La Jolla Playhouse Announces World Premiere-Filled 2015-16 Season

The ’15-16 season will feature new works from Paula Vogel, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and José Cruz González, as well as direction from Rebecca Taichman and Alex Timbers.

Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez
Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez

LA JOLLA, CA.: La Jolla Playhouse has announced its 2015–16 season, which includes four world premieres, including ones by Paula Vogel, Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and a new musical from Frozen songwriting team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

In addition, the playhouse also announced the centerpiece show in its 2015 Without Walls (WoW) Festival, dedicated to site-specific theatre: Healing Wars, from choreographer Liz Lerman.

“This season embodies the Playhouse’s adventurous spirit in so many ways—it is comprised entirely of new works that challenge our notions of what a play, and even a character, can be,” said artistic director Christopher Ashley in a statement.We’ve assembled an astounding group of artists, many of whom have worked in unique partnerships to create their pieces, and it has also been a goal of mine to bring our innovative Without Walls program to a wider audience.”

A list of each show in the season follows:

Come From Away features book, music and lyrics by Canadian husband-and-wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and is directed by Ashley. It is based on the true story of how 38 planes, carrying thousands of people from all over the world, were diverted to Gander, Newfoundland on September 11, 2001. Come From Away is a world premiere.

In the world premiere of Up Here—with music and lyrics by the husband-and-wife composing team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez—an introverted thirtysomething computer repairman finds a potential romantic spark with outgoing T-shirt designer Lindsay. Alex Timbers will direct.

Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin, written by Michael Benjamin Washington and directed by Phylicia Rashad, is based on the life story of Civil Rights leader Bayard Rustin, who was openly gay. The play had its first workshop in the playhouse’s 2014 DNA New Work Series, which is dedicated to developing work in a workshop and reading environment.

Lerman’s Healing Wars blends dance, storytelling and multimedia to explore how soldiers and healers cope with the physical and psychological wounds of war. It incorporates narratives from the American Civil War as well a performance by a young Navy veteran. Healing Wars will be the touchstone of the Playhouse’s second Without Walls Festival, running Oct. 9–11, 2015.

Indecent is inspired by the true events surrounding the controversial 1922 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance, a work considered by some to be a seminal work of Jewish culture, by others libelous. Co-created by director Rebecca Taichman and Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Paula Vogel, Indecent is a coproduction with Yale Repertory Theatre and will have its world premiere at the playhouse.

In addition to those five new shows, the Playhouse will also mount the previously announced Border Crossing as part of its Without Walls series (a precursor to the full-blown Without Walls Festival). The production, a presentation in partnership with the San Diego Museum of Man, will take place in June 2015.

The playhouse will also present a Performance Outreach Program (POP) Tour production of The Astronaut Farmworker, the newest of the playhouse’s annually commissioned plays for young audiences. Farmworker is written by José Cruz González and show will run at the theatre Feb. 14–15, 2015, as well as touring to elementary schools throughout San Diego County Feb. 2–April 3, 2015.

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