Art Without Walls by La Jolla Playhouse

Visit our WOW Festival site

Without Walls (WOW) is La Jolla Playhouse’s signature performance program that takes art outside traditional theatre walls and into unique spaces, including the annual WOW Festival and WOW standalone productions.

From a car to a bar, from a beach to a basement, WOW invites audiences of all ages to interact with artists and art in unexpected ways, bringing people together and reimagining what storytelling can be.

WOW has become one of the United States most acclaimed immersive performance programs. Since its inception in 2011, La Jolla Playhouse has commissioned and presented a diverse series of immersive, site-inspired and virtual productions under the umbrella of WOW. These works take place throughout San Diego, including nine stand-alone productions, six WOW Festivals and 14 Digital WOW pieces.


The acclaimed annual WOW Festival is a four-day celebration of breathtaking art experiences. Free to attend, San Diegans and visitors of all ages can enjoy immersive, site-based and/or interactive projects by renowned local, national and international artists.

Save the date for WOW Festival 2024
April 4 – 7, 2024
Venue: To be announced
WOW Festival 2024 site


WOW develops and presents stand-alone productions throughout the year from emerging and established artists creating immersive, interactive and innovative art experiences.


Little Amal Walks Across America

La Jolla Playhouse will be a partner organization collaborating on San Diego events Nov 3-5, 2023.
Click here to read more about Little Amal

Past WOW Productions

La Lucha

Created By David Israel Reynoso/Optika Moderna. Presented in Partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
Performance dates: April 27 – June 4, 2023
Click here to read more about La Lucha

Without Walls (WOW) Festival 2023

Performance Dates: April April 27 – 30, 2023
Click here to visit the WOW 2023 website

Without Walls (WOW) Festival 2022

Performance Dates: April 21 – 24, 2022
Click here to visit the WOW 2022 website

Pop-Up WOW

Performance Dates: August 14 – 15, 2021
Click here to download POP-UP WOW program (PDF)

Digital WOW

The Playhouse presented a series of inventive, digital Without Walls (WOW) shows. From intimate, one-on-one experiences to collective events, these virtual WOW offerings brought world-class artists directly to you.

Towards Belonging
By Anjanette Maraya-Ramey/Maraya Performing Arts
» Watch Now

Spittin’ Truth to Power While Light Leaping for the People
By Alyce Smith Cooper and Shammy Dee
» Watch Now

You Are Here
By Marike Splint
» Watch Now

Walks of Life
By Blindspot Collective
» Watch Now

Society of Wonder
By Animal Cracker Conspiracy
» Watch Now

Listen With The Lights Off
By So Say We All
» Listen Now

The Totally Fake Latino News
By Culture Clash
» Watch Now

By Mike Sears and Lisa Berger
» Watch Now

JUNE 3 – 20, 2021
A Thousand Ways
Part Two: An Encounter

By 600 Highwaymen

JAN 21 – MARCH 7, 2021
A Thousand Ways
Part One: A Phone Call

By 600 Highwaymen

DEC 19 – JAN 28, 2020
By Oye Group

SEPT 8 – DEC 15, 2020
By David Israel Reynoso/Optika Moderna

JULY 16 – SEPT 27, 2020
The Wizards of Oakwood Drive
By Tom Salamon

JUNE 20, 2020
Show Me A Good Time
By Gob Squad

JUNE 30 – JULY 12, 2020
By Brian Lobel & Friends

Without Walls (WOW) Festival 2019

Performance Dates: October 17 – 20, 2019
Click here to visit the WOW 2019 website
Click here to download WOW 2019 program (PDF)
Click here to download WOW 2019 press kit (PDF)

What Happens Next

A Without Walls Production, in association with Cornerstone Theater Company
By Naomi Iizuka
Directed by Michael John Garcés
April 19 – 29, 2018; Challenged Athletes Foundation

Without Walls (WOW) Festival 2017

Performance Dates: October 19 – 22, 2017
Click here to download WOW 2017 program (PDF)
Click here to download WOW 2017 press kit (PDF)

The Bitter Game

A Without Walls Production, in association with Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation
Written and performed by Keith Wallace
Directed by Deborah Stein
October 4 – 9, 2016; Writerz Blok

Without Walls (WoW) Festival 2015

Performance Dates: October 9 – 11, 2015
Click here for WoW production credits

Healing Wars

Conceived, directed and choreographed by Liz Lerman
Director and choreographer Liz Lerman is a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow and founder of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange.
Performance Dates: September 29 – October 25, 2015; Mandell Weiss Forum
Centerpiece of the 2015 Without Walls Festival (Oct 9-11)

The Grift at the Lafayette

Conceived, Written and Directed by Tom Salamon
Performance Dates: January 27 – March 22, 2015

El Henry

A Without Walls Production, in association with San Diego REPertory Theatre
By Herbert Siguenza
Adapted from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1
Directed by Sam Woodhouse
Performance Dates: June 14 – June 29, 2014; SILO in Makers Quarter, 753 15th Street

Without Walls (WoW) Festival 2013

Performance Dates: October 3 – 6, 2013
Click here for WoW production credits

Accomplice: San Diego

A Without Walls Production
Written by Tom Salamon and Betsy Salamon-Sufott
Directed by Tom Salamon
Performance Dates: March 26 – July 7, 2013

Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir

A Without Walls Production
Written by Keith Bunin
Directed by Mark Rucker
Performance Dates: September 24 – October 10, 2012; Martini’s Above Fourth

The Car Plays: San Diego

A Without Walls Production
Conceived by Paul Stein
Performance Dates: February 23 – March 11, 2012; La Jolla Playhouse parking lot


A Without Walls Production
Written by David Leddy
Performance Dates: September 16 – October 23, 2011; San Diego Botanical Garden


“One of the most innovative cultural happenings in the country—the WOW Festival, where La Jolla Playhouse turns various parts of the city into stages for wild performance art.” San Diego Magazine

“The most significant performing arts festival in the United States to focus on work that takes place outside of traditional theatrical venues.” No Proscenium

“Breathtaking array of work from local, national and international artists.” KPBS

“Live theater isn’t just what the actors give to the audience, but what the audience gives back and how the experience transforms everyone collectively.” San Diego Union-Tribune

Photos from previous WOW productions

THE MYTH PROJECT: ALTAR (2015 WOW Festival)Photo by Daniel Norwood
FAETOPIA (2017 WOW Festival)
BOATS (2019 WOW Festival)
WRITTEN IN STONE (2019 WOW Festival)
PEREGRINUS (2019 WOW Festival)
THE BITTER GAME (2015 WOW Festival)
INCLUSION (2019 WOW Festival)
THE SPHERES (2015 WOW Festival)Photo by Daniel Norwood
MODEL HOME (2017 WOW Festival)
OJO (2015 WOW Festival)
FLOCK OF FLYERS (2015 WOW Festival)
IKAROS (2019 WOW Festival)
SEAFOAM SLEEPWALK (2013 WOW Festival)Photo by Jim Carmody


Top banner photo credit: LA BULLE by CORPUS, part of the 2022 WOW Festival

2023 August
2023 September
2023 October
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