DNA 2021

Important COVID-19 Safety Update for DNA New Work Series:

Effective beginning July 28 and based on recommendation from San Diego County and revised guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued on July 27, La Jolla Playhouse is requiring masks for all individuals inside the theatre, regardless of vaccination status. Read more about the Playhouse’s COVID-19 Safety protocols here.

If you have already have tickets for this event and have any questions about this policy, please contact Patron Services at (858) 550-1010.

The Playhouse’s acclaimed new play development initiative, the DNA New Work Series, is back for its eighth year, running July 22-25 and July 29-August 1, 2021.

The DNA New Work Series allows playwrights and directors the opportunity to develop a script by providing rehearsal time, space and resources – all culminating in readings which engage audiences in the creative process. It’s a rare chance for theatre-lovers to be a part of a new work in its earliest stages of development. Numerous DNA pieces have gone on to a full production on the Playhouse stages and nationally, such as Ayad Akhtar’s The Who & The What, and Quiara Alegría Hudes & Erin McKeown’s Miss You Like Hell.

» Creative Team Bios

All DNA readings are general admission seating and take place in the Rao and Padma Makineni Play Development Center (PDC), except for SUMO, which takes place in the Forum Theatre. FREE, reservations required.

Tickets for this event have been underwritten through the generosity of the Sheri L. Jamieson New Work Development Fund as well as our DNA Series co-sponsors: Bill and Judy Garrett, Linda Chester and Dr. Kenneth Rind, The Jendy Dennis Endowment Fund of the JCF, Dwight Hare and Stephanie Bergsma, The Perlmeter Family Foundation, Robin and Larry Rusinko, Peggy Ann Wallace and in loving memory of Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Friedman.

If you would like to join with them in supporting new work at the Playhouse, please consider a tax-deductible donation. Gifts of $150 or more receive benefits. All gifts are appreciated and admired. Thank you!

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Written by Lisa Sanaye Dring
Directed by Ralph B. Peña

Thursday, July 22 at 7:30 pm | Saturday, July 24 at 7:30 pm

Entrenched in a training facility for sumo wrestlers, six men practice, eat, love, play and ultimately fight. Mixing ancient, divine ritual with the guttural ferocity of competition, they struggle to carve themselves – and one another – into the men they dream of being. SUMO is a story about the pursuit of the impossible.


La Jolla Playhouse Commission

All the Men Who’ve Frightened Me

Written by Noah Diaz
Directed by Kat Yen

Friday, July 23 at 7:30 pm | Sunday, July 25 at 2:00 pm

When Ty’s wife learns that she can’t conceive a child, he makes the impulsive decision to work his way off his testosterone and carry the baby himself. But when men from Ty’s past inexplicably begin appearing in the rooms of their new house, the would-be father and mother’s preparations for parenthood begin to collapse.


not-for-profit (or the equity, diversity and inclusion play)

Written by Francisca Da Silveira
Directed by Reginald L. Douglas

Thursday, July 29 at 7:30 pm | Saturday, July 31 at 7:30 pm

Nadine and her fellow junior staffers at RiseUP, an education nonprofit, just want to do right by the community they serve — even though they’re overworked, underpaid and have to deal with out-of-touch board members, microaggressive co-workers and unqualified consultants. But in the face of a sudden scandal, RiseUP might be brought down by even the most well-intentioned of workers.



Written by Andrew Rosendorf
Directed by Chip Miller

Friday, July 30 at 7:30 pm | Sunday, August 1 at 2:00 pm

It’s 1999. Ellen has already come out on her TV show. Jack’s about to do the same on Dawson’s Creek. And David and Martin – two young video store employees, film buffs and best friends – are waiting to hear about a film scholarship to NYU that could change the trajectory of their lives. An exploration of privilege, identity and the ever-present celluloid closet, One-Shot examines who gets the space to tell what stories.


Photo credit: The 2019 DNA New Work Series reading of Airport; photo by Jim Carmody.

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