La Jolla Playhouse
The La Jolla Playhouse. Courtesy UC San Diego

The La Jolla Playhouse’s return to live performances includes three world premieres, beginning in September.

In the meantime, the theater will offer two on-site events:

  • The Without Walls (WOW) production of A Thousand Ways (Part 2): An Encounter, by 600 Highwaymen, which runs through June 20
  • The 2021 DNA New Works Series, with readings of four new plays. They take place over the weekends of July 22–25 and July 29–Aug. 1

The subscription season begins Sept. 21 with The Garden. The drama explores the complex relationship between two strong-willed women – Claire Rose, an elderly Black woman, and her middle-aged daughter, Cassandra. Playwright Charlayne Woodard, a Tony nominee, appears on the FX series Pose, and performed locally in the playhouse production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

To the Yellow House, opening Nov. 16, takes a look at love and art through the tragic lens of Vincent Van Gogh as he struggles to refine his style while in need of his brother’s aid. Director Neel Keller returns to the playhouse, where he has overseen several plays including Light Up the Sky and Diva.

Bhangin’ It opens March 8. The musical depicts a young woman’s search for identity through dance, including competitive Bhangra and other Indian and Western styles. Co-librettists Mike Lew and Rehana Lew Mirza served as 2018-19 playhouse artists-in-residence. 

Christopher Ashley, the playhouse’s artistic director, noted performers’ strong desire to return to the “communal experience” of the theater after more than a year of dark stages.

“This pause has also caused all of us to reflect deeply – not just about how essential it is to
gather together to hear stories,” he said, “but about how we make those gatherings, those communities and those stories more welcoming and equitable.”

As theater-goers transition back to in-person attendance, the playhouse also will offer flexible ticket return policies. Additionally, for subscribers, there will be virtual viewing options for The Garden and To the Yellow House.

The playhouse also will present a pop-up WOW event featuring five short works, from Aug. 14–15 at ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station.