MVP Initiative

Military and Veterans Programs

The military community plays an important role in the San Diego community and La Jolla Playhouse has created the following dedicated, free-of-charge programs to enhance the quality of life for veterans, active-duty servicemembers, and your families. The Playhouse’s MVP Initiative (Military and Veterans Programs) connects, inspires, and entertains through programs like the Veterans Playwriting Workshop (VPW), Military Nights Out, Military Families at WOW, arts learning programs targeted to children in military families, and military-themed artistic programming. These experiences allow members of the military community to find meaningful avenues of self-expression and to spend quality time with your loved ones through enriching arts activities, without the barriers of cost and limited finances.


Veterans Playwriting WorkshopIn the Veterans Playwriting Workshop, participants work with teaching artists who are veterans themselves for numerous weeks to craft and share their stories, finding community and healing along the way. The multi-phase program is divided into three sections that can be taken as many times as desired: Beginner, Intermediate, and Development. For the Development phase, the Playhouse selects one to three plays created through VPW to produce for a weekend of public readings. This process involves hiring directors, actors, and stage managers as well as utilizing existing staff to plan and present multiple readings of each play.

VPW is provided free of charge for participants (open to veterans, active-duty military, spouses, and national interpreters), as well as attendees of the readings and performances. Workshops have been offered as a hybrid experience both in-person and online through Zoom for more flexibility and ease of access for participants.

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Military Nights OutWith a preshow reception and complimentary tickets for a Playhouse performance, Military Nights Out create magical moments of reconnection for military members and your families. Each year, military guests attend one of these special nights during each production in our six-show Subscription Season.

With support from individual donors and in-kind support from the Gary Sinise Foundation and other community partners, the Playhouse is able to elevate these events with hosted meals and important resources for attendees.

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WOW FestivalMilitary Families at WOW events provide an opportunity for families to gather and enjoy a day of theatre at our annual WOW Festival at different community sites each year. Experiences can include Military Appreciation Mixers, family-friendly activities and performances, resources from military-serving community organizations, art by veterans, and more.

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Audience applaudingDepending on availability of seats, La Jolla Playhouse works with VetTix to offer complimentary tickets to military community members for performances in our Subscription Season and other events.


POP Tour performanceSince 1987, each year the Playhouse makes a dedicated effort to bring the Performance Outreach Program (POP) Tour to military families – through performances on military bases, at the WOW Festival where multiple POP Tour public performances take place, and visits to schools that have large populations of military children. Each year’s play highlights a real-life topic or timely issue for written specifically for San Diego’s children.

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Scholarships for Youth in Military Families

Conservatory group photoThe Playhouse offers full scholarships, upon request, to the Young Performers Conservatory program for students with family in the military. This is to ensure that the children of some of our most dedicated community members can participate in summer classes and gain experience for college and career without the barrier of cost.

For more information about scholarship availability for military youth, contact [email protected].


Performance of WHAT HAPPENS NEXTLa Jolla Playhouse seeks out, commissions, and creates theatre productions with military themes to directly give voice to and speak to members of the military community. Past examples include the 2018 POP Tour production of HOME OF THE BRAVE which was inspired by interviews with military children in San Diego and Honolulu, a devised-theatre piece as part of our Without Walls series called WHAT HAPPENS NEXT which was created with San Diego veterans and was performed at Challenged Athletes Foundation, and TuYo Theatre’s ON HER SHOULDERS WE STAND about Latinas’ contributions in WWII which took place during our 2022 Without Walls Festival at Liberty Station.

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These programs are made possible, in part, by support from:
NEA Creative Forces
Gary Sinise Foundation
Byron and Teresa Pollitt
Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation

Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants are part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Creative Forces® initiative, in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance.
Mid-America Arts Alliance

If you are interested in supporting these programs, please visit our Transforms Live page.

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