You have a play about a Martian resort in 2044 but nowhere in San Diego to stage it. Where to go?
In the case of one local theater group, you land at La Jolla Playhouse.On Friday, the famed playhouse announced Circle Circle dot dot as its 2014/2015 resident theater company. The program provides a temporary home each year to one of the many local companies without a permanent venue.
That gives “Red Planet Respite” a place for its local premiere. The play was first staged in mid-April at Arizona State University’s Lyceum Theatre.
As the story goes, American firm GlobalCom Venture Capitals develops the first interactive resort experience on Mars in 2044 with the Marsimerica space research institution.
“Red Planet Respite” is the story of the debut crew sent to test out the luxurious resort intended for the socially elite. An unexpected phenomenon that takes place in the universe during their voyage forces the crew to face consequences and psychological extremities they could never prepare for.
Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley is high on the company and its sci-fi play.
“In just a few short years, Circle Circle dot dot has displayed a startling sense of ambition, adventure and creativity, devising plays alongside local communities and branching out into site-based shows,” Ashley said. “That commitment to new work and new forms resonates with the Playhouse’s own mission, and makes CCdd a natural choice for our next resident theater company.”
As part of its 2014/2015 “Season of Science,” Circle Circle dot dot will present two productions during the playhouse residency.
In the fall is the San Diego premiere of “Red Planet Respite,” written and developed by CCdd Artistic Director Katherine Harroff, in collaboration with Soroya Rowley, Patrick Young, Karen Knierman, the Arizona State University School of Theatre, Film and Dance, the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Mars Space Flight Facility.
In the spring, the company will develop a world-premiere earth-sciences production based on the lives of California native animal life with the help of San Diego-based Environmental Preservation specialist Michael Nieto. The currently untitled piece will feature puppetry, clowning, dance and music.
“We are elated to have the incredible opportunity to produce our unique community-inspired productions within the esteemed residency with La Jolla Playhouse,” Harroff said.
“We recognize the fabulous young companies that have stepped into this position throughout the years, and we are humbled to follow in their footsteps. We look forward to utilizing this as a chance to grow into a more sustainable organization, and advance the impact of our work in San Diego.”
Circle Circle dot dot is made up of a group of performance artists, writers, directors, puppeteers, designers and musicians. Established in 2010, CCdd is both collaborative within the company and with outside artists who are willing to give additional perspective to a theatrical experience.
Each performance is created completely from scratch by collecting stories and interviews with members of our community and then creating a script that is fleshed out in workshop rehearsals before ever hitting a stage.
They take stories that are informative and insane, as well as thought-provoking and delusional, in order to bridge gaps in communication and understanding of our fellow man.
The Resident Theatre Program is an annual appointment at La Jolla Playhouse.
In addition to performance space, the Playhouse provides lighting and sound support and is available to offer marketing and development advice.
Previous resident theatre appointees include Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company, Moxie Theatre, San Diego Asian American Repertory Theater, Eveoke Dance Theatre and Teatro Máscara Mágica.
The Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and is considered one of the most well-respected not-for-profit theaters in the country. Numerous Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, including the currently running hits “Jersey Boys,” “Chaplin” and “Peter and the Starcatcher.”
Located at UC San Diego, La Jolla Playhouse is made up of three primary performance spaces: the Mandell Weiss Theatre, the Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse.
— La Jolla Playhouse contributed to this report.
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