Performances: Friday, March 31 at 7:30 pm and
Saturday, April 1 at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm

Written by Sara Zatz and Daniela Rivera, in collaboration with the performers
Directed by Sara Zatz

South of The 8 is a fascinating, interview-based work that explores issues of culture and identity in a specific local community, breaking down stereotypes by sharing the rich and diverse the stories of the people who live there. Following an intensive interview process, five individuals from neighborhoods south of the I-8 were selected to work with Ping Chong + Company and the Playhouse to create and perform an "opera for the spoken word," based on their own narratives. This moving, non-traditional theatre piece showcases the real-life stories and experiences of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, shining a light on the unique character of communities South of The 8.

All performances take place at the City Heights Performance Annex, 3795 Fairmount Ave, San Diego, CA 92105. The Performance Annex is connected to the City Heights/Weingart Library.

Recommended for ages 14 and up. Mature themes.

Patron Services will be happy to answer any questions you have at (858) 550-1010.

Supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation

The presentation of South of The 8 is part of Ping Chong + Company’s Undesirable Elements series. Since 1992, there have been over 50 productions in the series in communities around the United States and abroad. The development process for this piece included an extended community residency during which Ping Chong + Company Associate Director Sara Zatz and collaborating artist Daniela Rivera conducted interviews with potential participants. These interviews formed the basis of a script that weaves cast members’ experiences together in a chronological account touching on both political and personal events. The script is performed by the interviewees themselves, many of whom have never before spoken publicly.


Iyari Arteaga – City Heights
Iyari is an artivist who believes in the healing power of telling our stories.

Trendale Charon – Southeast
Tre’s lyrics are his swag.

DeAndre Clay – Southeast
For DeAndre, theatre is a voyage into the archives of the human imagination.

Omar Romman Johnson – Southeast
“Just as a plant seeks light to grow, we as humans also need light/wisdom to blossom.”

Autumn Mercy – Southeast
“Autumn mercy is on her path to recovery using poetry, music, and the sisterhood, she is slowly realizing that everything she needs, is within herself."

Please check back for press and reviews.

City Heights Performance Annex

3795 Fairmount Ave, San Diego, CA 92105
The Performance Annex is connected to the City Heights/Weingart Library.

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There are no events associated with this production.

Meet the Creative Team

Sara Zatz is the Associate Director of Ping Chong + Company and project manager of the Undesirable Elements performance series, an interview-based theater project exploring issues of culture and identity in the lives of individuals in specific communities. Since she joined the company in 2002, she has developed dozens of original works in the series, working in collaboration with partner organizations ranging from regional theaters to community-based arts organizations, exploring themes such as the experiences of people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees, and disenfranchised youth. She has had the privilege of interviewing hundreds of individuals from all over the world and has served as lead artistic collaborator with Ping Chong on numerous productions. Additionally, she oversees Ping Chong + Company’s in-school arts education program and training institutes to share the methodology of Undesirable Elements with other artists and community members. She is the writer and director of Secret Survivors, a work in a series which explores the experiences of survivors of child sexual abuse, and oversees Ping Chong + Company’s Secret Survivors National Initiative, which partners with non-arts-organizations to use theater to end child sexual abuse. Other recent projects include Say My Name, Say My Name: Stories of LGBTQ Youth of New Orleans and Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity. She served as the editor of a 2012 volume on Undesirable Elements, published by Theatre Communications Group, and has spoken and presented workshops on community-engaged theater at many conferences and universities. She holds a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and M.Phil. in Irish Theatre Studies from Trinity College, Dublin. She lives in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Daniela Rivera is a Los Angeles based actor and theatre maker, and a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She was born in Bogota, Colombia and immigrated to California – where questions of identity, belonging, and agency began and continue to be explored in her work. She graduated Tisch’s Experimental Theatre Wing with a B.F.A. in Theatre, and a minor in Applied Theatre. Her training was largely focused on developing an artistic voice through constant company and independent creation of choreography, vocal composition, and theatrical pieces. This training combined with the minor in applied theater led to the development of multiple pieces exploring the intersection of social justice and theatre. She has spent the last few years actively working with communities who have largely been ignored based on their race, immigrant status, and socio-economic background. Her first hands on experience in community engaged work was with children living in a women’s shelter – through the program she used theater, storytelling, and physical improvisation to build confidence, community, and to give them the tools and space to share their stories, fears, and hopes. She also recently finished a Teaching Artist residency at PS 191 with Ping Chong + Company, where she worked with sixty 8th grade students to develop two interview based theater pieces about their life experiences, with the purpose of providing a platform for young people to speak openly about their lives.

Ping Chong + Company produces theatrical works addressing the important cultural and civic issues of our times, striving to reach the widest audiences with the greatest level of artistic innovation and social integrity. The company was founded in 1975 by leading theatrical innovator Ping Chong with a mission to create works of theater and art that explore the intersections of race, culture, history, art, media and technology in the modern world. Today, Ping Chong + Company produces original works by a close-knit ensemble of affiliated artists, under the artistic leadership of Ping Chong. Productions range from intimate oral history projects to grand scale cinematic multidisciplinary productions featuring puppets, performers, and full music and projection scores. The art reveals beauty, precision, and a commitment to social justice.