Walks of Life

WALKS OF LIFE

By Blindspot Collective
A La Jolla Playhouse Commission

This is a FREE experience.

Walks of Life can also be streamed on Spotify, Apple, etc.


 
Just Announced: 4th Episode

Launching in late August

The Playhouse announces a fourth Walks of Life episode that focuses on Black artists and experiences. Although previous episodes featured Black playwrights and performers, this moment of national reckoning and recognition necessitates a creative rebuke to systemic oppression, and a proclamation that Black lives not only matter, they are essential. This new episode features four short plays that celebrate Black culture and community through dialogue, spoken word, soundscape and original music. When the world witnessed the murder of George Floyd in less than ten minutes, it was a symbolic culmination of over 400 years of Black death and trauma in the United States. Each scene in is roughly ten minutes long as a means of reflecting the vibrancy, beauty, culture and excellence that are possible in that same amount of time. Walks of Life is an original, Playhouse-commissioned work of auditory theatre featuring original short scenes by playwrights and composers from across the country that imagine the lives of people in the homes and apartments we pass while walking independently through our neighborhoods.

Episode 1

PLAY

Tatya and Nini
By Catherine Hanna Schrock
Featuring Lanna Joffrey & Julie Meram

Extra Credit
By Gill Sotu
Featuring Bryan Barbarin, Monique Gaffney & Isabella Pruter

Elaine: Live at Living Room
Book & Lyrics by Blake McCarty, Music by Ian Brandon
Featuring Andrew Paiva

Sound design: Melanie Chen Cole
Narration: Kandace Crystal

Episode 2

PLAY

And All the Birds Loved Her
By Christian St. Croix
Featuring DeLeon Dallas & Baby Bagos Hood

Konstantin
By Rachel Tuggle Whorton
Featuring Lisel Gorell-Getz & Hannah Trujillo

Apart Together
Book by Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm, Music by Katherine Cartusciello
Featuring Tamara Rodriguez & Andrew Walters


Directed by:
Catherine Hanna Schrock & Blake McCarty
Sound Design: Melanie Chen Cole
Production Assistant: Jack Mason-Brase
Narrator: Imahni King
Additional Music: Danny Ayer & Tarion Taylor-Anderson

Episode 3

PLAY

The Starter
By Tom Bruett
Featuring Andrew Oswald & Skyler Sullivan

Home Is
By Miki Vale
Featuring Honey Duruthy & Ruben Rubio

DJ Lonelee
By Joshua Brown & Lauren D’Errico
Featuring Jasmine January & Wrekless Watson

Directed by: Catherine Hanna Schrock & Blake McCarty
Sound Design: Melanie Chen Cole
Production Assistant: Jack Mason-Brase
Narrator: Alyce Smith Cooper
Additional Design: Joshua Brown

Episode 4

Launching in late August

Nursing Hours
By Penny Middleton

Punch Bowl Spaces
By Kian KlineChilton

The Piano
By Richard Allen and Taran Gray

Family Sound
By Michael Mitchell, Aurin Squire and Annastasia Victory

Directed by: Kandace Crystal and Lamar Perry
Original spoken word by: Sherehe Hollins
Sound Design: Melanie Chen Cole
Original Music/Additional Sound Design: Chesney Snow

About the Project

Blindspot Collective is developing a new WOW piece entitled Walks of Life, an original, Playhouse-commissioned work of auditory theatre featuring short scenes by playwrights and composers from across the country. In the midst of a pandemic that fractures and isolates our communities, this aural experience offers the opportunity to safely and imaginatively reconnect with each other by bearing witness to life’s intimate moments captured entirely in sound. Participants experience the performance while walking independently through their own neighborhoods, and over the course of three 30-minute parts, they are introduced to characters and stories that might be unfolding in the homes around them.


Walks of Life is Made Possible in Part by Generous Support from Peggy Ann Wallace, and her faithful walking companion, RYLEE

 
Blindspot CollectiveBlindspot Collective company develops radically inclusive programming that cultivates new work, emerging artists, and diverse audiences. The company develops transformative theatre that amplifies marginalized voices, illuminates untold stories, and energizes vulnerable communities in San Diego County… (click “Full Creator Bios” below to read more)

Full Creator Bios

Since its founding in 2017, Blindspot Collective has collaborated with La Jolla Playhouse; The Old Globe; California Center for the Arts, Escondido; Diversionary Theatre; ARTS (A Reason to Survive); UC San Diego Department of Theatre and Dance; and other community partners to develop projects that meaningfully engage audiences and artists in the blindspot of society. The organization centers equity, inclusion, and pressing social issues in its work on and off stage with collaborators that include San Diego Unified School District, Juvenile Court and Community Schools, Cajon Valley Union School District, and Live Well San Diego. Most recently, Blindspot Collective was the first theatre company to be awarded a performing arts residency at the San Diego International Airport, where the organization developed and presented site-specific performances in 2019. The company has received acclaim for its original work, including Hall Pass, an immersive musical featured in the 2019 Without Walls Festival; Qulili, a documentary play based on the stories of local refugees developed with support from the Critical Refugee Studies Collective; The Magic in this Soul, a verbatim play about discrimination and resilience that won the Audience Favorite Award at the 2018 San Diego International Fringe Festival; and Untold, another verbatim play about mental illness that won the Dunn-Rankin Award for New Work at the 2017 San Diego Fringe. The company also develops interactive Forum Theatre for youth audiences, including Safa’s Story and Danny’s Story, which allow young people to consider the complexities of difference and prejudice. Combined, those two productions have been seen by over 12,000 students in the past two years.

Blake McCarty is an artist and educator, as well as the co-founder and Director of Artistic Development for Blindspot Collective. His original work includes immersive projects like Hall Pass (presented by La Jolla Playhouse for the 2019 Without Walls Festival) and Play/Date (produced Off-Broadway by 3-Legged Dog); the original musical Chasing Fear with composer Trevor Bachman; devised theatre with youth, such as Mystifique and Filters; and verbatim plays, including Untold, The Magic in this Soul, and Biting the Bullet. His work has been developed or commissioned by La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, Cygnet Theatre, New Village Arts, New York Theatre Barn, and New York University. Blake is also an award-winning Projection Designer whose work has been seen locally at La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Rep, Moonlight, Intrepid, Ion, Diversionary, and Cygnet. Blake is an alumnus of the Steinhardt School and Tisch School of the Arts, both at New York University.

Catherine Hanna Schrock is an Applied Theater Practitioner, which unites her roles as an activist, performer, and writer. She is the Director of Community Development for Blindpspot Collective. Catherine designs original performances and community programming that center social justice and human connection. Since 2017 her original educational theatre performances have reached over 15,000 people in San Diego County where she is applauded as a “spectacular facilitator who handles children with extreme sensitivity and respect, and engages the audience from the moment they enter the theater” (Times of San Diego, 2020). Catherine holds a Master’s in Educational Theater from New York University and a B.A. in Sociology.

Gill Sotu is a navy veteran, poet, playwright, and performing artist. He is a two time Grand Slam Poetry Champion, two time Raw Performing artist of the year, and a four time TEDx San Diego presenter. Currently, he is a teaching artist and a commissioned playwright with The Old Globe Theatre, a program director and teaching artist with Intrepid Theatre, and musical director for TEDx San Diego.

Melanie Chen Cole is a San Diego-based sound designer. Her first collaboration with Blindspot Collective was Connecting Flights, the 2019 performing-arts residency at San Diego International Airport. Melanie has designed regionally for La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, South Coast Rep, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Studio Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and PlayMakers Repertory Company. Locally, she has designed at San Diego Rep, Cygnet Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, New Village Arts Theatre, North Coast Rep, Backyard Renaissance, Moxie Theatre, and ion theatre company. Melanie holds an M.F.A. in Sound Design for Theatre & Dance from UC San Diego.

Ian Brandon recently moved to San Diego from London where he worked as a music director, composer, actor, vocal teacher, arranger and orchestrator in the West End, on the London Fringe and on National Tours. Recent U.S. credits include: Alice (Lamb’s Players Theatre), Chasing Fear (Finish Line, Cygnet Theatre), A Kind of Weather (Diversionary Theatre), Cat (Theatre Of Note, L.A.), Hall Pass (WOW Festival, La Jolla Playhouse), Heathers (OB Playhouse), The Winter’s Tale, The Old Man & The Old Moon, Cabaret (Coronado Playhouse) and Ragtime (Arena Stage, Washington D.C.). Past favorite London credits include Spring Awakening, Parade, Bat Boy, Violet, Children of Eden, Crazy For You, Songs For A New World, Bare, Forever Plaid, Once On This Island and Pippin.

Christian St. Croix is an award-winning playwright and the creative director of Boy and Monster, a theatre collective producing plays that center the Black LGBT experience. Christian’s works include include Monsters of the American Cinema, commissioned for a workshop production with the Scripps Ranch Theatre’s 2018 Out on a Limb New Play Series; Zack, a satire of 90s Saturday morning sitcoms; and the streetwear fairytale Princes, winner of the 2017 San Diego International Fringe Festival Award for Outstanding LGBT Performance. Outside of writing for theatre, he’s the author of M., a collection of prose, poetry and microfiction that Outword Magazine described as, “Raw. Real. Radical. Racy.” Christian currently resides in San Diego, California.

Rachel Tuggle Whorton is a performer, director, writer, and arts educator who has collaborated with groups across the country, including Royal Caribbean International, National YoungArts Foundation, San Diego Musical Theatre, Blindspot Collective, The Acapella Company, Playwrights Horizons, The New School, SITI Company, CO/LAB Theater Group, Havas Luxe Events, Verbatim Performance Lab, & New York City Center. Her 2017 Off-Broadway performance in Her Opponent was featured in The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, and on MSNBC. Select writing credits: Last Night in Town (site-specific musical based on the songs of Ben Folds), My Other Job (one-act ethnodrama published in ArtsPraxis), Micro (official short film selection of Cinewest’s Women in Media Arts and Film Festival in Sydney, Australia and 8th Shire International Film Festival), and published articles in RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance and Teaching Artist Journal. Rachel holds a Ph.D. in Educational Theatre from New York University, where she serves as an adjunct instructor and music director. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Katherine Cartusciello is a New York City-based composer and sound designer with over ten years of experience in technical theatre. She graduated with Departmental Honors from Columbia University in 2016, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music. Her work has been performed by chamber ensembles including TAK Ensemble, Counter) Induction, and Daedalus Quartet. She is currently attending NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, and working on a full-length musical titled Whitechapel: A Jack the Ripper Musical Drama, which explores the media’s sensationalism of the Jack the Ripper murders.

Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm has had over 300 productions of his plays and musicals staged in five countries. His play Wounded premiered Off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse and is currently under option to be adapted into a feature film, while his show E-Scape just toured Minnesota as part of Climb Theatre’s 2020 season. He’s won four Better Lemons Critics’ Choice Awards and been a Finalist for the O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference. He’s currently attending NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. For more information, please visit www.kerrykaz.com

Tom Bruett is a director and playwright. His plays have been seen at PianoFight, SF Fringe, PCSF, ReGroup Theatre(LA), Lakeshore Players and Players’ Theatre (NYC) and Best of Playground 23 and 24. He’s currently under commission at Playground. He was a finalist for the Humana Festival Heideman Award. As a lyricist he was selected for the Johnny Mercer Songwriting Institute through ASCAP and Northwestern. At NCTC he has directed Le Switch, Cardboard Piano, Birds of a Feather and You’ll Catch Flies.

Miki Vale is a Hip Hop artist, Teaching Artist, and commissioned playwright with San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre. She has co-created physical and virtual spaces for women’s presence and engagement, exploring the impact of Hip Hop culture on race, class, and gender. In 2016 and 2018 she was the DJ and sound designer for The Old Globe’s ‘Globe for All’ Tour.

Joshua Brown is a sound artist and dramaturg. His work often explores the innate music of everyday language and noise; existential dread; and intimacy in the new media age. His work has been performed at the Charlotte New Music Festival, the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), the São Paulo Contemporary Composers Festival, the Fresh Inc Festival, Bricolage Production Company and at the Pittsburgh Opera. Joshua holds a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing and Music Technology, and an Advanced Music Studies Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University.

Lauren D’Errico is a playwright, librettist, and screenwriter from New Jersey. Her work has been seen and developed in New York (Experiments In Opera, The Bechdel Group, The Tank, Nora’s Playhouse), Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh Opera Company, Bricolage Production Company), North Carolina (Charlotte New Music Festival), and online (Fresh Inc Festival, Playdate Theatre). Her work often explores failed communication, female personhood, and the psychology of fitness. BA: Purchase College (2016), SUNY. MFA: Carnegie Mellon University (2019).

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La Jolla Playhouse takes action in solidarity with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color)
artists, audiences and community members in the fight to end racism.
Read our plans here.
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