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"The Spheres" by Australia's Strange Fruit, part of La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls 2015 Festival. (Photo by Daniel Norwood)

Meiyin Wang to Lead 2017 Without Walls Festival

Her first fest will feature Gob Squad, a Mimi Lien installation, and shows at local breweries and public libraries.

LA JOLLA, CALIF.: La Jolla Playhouse has announced the lineup for its 2017 Without Walls Festival of immersive and site-specific work, running Oct. 19-22. It marks the first year of new festival director Meiyin Wang. Berlin-based troupe Gob Squad will present their newest show, and set designer Mimi Lien will create a custom performance installation.

“Building on the success of our previous Without Walls Festivals, our 2017 outing will showcase works that redefine our conception of theatre, as well as the customary relationship between audience and art,” said La Jolla Playhouse artistic director Christopher Ashley (who recently won a Tony Award for directing Come From Away on Broadway). We are also extremely pleased to bring on board Meiyin Wang to oversee this year’s festival. Her extensive curatorial and producing background will help us take the WoW Festival to new heights.” Wang was previously co-director of the Under the Radar Festival and director of the devised theatre initiative at The Public Theater.

At this year’s festival, instead of taking place exclusively on the University of California-San Diego campus, WoW will also take place in downtown San Diego. The lineup includes Super Night Shot by Gob Squad, staged at the San Diego Public Library. Before each show begins, Gob Squad will take to the city streets with cameras. The movie will then be shown to the audience across multiple screens.

Mimi Lien’s performance installation, Model Home, will go up at Horton Plaza Park. It will be a large construction crane hoisting a brightly colored house high in the air. Lien recently won a Tony Award for her set design for Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.

Local company Sledgehammer Theatre will present Charles Mee’s Under Construction: An American Masque, produced in association with UC San Diego’s department of theatre and dance at the Bread & Salt art gallery. Set in a banquet hall, the work will contain a collage of America today.

Local literary and performance arts organization So Say We Will will present a new piece Incoming: Sex, Drugs, and Copenhagen at the Border X Brewing company. The piece will contain voices and stories of military veterans.

For families, La Jolla will create The Quest 3.0 in collaboration with the New Children’s Museum, where it will be presented. In this interactive adventure, families will pick up clues and solve puzzles together.

Finally, Trisha Brown Dance Company will present In Plain Site at UC San Diego. Additional projects will be announced at a later date. Brown died earlier this year, and the piece will take one of her signature works and adapt it for a nontraditional space.

The Without Walls festival is part of La Jolla Playhouse’s series of the same name, which commissions and presents immersive and site-specific performance every year. The festival takes place every two years. American Theatre previously covered the 2015 festival.

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