La Jolla Playhouse Opens Doors to San Diego's Mo'olelo Troupe in 2008-09

News   La Jolla Playhouse Opens Doors to San Diego's Mo'olelo Troupe in 2008-09
La Jolla Playhouse announced the launch of a new initiative, the Resident Theatre Program, and named Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company as its first Resident Theatre Company.

The newly appointed company will be in residency at La Jolla Playhouse, located on the campus of UC San Diego, Aug. 18-Sept. 21, 2008 and May 12-June 14, 2009.

La Jolla Playhouse designed the Resident Theatre Program "to address the lack of available, affordable performance spaces for the many vibrant theatre companies in the San Diego area." It was designed "to provide a temporary home to theatre companies without a permanent venue."

"I have been so impressed," stated artistic director Christopher Ashley, "by the dynamic adventurous and diverse theatre community in San Diego, many of which are without a permanent home base. We are fortunate at the Playhouse to have really fantastic facilities with several theatre spaces. We are very pleased to give one San Diego theatre company each year the opportunity to use one of our spaces rent free."

After receiving applications from several theatre companies, the Playhouse chose Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company as the inaugural Resident Theatre Company. The troupe will be in residence in the 99-seat Studio Theatre at the Playhouse.

"We received some terrific, thoughtful and exciting applications," stated associate producer Dana Harrel, "making the selection process extremely difficult." Mo'olelo will stage Night Sky written by Susan Yankowitz and produced in partnership with The San Diego Brain Injury Foundation to La Jolla Playhouse this fall.

Mo'olelo is the Hawaiian word for "story" and reflects "a vision to tell powerful stories as diverse as the Islands of Hawaii, that inspire participation, generate dialogue and build bridges across societal divides."

"Mo'olelo's strong artistic mission, leadership role in the community and administrative capability make them a perfect choice," Ashley stated.

The mission of Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company is "to create new theatrical works based on research within various communities, produce lesser-known works by master and contemporary playwrights, and educate in all areas of theatre."

"This is a golden opportunity," stated Seema Sueko, Mo'olelo's artistic director. "We are thrilled that La Jolla Playhouse has opened its doors to us and embraced the local community. We are looking forward to the increased visibility and ability to strengthen our partnerships."


The Resident Theatre Program "is not specifically restricted to theatre, and though all applicants were theatre companies, in the future other performing arts could be taken into consideration. Each year will there will be a newly appointed Resident Theatre Company. The selection criterion followed guidelines based on: Artistic Vision, Administration, Trajectory and Practicality."

In addition to the performance space, the Playhouse will provide lighting and sound support, and be available to provide marketing and development advice. No artistic direction is provided by the Playhouse, nor is direct funding for projects.


Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is a nationally acclaimed independent not-for-profit organization, known for its tradition of creating the most exciting and adventurous theatre in Southern California. More than 30 Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, including The Farnsworth Invention, Big River, The Who's Tommy, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Walk in the Woods, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dracula, Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, and the currently running Jersey Boys and Cry-Baby.

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